Although resident in England since 1952 and often thought
to be an English musician, Kenny Wheeler was born in
Canada in 1930. He began playing in his hometown of St.
Catherines, encouraged by his father, a trombonist. His
formal studies include composition with Rodney Bennett and
His earliest influences included Buck Clayton and Roy
Eldrige but, by the time he left for London, he was looking
towards bebop, Miles Davis and Fats Navarro particularly.
After his arrival in London, Wheeler balanced commercial
dance band work with gigs alongside modernists like Joe
Harriott and Ronnie Scott, and in 1959 joined the Johnny
Dankworth band in time for their breakthrough Newport Jazz