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Born in Kamloops BC, Phil Nimmons, OC OOnt is leader of NIMMONS 'N' NINE PLUS SIX and the PHIL NIMMONS QUARTET. He studied piano and clarinet in Vancouver, and later worked at The Juilliard School (NY) and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto). As a composer, he functions in the classical and jazz media. Much of the music played by Nimmons 'n' Nine Plus Six has been written and/or arranged by Phil Nimmons. As an educator, he co-founded, with Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto (1960), and following that was the Director of the University of Toronto's Jazz Ensemble, where he currently holds the title 'Director Emeritus'.

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Phil received his earliest education in Vancouver (BC), and is a graduate of the University of British Columbia (B.A., Pre-Med). He was then a scholarship student at The Juilliard School of Music (New York), and he completed his post-graduate studies in composition at The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) and the University of Toronto. Phil was a student of notable professors, Dr. Arnold Walter, Professor John Weinzweig, and Professor Richard Johnston. 

Phil was a founding member of the Canadian League of Composers (1951) and the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto (1960-1966).

Phil has toured extensively throughout Europe and Canada. He has represented Canada on a world tour and his Atlantic Provinces Tour was funded as a special cultural event. 


University of Toronto: Director Emeritus; Jazz Studies, Faculty of Music.

University of Western Ontario: Professor, Faculty of Music.


Music Director of Summer Music Programmes:

University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, Wilfred Laurier University, York University, University of New Brunswick, the Banff School of Fine Arts, Courtenay Youth Music Centre, NewWest Jazz Clinic, West Chester University, The Jazz Camp (InterProvincial Music Camp).

Additional Roles:

  • Director of Canadian Film Composers

  • Director and Charter and Senior Adjudicator of the Canadian Stage Band Festival (MusicFest Canada)

  • Juror; Canada Council for the Arts

  • Juror; Ontario Arts Council

  • The Prison Arts Foundation


Phil has written contemporary classical works for piano, strings, flute, voice, instrumental in addition to over 400 original jazz compositions. His compositions include Film scores; Radio, TV, Stage Plays, Theatre Specials; CBC, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Alexander Theatre, Crest Theatre; O'Keefe Centre, EXPO '67; World Music Week - CBC/IMC of UNESCO, 1975; World Olympics, 1976; The Trojan Women, St. Lawrence Centre. Some commissioned and recorded compositions and their world premieres can be found by clicking the button below.

Highlights amongst the hundreds of orchestrations include: Norman Campbell's television premiere of Anne of Green Gables and Oscar Peterson's themes for Ontario Place film Big North Ontario. 

Original scores for television include those written for producers Norman Jewison, Norman Campbell, Norman Sedawie, and Paul Almond. 

Film scores include: A Dangerous Age (1957), A Cool Sound from Hell (1959). 

Original radio music scores include those written for producers J. Frank Willis, Esse Ljhung, John Reeves, Peter MacDonald, Andrew Allan,  Rupert Caplan and Bill Howell. 

Looking for the Phil Nimmons DISCOGRAPHY? 


1967: Government of Canada; Canada's Centennial Medal

1967: CNE Certificate of Appreciation (Canada's Bicentennial Year)

1968: BMI (Canada)

1975: City of Fredericton, Certificate of Appreciation Cultural Contribution

1976: JUNO Award - inaugural recipient of Music Excellence in Jazz; CARAS

1980: Performance Rights Organization (PRO Canada); Outstanding Success Award

1986: Toronto Arts Award (inaugural recipient); Acknowledged for Creative Excellence in Music and Contribution to Canadian Culture

1994: Officer of the Order of Canada (Named on April 13th)

1994: Order of Ontario (Named on April 20th)

1995-2008: The Jazz Report & National Jazz Awards Clarinetist of the Year  (13 consecutive years)

1998: University of Toronto Arbor Award

2001: International Jazz Educator's Hall of Fame Inductee

2002: Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement 

2003: Mohawk College; Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contribution to Mohawk College and the Creation of the Noreen & Phil Nimmons Scholarship

2003: University of Toronto; Distinguished Service Award in Music Education

2005: SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award

2006: SOCAN/IAJE; Inaugural Recipient of the Phil Nimmons Established Composer Award

2006: Jazz.FM91 Artist of Distinction

2006: Downbeat Achievement Award for Jazz Education

2008: Jazz Journalist's Association Jazz Award

2008: Toronto Musician's Association Lifetime Achievement Award

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