TMA Welcomes New Executive Director Michael Adam Murray

The Toronto Musicians Association (TMA), local 149 of the American Federation of Musicians of United States and Canada, representing professional musicians in Toronto for over 100 years, is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Adam Murray as our new Executive Director, effective August 24th, 2015.

 Michael comes to the TMA from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), where he has held the role of Music and Arts Service Organizations Officer since 2007. His skills and experience are broad, yet his focus has been on the music and larger arts community in Ontario and the Toronto area. As a musician (trumpet, electronics and voice), songwriter and as a professional with CPA, CMA and MBA designations, Michael’s combination of skills led to exceptional development work with OAC.  He is an exciting leader, well poised to lead the TMA into the next 100 years of development.

 As the Music industry continues to go through seismic changes across all sectors, it is vital that we continue to grow and change to ensure that the TMA is part of the conversation in the larger music and arts community and that we continue to provide services that ensure fair compensation and quality of life for all musicians.

 “As a songwriter, trumpet player and vocalist myself, I understand firsthand the immense rewards and challenges in pursuing a career as a professional musician. When fairness for artists is achieved, all stakeholders in the cultural industries benefit, from artists, to audiences, to communities to companies. It is my vision that the TMA is a leader in making the Greater Toronto Area the best region nationally and internationally for musicians to live and work and by doing so help the GTA protect and grow it’s reputation as one of the world’s major music and art centres.”

Kirk MacDonald

Kirk MacDonald – 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Kirk MacDonald joined the Cape Breton Musicians’ Association at age 12, and made his first recording a year later.

Since moving to Toronto in 1997, he has performed on over 45 CDs, both as leader and sideman, and has participated in numerous national broadcast recordings for CBC Radio. He has performed extensively throughout Canada, as well as in the USA, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Monaco, Australia, Korea, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. Over 90 of his compositions appear on 22 CDs, of his own and of other artists.

Kirk has built an extensive body of jazz reflecting both tradition and innovation, and has built a solid reputation as a player, having performed or recorded with leading musicians from all over the world. In 1992 he was declared Winner at the prestigious 4ème Concours International de Solistes de Jazz in Monaco; he has been nominated for National Jazz Awards Saxophonist of the Year three times, among many other nominations and accolades.

An educator for 27 years at jazz studies programs such as the University of Toronto and McGill, he is presently a full time professor at Humber College in Toronto. A member of the Toronto Musicians’ Association since 1979, he has received 11 Juno Awards nominations, winning in 1999 and again in 2015, for Vista Obscura.

The Toronto Musicians’ Association congratulates Kirk on his recent Juno, and we are delighted to acknowledge him with our highest honour — our Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Good Brothers

The Good Brothers – 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Good BrothersThe Good Brothers played their first gig at the legendary Toronto club The Riverboat on May 14, 1974. Twins Bruce (autoharp) and Brian (guitar) had previously performed with James Ackroyd as James and The Good Brothers, opening for Grand Funk Railroad at Maple Leaf Gardens, travelling across Canada on the Festival Express with the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Ian & Sylvia, and The Band, and touring throughout North America. In 1973, Bruce and Brian returned home, recruited younger brother Larry on banjo, and formed The Good Brothers.

Soon, The Good Brothers were packing El Mocambo five nights a week, and headlining at such venues as Massey Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, the National Arts Centre, and at L.A.’s Universal Amphitheatre with Gordon Lightfoot. Beginning in 1977, they won an astonishing eight consecutive Juno awards as Country Group of the Year. In 1980 their fifth album, Good Brothers “Live”, was certified gold, and they have since recorded ten more records. They continue to perform across Canada and the United States and have toured Europe 29 times.

Still going strong after over forty years, The Good Brothers were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in2004. The Toronto Musicians’ Association is proud to recognize their tremendous success with our Lifetime Achievement Award.

“When we joined our union back in the early 70s, we had no idea that this would be the beginning of such a long and significant relationship. Working with brothers can be both rewarding and challenging, but one thing is certain: we always have each other’s backs. As members of the TMA, we have always felt like we had another brother watching our backs, and that was the brotherhood of Local 149. We are now and always will be very proud to be a part of this organization.” – The Good Brothers