Saxophonist Ryan Grist has been performing and teaching in and around Orangeville and the GTA now for over 17 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 leading Orangeville District Secondary School’s Jazz Band now for 17 plus years. He teaches privately and is a regular performer 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 was recognized as the ‘Arts Educator of the Year’ award at the Mayor’s Breakfast for the Arts, and was the recipient of the Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts Volunteerism award in 2015.
Performance wise, Ryan has consistently surrounded himself with exceptional talent. He’s been involved with coordinating everything from duos to Big Bands for the Festival’s February Fundraiser. 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 festival schedule will see Ryan performing and leading the ODSS Jazz band (Acoustic Tent Saturday), a Little Big Band with the Orangeville Jazz Society (Opera House at 245 Saturday) featuring local treasure Paul Donat on bass as well as sensational drummer Charlie Cooley on Drums. Special guest vocalist Andie Trepanier will also lend her voice to the mix. “The Soul Collective” (soul, jazz and gospel tinged R&B) will be grooving the acoustic tent on Sunday, and will feature Ryan on vocals as well as saxophones. He will also have the pleasure of performing with extreme flautist Bill McBirnie – Bill is well known for his outstanding technique and is recognized as an exceptional improviser in the bebop, swing and Latin jazz idioms. They will be performing in the intimate setting of the Orangeville Public Library, Friday night from 7-9. 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.