Ryan Oliver

801-327 Maitland Street • Victoria, BC • V9A 7G7 • 647.520.5994


  • 2010 – present York University. Toronto, Ontario
    • Doctoral Studies, completed course work
  • 2007 – 2009 Rutgers University. New Brunswick, New Jersey
    • Masters Degree in Jazz Performance
    • Studied saxophone with Eric Alexander and Ralph Bowen
    • Studied jazz history with Dr. Lewis Porter and arranging with Conrad Herwig
  • 2001 – 2007 Humber College. Etobicoke, Ontario
    • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance
    • Studied with Pat Labarbera, Don Palmer, and Mark Promane
  • 1996 – 1998 Malaspina College (VIU). Nanaimo, British Columbia
    • Completed two years towards diploma in Jazz Music Performance
    • Studied with Pat Coleman and Steve Jones
  • 1996 – 2014 Private Studies
    • Studied privately with Misha Mengelberg, Barry Harris, and Victor Lewis


  • Performed as leader and sideman at most of Canada’s major Jazz Festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Markham, Orillia, Barrie, St. John’s, Halifax, Ottawa, Victoria, and Calgary, and the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (2000-present)
  • Performed as both a leader and sideman in many of North America’s premier jazz clubs including the Iridium, Smalls and the Blue Note (New York), The Yardbird Suite (Edmonton), The Bassment (Saskatoon), The Cellar (Vancouver), The Rex Jazz Bar and the Jazz Bistro (Toronto), the Upstairs (Montreal), and the Bimhuis (Amsterdam)
  • Performed and toured with the Shuffle Demons throughout Canada, China, Thailand, Japan, India, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Aruba, and USA (2010 – present)
  • Performed as part of Canada150 celebrations with the Shuffle Demons in Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico (2017)
  • Toured Canada with the Cookers Quintet (2011, 2013, 2015, 2018)
  • Employed at Ruby Sky Events, Music Director and Performer for Loblaws Music Program. Responsibilities include booking music for 13 Loblaws stores across Ontario, managing contacts and schedules, and performing in various stores several days each week (2011 – 2015)
  • Artistic Director and Performer for the Harbord St. Jazz Festival. Responsibilities include curating festival, contracting performers, media outreach (2012-14)
  • Nominated for 2013 Prix Du Jazz at Montreal Jazz Festival
  • Performed numerous concerts and clinics in Toronto with drum legend Victor Lewis as a guest in the Ryan Oliver Quartet (2012-13)
  • Performed at New Orleans Jazz Festival and throughout Canada with Derek Miller (2011-present)
  • Recorded CBC radio broadcast and film with The Cookers Quintet and special guest Barry Elmes (2011)
  • Recorded Derek Miller and Double Trouble, featuring Willie Nelson, co-composed all horn arrangements, Juno nominated (2010)
  • Lived in Amsterdam for one year, performing with Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennik, and the ICP Orchestra (1999-2000)
  • Toured throughout Europe with various ensembles (1999-2000)


  • Currently working as Executive Director for Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC), Canada’s longest running music camp (2017-present) Responsible for all aspects of planning, promoting, organizing, fundraising, budgeting, contracting and facilitating String Orchestra Academy, Junior String Program, Musical Theatre and Island Jazz Intensive summer camps and CYMC Summer of Sounds concert series.
  • Saxophone and combo instructor for CYMC Island Jazz Intensive (2017-present)
  • Adjudicator for Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Fund, Victoria High School Jazz Festival. and Townsite Jazz Festival (2017, 2018)
  • Taught private lessons in jazz saxophone to undergraduate students at York University, and prepared students for final juries (2011-14)
  • Teaching assistant for Music in the City, undergraduate course at York University. Ran tutorials and graded papers and exams (2013-14)
  • Teaching assistant for undergraduate Musicianship course at York University. Ran tutorials, taught ear training, and music theory, graded papers and exams (2011-12)
  • Conducted clinics throughout Canada, USA, Asia, Europe, Aruba, India, Australia and New Zealand with the Shuffle Demons (2010 – present)
  • Taught at Humber College’s esteemed Saturday Program, leading combos and teaching private lessons
  • Featured clinician at York University, Western University, University of Windsor, Vancouver Island University and high schools throughout Canada (2010 – present)
  • Founded the Downtown Jazz Academy, Toronto. Ran ensembles, jazz history courses, and woodwind lessons for students at the summer jazz camp and ongoing weekly ensembles. Several students are now attending jazz performance programs at York University, Humber College and the University of Toronto (2010)
  • Hosted clinics throughout Canada at elementary schools and high schools with the Cookers Quintet, including weeklong residencies in Whitehorse, Prince Rupert and Kamloops, BC (2010 – present)
  • Led the Rutgers Undergraduate Big Band, selected repertoire, ran rehearsals and sectionals, wrote arrangements and programmed concerts (2008-09)
  • Taught weekly woodwind lessons to over 20 students at the Bronx House in New York (a school for underprivileged children) and Woodside Music in New Jersey (2007-09)
  • Taught at Snider Music and Scarboro Music in Toronto, providing individual instruction on saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano and theory (2002-07)


