Saxophonist Ryan Grist has been performing and teaching in and around Orangeville and the GTA for over 15 years. From studio work, to weddings and funerals, to instructing and performing, Ryan has proven to be an enthusiastic and versatile musician.
In the Orangeville community, Ryan has been running the Orangeville District Secondary School’s Jazz band for 15 plus years. He teaches privately and performs regularly at local fundraising efforts. Ryan is the Artistic Director of the Orangeville Jazz Society, instructing and creating opportunities for young (and not so young) musicians to perform and hone their Jazz skills in an ensemble setting. In 2011 he humbly accepted the ‘Arts Educator of the Year’ award at the Mayor’s Breakfast for the Arts.
Performance wise, Ryan consistently surrounds himself with exceptional talent. He’s been involved with coordinating everything from duos to Big Bands for the Festival’s February Fundraiser, and has had the pleasure of sitting in with ensembles like The Café Ole and The Heavyweights Brass Band. Ryan has shared the Festival Main Stage with; Mike Malone and Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and flugelhorn, Juno Award winning and internationally renowned saxophonists Pat Labarbera, PJ Perry and Alex Dean, Pianist Joe Sealey, Lorne Lofsky (guitar), Bassists Pat Collins and Brandi Disterheft, and drummer extraordinaire Barry Elmes.
This year’s packed festival schedule will prove interesting as the ODSS Jazz band, Jazz Society Septet (plus 3), and his latest venture “The Soul Collective” (soul gospel tinged R&B) will be busily performing over the course of the weekend. Ryan will also be playing in a unique jazz trio configuration featuring internationally renowned guitarist Lorne Lofsky and 2012 Juno nominee Brian Dickinson on piano.
Ryan is a founding Board member of the award winning Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival, and lives in Orangeville with his beautiful wife and two kids.