Archie Allelyne
Archie Allelyne

RIP: Toronto Jazz Drummer Archie Alleyne

Archie Alleyne, the much-loved senior figure on Toronto's jazz scene, died Monday (June 8) in hospice care in Toronto. He had been battling prostate cancer. A drummer who broke colour barriers in Toronto clubs in the '40s, he was 81.

During his long career, he had played with a who's-who of great artists, including Billie Holiday, Ben Webster, Lester Young, and literally hundreds of Canadian jazz players and singers.

His memoir — Colour Me Jazz — recalls Toronto music history from the '30s onwards, and was to be launched at an event June 14 at the Paintbox Bistro. The event has been postponed, and will be part of a memorial tribute that will be arranged by his family and friends in the near future.

Details of funeral arrangements will be announced on the website and Facebook pages of the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund, which he founded in 2003 and which has since distributed scholarship and bursary funds to more than 20 young music students.

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