A highly regarded Manitoba musician and educator is joining the faculty of Brandon University’s (BU’s) School of Music.
Ken Gold has been hired on a three-year appointment to teach Saxophone and Contemporary Popular Music. Gold has been a mainstay on Manitoba stages and in classrooms for 36 years. He has been a regular member of notable musical groups such as the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, the Ron Paley Band, Papa Mambo, the Ron Halldorson & Ken Gold Duo, and the Danny Kramer Event Band. He has played many pops concerts with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and has contributed to recordings by some of the province’s top musicians. Before coming to BU, Gold taught at several high schools and was a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba from 2003 to 2010.
“Ken Gold is one of the most accomplished and beloved jazz musicians in Western Canada,” said Greg Gatien, Dean of Music at BU. “I’ve had the honour of performing with him on many occasions, and know from first-hand experience how tremendously talented, dedicated, and versatile he is as a player. As an educator he’s just as accomplished.
“We’ve had many of Ken’s former students study at the School of Music over the years and know the strong foundation they’ve gotten from his instruction. We’re so delighted to have him at BU.”
Raised in Montreal, Gold studied classical saxophone at Jeunesse Musicales du Canada and harmony at CEGEP Dawson. While actively gigging on the Montreal scene, he went on to study at Concordia University before completing an education certificate at McGill University and accepting a teaching position at St. Norbert Collegiate in Winnipeg. While teaching he has continued to learn his craft, including at the Banff School of Fine Arts and receiving tutelage from Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman in Stroudsburg, Penn.
Along with his regular gigs, Gold has backed an eclectic group of musicians and acts, including the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Dianne Schuur, Bill Watrous, John Faddis, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Tito Puente, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, The Temptations/Four Tops, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vinton, Wayne Newton, the Moscow Circus and Bob Newhart.
“I have had the privilege of learning, playing and teaching in two of the great Canadian music centres, Winnipeg and Montreal,” Gold said. “Music has given me so many great experiences, and I love being able to pass those along to my students. Brandon University’s School of Music is one of the best in the country, and I’m looking forward to helping the next generation of musicians and music teachers achieve their goals. I’m so happy to be back at BU doing this work.”