Moe Koffman subsequently became a major figure in Toronto's jazz, studio and theatrical worlds as a player and a contractor. His jazz band, a fixture at the Toronto restaurant George's Spaghetti House from 1956 to 1994, toured widely in Canada and appeared in concert abroad, on occasion in the 1980s presenting the noted US trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie as a guest soloist. Koffman also played in other Toronto jazz bands, notably Rob MCCONNELL'S Boss Brass.
Koffman's recordings (more than 25 albums) combined versatility with a sure commercial instinct. Some were of a pop instrumental nature, drawing on repertoire and styles from the classical (Moe Koffman Plays Bach, 1971) and disco (Jungle Man, 1976) to stage musicals (Music for the Night: A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1991). Others were more strictly jazz, including One Moe Time (1986) and Oop-Pop-A-Da (1988), the latter with Gillespie.
Moe Koffman was appointed an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1994, and inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001 he was inducted into the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame. The University of Toronto initiated a scholarship in 2001 called the Moe Koffman Memorial Jazz Scholarship, an award funded by annual performances of the Canadian Jazz All-Stars.
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Music Hall of Fame
The website for the Canadian Music Hall of Fame from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS).
Swingin' Moe Koffman
Watch a 2001 CBC Television interview with Canadian jazz great Moe Koffman.