Artie Roth is a composer, bassist and bandleader from Toronto .
Toronto-born jazz bassist Artie Roth is a composer, bandleader, performer and educator who
has been active nationally and internationally for over 20 years. Commensurate with
completing his undergraduate (1992 with the Oscar Peterson Scholarship) and masters
degree in musical composition (2015) at York University, Artie enriched his education with
two Canada Council sponsored study tenures in New York City in 1993 and 1997. He has
resided in Toronto for over 20 years establishing himself as one of the busiest, full-time
composer/performers in Toronto and is recorded on over 60 full length recordings, including
Rich Underhill's 2003 JUNO award winning “Tales From The Blue Lounge” and 2007 JUNO
nominated “Kensington Suite”, Ernesto Cervini’s 2023 JUNO nominated “Joy” ,Sophie
Milman's JUNO nominated debut CD and Rockit 88's 2004 JUNO nominated “Too Much Fun”.
As a bandleader, bassist and composer, Artie has four recordings “Parallels”(2005),
“Currently Experiencing” (2013) “Discern” (2015) and most recently “Resonants” (2023). He
also co-leads and has released two recordings with the jazz trio “Tunetown”, namely, “There
From Here” (2018) and “Entering Utopia” (2020). As well as leading his own group, Artie is
also a member and contributing composer for The Rich Underhill Group, The Bob Brough
Quartet and Kollage. His contributions have been acknowledged through numerous National
Jazz Award Bassist of the Year nominations and featured artist of the week on Jazz FM 91.1 ’s
website and programming. In tandem with his active composer/band-leading and freelance
career, Artie currently holds the position of Bass Instructor and ensemble coach at York
University and Centennial College.
Artie has toured extensively, performing in theatres, festivals and jazz venues and giving
masterclasses as a clinician at universities nationally and internationally. Artie's overseas
engagements have included performances with The Artie Roth Quartet in Serbia and Croatia,
the Richard Underhill Quintet in Mexico, Kollage in Barbados and Antigua, The Shuffle
Demons in Europe and Scandinavia, The Steve Koven Trio in Mexico and Columbia and The
Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band in Germany. Tours in the U.S.A. have included performances with
The Greg Runions Sextet featuring Kenny Wheeler and The Lynne Arriale Trio. On a national
level, Artie’s touring has included cross Canada tours with his own group, The Bob Brough
Quartet, Chris Wallace’s Many Names, The Rich Underhill Quintet, The Marcus Belgrave and
Curtis Fuller Quintet, jazz vocalist Melissa Stylianou, The Sean Bray Quartet and The Rez
From beginnings recording and co-writing in the late eighties alternative music scene in
Toronto, Artie debuted as a Jazz composer with the ballad “Mountain”, recorded and
performed with legendary Jazz Flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler, on The Greg Runions Sextet
1994 CD release “But Not Forgotten”. Artie’s four recordings as leader exclusively showcase
his range as a composer, with the groups’ repertoire being exclusively self-penned works. As
the bassist for Tunetown , he penned eight new trio compositions divided amongst the
groups’ two full length recordings. For Kollage, he was commissioned by the late great
drummer Archie Alleyne to write two piano trio compositions, “The Other Foot” and “The
Wrong Foot”, which he recorded with Alleyne and internationally renowned pianist Robi
Botos on Kollage’s 2009 CD release “The Rhythm”. Additionally, Roth’s compositions and
arrangements have been incorporated into the post-secondary educational
repertoire/curriculum of numerous student Jazz Ensembles and composition courses at York
University, The University of Toronto and Humber College.
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because it is a style of music that can absorb influences from many other musical languages.
I was first exposed to jazz when my brother brought home the Duke Ellington/Max Roach/ Charles Mingus album "Money Jungle".
I have met so many musicians over my 25+ year career. In my mind today is a tour I did with flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler.
The best show I ever attended was being side stage (i was in the opening band and had that "special privilege") at a concert of Herbie Hancock,
Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade and Dave Holland at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
The first jazz record I bought was "Fast Emotion" by Canadian fusion band Uzeb.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a wide variety of styles of Jazz music and find your favorite one. Once you connect with a certain style , it
provides a gateway into the whole tradition.