John was born in Edmonton on May 24, 1955 into a family which valued jazz music. The family moved to Toronto in his early years where he was exposed to early childhood musical training. By age 15 he was a working musician in the Edmonton area, playing gigs and doing studio sessions on the electric bass guitar. He had valuable on-the-bandstand experience with local players many years senior to him. His interests turned to the double bass at age 17 and he began studies at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Victoria B.C. and eventually McGill University in Montreal. He was bassist on the first Jazz recording to come out of McGill in 1978. In late 1978 he returned to Edmonton to teach at Grant MacEwan College in the music program for 3 years. In that time he played and recorded as a first call player with many local, national and international performers. The program Jazzbeat featured him with The Tommy Banks big band, Clarence “Big” Miller, and the PJ Perry/Bob Stroup Quintet. For almost 30 years he was an instructor at Mount Royal College and served some time as Coordinator of Jazz Studies.
He has continued to garner kudos for “perfectly centered pitch with beautiful tone and phrasing.” in performances with Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Pepper Adams, Marion McPartland, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Pat LaBarbera, Ralph Bowen, Bob Mintzer, Phil Dwyer, Oliver Jones, Brad Turner, Don Thompson, Julian Priester, Hugh Frazer, Chase Sanborn, Bobby Shew, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Riley, David Berkman, John Stowell and Bill Coon.
Travel has been a large part of John’s career, he has performed in Canadian venues from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and north to Inuvik. Performances around the world have included Mongolia’s Giant Steppes Festival of Jazz, The New Delhi 4th International Jazz Festival, Panama, Ireland, Mexico and the U.S.A.
John continues to study and compose most recently with the support of the Canada Council of the Arts awarding a study grant to travel to New York. There will soon be a collection of music to augment the previously released “John Hyde Quartet” and “Song of Seaview”.