Guido Basso

Guido Basso & Stompin’ Tom Connors

The Toronto Musicians’ Association is proud to recognize Guido Basso’s decades of artistry with the TMA Lifetime Achievement Award and is delighted to acknowledge Life Member Stompin’ Tom Connors with our Lifetime Achievement Award.


“Guido Basso is quite simply the best damn flugelhorn player in the world.” – Rob McConnell

Guido BassoMontreal-born Guido Basso began playing trumpet at the age of nine. At the age of nineteen, he left Montreal to tour with Vic Damone, followed by three more years touring with Pearl Bailey and Louis Bellson. In 1960, Guido settled in Toronto and quickly became “first call” in the studios and jazz clubs. While still in his early twenties, he was featured as an on-air personality and music director on several popular television programs including Nightcap and Barris & Company, and co-hosted Mallets & Brass with Peter Appleyard. From 1969-71 he was music director of After Noon on CBC radio, and he later led orchestras for the CBC television programs In the Mood and Bandwagon.

As a founding member and featured soloist with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Guido performed with The Singers Unlimited, Phil Woods, Mel Torme and The Hi Lo’s. Many of his recorded solos with that award-winning ensemble have become jazz classics studied by both professionals and students across North America. He was also a member of the Rob McConnell Tentet, Nimmons ‘N’ Nine Plus Six, and Ron Collier’s big band. Guido has also been in great demand on harmonica, having been featured in many concerts and on dozens of recordings. Guido has shared the stage with many of the world’s top jazz artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Benny Goodman and Diana Krall. He is one of those rare musicians whose sound is unique and immediately recognizable, and has set the international standard for playing jazz flugelhorn. In 1994, Guido was made a Member of the Order of Canada. His CD Lost in the Stars was honoured with a JUNO award in 2004. Guido currently plays jazz concerts, is featured in a myriad of musical situations, and is currently in the studio working on a new CD. Otherwise he can be found at his home Eastern Ontario with his wife Kristin, growing garlic, cooking gourmet meals, and generally enjoying life. Guido is a Life Member of the TMA, having been a member since 1961. The Toronto Musicians’ Association is proud to recognize his decades of artistry with 2009 TMA Lifetime Achievement Award.


Tom Connors was born in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1936, and after being orphaned for several years, was adopted by the Aylward family of Skinner’s Pond, PEI. At thirteen, Connors left home and hitchhiked to virtually every part of Canada. Fifteen years later, his big break came when he found himself short of money at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, and the bartender offered to give him a beer if he would sing a few tunes. This performance turned out to be the start of a 13-month stint playing at the hotel, and also led to a daily spot on the local radio station where he made his first recordings. So began a career that would see Stompin’ Tom Connors release fifty albums which have sold some four million copies in Canada, including many songs that have become treasured favourites across the country.

From his first hit, “Bud the Spud,” Connors’ songs have celebrated and defined what it is to be Canadian. Many of his songs, like “Tillsonburg,” tell stories from his own journeys across the country. He has written about national passions (“The Hockey Song”), national heroes (“Blue Berets”), and national tragedies (“The Black Donnellys” and “Fire in the Mine”). Connors was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996. He received a SOCAN National Achievement Award in 1999, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2000. Tom also holds three honourary Doctorates, from St.

Thomas University (Laws, 1993), the University of Toronto (Laws, 2000), and the University of PEI (Literature, 2003). In 2009, Connors received the special distinction of being portrayed on a stamp released by Canada Post. From 1971 through 1975, Stompin’ Tom received five straight JUNO awards as best country male artist, and another for his album To It and At It. In 1978, he returned them all, explaining, “I feel that the JUNOs should be for people who are living in Canada, whose main base of business operations is in Canada, who are working toward the recognition of Canadian talent in this country and who are trying to further the export of such talent from this country to the world with a view to proudly showing off what this country can contribute to the world market. Until the academy appears to comply more closely with aspirations of this kind, I will no longer stand for any nominations, nor will I accept any award given.” More than simply playing songs about Canada, Stompin’ Tom Connors has been a fierce and uncompromising advocate for truly Canadian music and musicians. His patriotism, integrity, and his tremendous contribution to our nation’s musical heritage are truly exemplary. The Toronto Musicians’ Association is delighted to acknowledge Life Member Stompin’ Tom Connors with our Lifetime Achievement Award.

ANDREW BURASHKO – A member of the TMA since 1990

Since his brilliant début with the Toronto Symphony at the age of seventeen under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, Andrew Burashko has established himself as one of the most soughtafter soloists in Canada. He has performed extensively around the world collaborating with among others, conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pinchas Zukerman, Marin Alsop, Peter Oundjian and Bramwell Tovey. Passionately dedicated to the music of our time as well as the great piano master-works of the past, Andrew Burashko has developed a reputation for versatility and brilliantly conceived programmes. He has given numerous Canadian and world premières, including the Canadian première of Schnittke’s Piano Concerto.

His musical dexterity and commitment to building a future audience for classical music brought him in 1998 to the artistic directorship of the Art of Time Ensemble, a chamber music society comprised of the finest classical and jazz players on the Canadian scene. Andrew Burashko began his piano studies with Marina Geringas in Toronto. He went on to study with Kum Sing Lee in Vancouver, Leon Fleisher and Marek Jablonski in Toronto, and Sella Davidovich in New York. He is at present on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma (RCM). Studied with Bella Davidovich in New York, with Marek Jablonski, Leon Fleisher and Marina Geringas at The RCM, Toronto and with Kum Sing Lee in Vancouver. Awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. Has given master classes throughout Canada and the United States. Soloist with orchestras including the Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg Symphonies, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Sought after as a recitalist and chamber musician, with performances throughout North America and Europe. Artistic Director of Chamber Music Unlimited. Recorded for Naxos, CBC SM5000, and Opening Day Labels. Regularly broadcast on CBC Radio and American Public Radio. RCM faculty since 1990.

In recognition of the outstanding artistic excellence during the year 2009 and his universally acclaimed stature as one of Canada’s most highly regarded classical pianists, the Toronto Musicians’ Association presents the 2009 Musician of the Year Award to Andrew Burashko.