What's Hot With Jazz Guitar: Lorne Lofsky

by Doc Dosco

This week we feature Canadian jazz guitarist Lorne Lofsky.

Lorne Lofsky is a very gifted jazz guitarist working out of Toronto,
Canada. He has developed his own signature style, very sweet, smooth
and lyrical with splashes of technical brilliance sprinkled in. On his
website you will find several audio and video clips that showcase his
playing. In addition to his solo recordings and recordings with his own
groups, Lorne Lofsky has played with jazz greats Oscar Peterson, Chet
Baker, and a host of others.

Online Biography:

Lorne Lofsky is a Canadian guitarist living in the Toronto area. He
started out as a typical teenage rock 'n roll guitar player, playing in
basement bands and at high school dances. In his late teens, no longer
enamored with playing blues based rock music, a friend turned him on to
Miles Davis's classic disk "Kind of Blue". Hearing this record was, for
Lorne, a musical revelation that led to a dramatic change is his
approach to playing music.

Lorne was inspired to get together with like-minded friends, playing
constantly, developing his chops and basic musical conception. Lorne
began a more formal study of music while attending York University, in
the mid 70's ('74/75), focusing on jazz theory and performance. He spent
two years under the guidance of John Gittins and Bob Witmer.

Around this time Lorne was also starting to do a bit of playing around
Toronto, which eventually led to a week at the legendary George's
Spaghetti House with saxophonist Jerry Toth. Jerry was one of the finest
Canadian saxophone players. His encouragement and support was
instrumental in providing Lorne with the opportunity to be heard by the
Toronto jazz audience.

Lorne started to work frequently at George's as a leader and sideman, as
well as the famous Toronto jazz venue "Bourbon Street" playing with a
who's who of the jazz world including Chet Baker, Pepper Adams, Bob
Brookmeyer, Carl Fontana and many others.

During one week at George's Spaghetti House as a sideman with trombonist
Butch Watanabe, Lorne met the jazz legend Oscar Peterson. A few weeks
later Lorne received a phone call from Oscar who offered to produce a
record on the prestigious Pablo record label. The result was Lorne's
debut album entitled "It Could Happen To You".

Lorne continued to work extensively in the Toronto area, including an
appearance at the Ontario Place Forum as a featured guest with Oscar
Peterson. Lorne also played with Oscar in Edmonton, Alberta for a week
in '82. In 1983 Lorne did an extended tour of the East coast of Canada
with renowned saxophonist Pat LaBarbera. Also, in 1983 to 1991 Lorne
played in a quartet with legendary jazz guitarist Ed Bickert. This
quartet played frequently in and around the Toronto area. This
collaboration yielded two recordings (one of which was for the
prestigious Concord label entitled "This Is New") and a tour of Spain in

In the early 80's, Lorne began an important musical association with
saxophonist extraordinaire Kirk Macdonald leading to the formation of a
quartet that has continued to perform extensively in the Toronto area.
Various versions of this quartet have played numerous dates outside of
Toronto, including the Atlantic Jazz Festival, Montreal's Upstairs Club,
Vancouver's Cotton Club and others.

From '94-'96, Lorne was a member of the Oscar Peterson Quartet. The
group performed at Carnegie Hall in N.Y.C., the Montreal Jazz Festival,
Sao Paolo, Brazil and played numerous concerts throughout Europe. In
addition, Lorne was featured on 3 CDs with Oscar. One of them was a
double CD recorded live in Paris.

In addition, Lorne has, over the years taught many clinics on jazz
guitar and improvisation. Lorne has been a jazz instructor at York
University, in Toronto, since the late 70's. As well, Lorne has taught
for several years at the University of Toronto and has an extensive
private teaching practice.

Lorne continues to teach and perform in the Toronto area where he
remains a mainstay of the jazz scene.

Lorne Lofsky's website:


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc now endorses Peerless Guitars. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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