Vancouver-raised jazz educator Phil Nimmons has died at 100

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      A sometimes overlooked giant of Canadian jazz, Vancouver-raised Phil Nimmons has died. The clarinettist, composer, and educator was 100. 

      Born in Kamloops, Nimmons studied at the University of British Columbia before moving on to New York’s Juilliard School of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

      Toronto would become home, with Nimmons becoming part of the city’s classical music community to become a composer, bandleader, performer, and educator. 

      Major awards over the years would include Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2002, the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario in 1994, and a Juno for Musical Excellence in Jazz in 1977.

      In the 1960s, with friends Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, he started the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto. In the ‘70s, Nimmons ‘N’ Nine Plus Six was broadcast on CBC from high schools after the band held clinics with music students.

      Nimmons died peacefully at home in his sleep. He is survived by his children Holly, Carey, and Spencer; grandchildren Sean, Justin, Melinda, Sasha, Phillip, and Colleen; and great-grandchild Atticus.