As a prominent Toronto studio musician, McConnell formed the Boss Brass in 1968 to record pop song arrangements for radio programs serviced by the Canadian Talent Library. By 1976, the Boss Brass had evolved into an uncompromising jazz orchestra of 22 musicians, with McConnell's arrangements drawing wide praise for their subtle colouring and meticulous detail. McConnell received Grammy awards for individual arrangements in 1993 and 1996. Although the Boss Brass performed infrequently in public, it had recorded more than 25 albums by 1998, including the Grammy and Juno award-winning LP All in Good Time (1983) and the Juno recipients Big Band Jazz (1977), Present Perfect (1979) and The Brass is Back (1991). McConnell also led smaller bands on occasion, including a trio with guitarist Ed BICKERT, and was active from the early 1980s in music education as a clinician in Canadian and US schools. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997.
Author MARK MILLER
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).
The Toronto Musicians' Association
The website for the Toronto Musicians' Association, an organization that represents professional musicians in all facets of music in the greater Toronto area. Click on "Multimedia" to access online music videos.
Besides hockey and the maple leaf, there is little as symbolically Canadian as the CBC – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It grew out of a developing nation's need to express its identity and find its voice.