  • Ontario Arts Council Recording Grant, recorded with the Cookers Quintet featuring jazz legend Johnny O’Neal (2015)
  • Canada Council Touring Grant, toured Canada with the Cookers Quintet, organized tour, booked all necessary flights and hotels (2015)
  • Toronto Arts Council Recording Grant, recorded with the Cookers Quintet for Do Right Music (2014)
  • Canada Council Touring Grant, toured western Canada with the Cookers Quintet, organized tour, booked all necessary flights and hotels (2013)
  • Canada Council Study Grant, studied with drum great Victor Lewis in New York City for one month (2013)
  • Ontario Arts Council Recording Grant, recorded original music with drum great Victor Lewis (2012)
  • Ontario Arts Council Education Grant, recruited and led jazz youth combo, organized weekly rehearsals over six month period, booked rehearsals, organized final public performance and accounting (2012)
  • Canada Council Touring Grant, toured British Columbia and Alberta with The Cookers Quintet, booked tour, organized all necessary flights and hotels (2011)
  • Nominated for a Juno award for Derek Miller and Double Trouble (2011)
  • Canada Council Touring Grant, toured British Columbia and Alberta with the Ryan Oliver Quartet booked tour, organized all necessary flights and hotels (2009)
  • Scholarships to Attend the Jazz Performance Masters Degree Program at Rutgers University (2007-8 and 2008-9)
  • Canada Council Travel Grant, attended Barry Harris Workshops in New York (2007, 2010 and 2012)
  • Ontario Arts Council Recording Grant, recorded debut CD, Convergence featuring Bernie Senensky and Bob McLaren (2006)
  • Humber Entrance Scholarship (2001)
  • Fraser MacPherson Scholarship, received an annual award given to promising young Canadian musicians (1996)
  • Scholarships to Attend the New West Minister (1995) and Nanaimo Summer Jazz Academies (1997)


  • Featured in Wholenote Magazine, “Different Drummers” article on Ryan Oliver Quartet featuring Victor Lewis
  • Featured in various newspapers throughout British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta for the Cookers 2011 tour
  • Reviews in The All Music Guide, All About Jazz, Whole Note Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and CODA Magazine for Strive!, Convergence and The Cookers – Volume 1 and 2
  • Full-page features in the Humber College newspaper and Toronto Jazz Magazine
  • Featured in various newspapers throughout British Columbia and Alberta for the Ryan Oliver 2009 tour
  • Featured in CODA Magazine’s “Emerging Talent” Section, December 2006


  • Featured musician and actor on Season 2 of “Guilt Free Zone” set to air on APTN next fall (2016)
  • Featured guest and live concert broadcast for CBC, JazzFM, CFUV, CFRO, CHLY and CJRT Radio
  • Cross Canada tour to film ‘Guilt Free Zone” TV show, hosted by Derek Miller, currently broadcast on APTN (2013), signed to second season for spring 2016
  • Recorded TVO children’s television show, Gisele’s Big Backyard, with the Shuffle Demons (2012)
  • CTV First Story with Derek Miller (2012)
  • CTV Aboriginal Awards, live from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, with Derek Miller (2012)
  • APTN Aboriginal Awards, Winnipeg, live concert with Derek Miller (2011)
  • CBC Video and Radio broadcast with The Cookers Quintet (2011)
  • Music is the Medicine (documentary on Derek Miller) premiered at TIFF (2010)


  • 2016 –The Cookers Quintet – Volume 3 Featuring Johnny O’Neal (Do Right Music)
  • 2015 –The Cookers Quintet – Volume 2 (Do Right Music)
  • 2012 – Ryan Oliver Quartet featuring Victor Lewis – STRIVE!
  • 2012 – Organic – Live at Joe Mamas
  • 2011 – Melissa Lauren – The Other Side
  • 2010 – Derek Miller – Derek Miller and Double Trouble (featuring Willie Nelson) – Juno Nominated
  • 2010 – The Cookers Quintet – Volume 1 (Do Right Music)
  • 2007 – Ryan Oliver Quartet and Quintet – Convergence

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