Happy birthday Archie Alleyne
What do Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Mel Torme, Chet Baker and Coleman Hawkins have in common? Answer: legendary drummer Archie Alleyne was often their sideman during their visits to Toronto.
Alleyne, who turned 80 on Jan. 7, will celebrate his birthday with a tribute concert at the new Regent Park Paintbox Bistro on Jan. 19, kicking off their new “Season of Entertainment,” sponsored by the Daniels Corp.
Alleyne will take the stage at 8 p.m., alongside Stacie McGregor on piano and Artie Roth on bass. The event will also feature Alexander Brown Cabrera on trumpet and special guest vocalist Jackie Richardson.
Alleyne career started in the early 1950s and he became a familiar sight as the resident drummer at the Town Tavern from 1955 to 1966. During the same time, he was a regular studio musician, and a featured sideman, touring with Marion McPartland and Teddy Wilson.
But after car accident in 1967, Alleyne settled into the restaurant business, partnering in the popular Underground Railroad. But all that jazz called him back to the stage and he went back on the road with saxophonist Jim Galloway and as a sideman with pianist Oliver Jones, according to the Canadian Jazz Archives.
In 2000, he helped form Kollage, a jazz sextet that is now one of the busiest bands in Canada.
Alleyne has been recognized with a Toronto Arts Award, an Order of Canada 2011 and a dazzling collection of industry accolades including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada, numerous Drummer of the Year nominations from the National Jazz Awards and an African Canadian Lifetime Achievement Award from Pride, Canada’s leading African Canadian and Caribbean magazine. Alleyne keeps his long-standing Archie Alleyne Mentorship Program, the Evolution of Jazz Productions active in schools.
The Paintbox Bistro is at 555 Dundas St. E. Reservations for the Jan. 19 concert can be made by calling 647-748-0555. A three-course dinner package, including the performance, is available for $40 and the performance only is $15.
(photo by Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)