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Saxophonist Ryan Grist has been performing and teaching in and around Orangeville and the GTA now 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 OrangevilleDistrictSecondary School’s Jazz Band now for 16 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 humbly accepted the ‘Arts Educator of the Year’ award at the Mayor’s Breakfast for the Arts.

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, 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 festival schedule will see Ryan performing and leading the ODSS Jazz band (Acoustic Tent Saturday), a Latin Jazz quintet featuring local treasure Paul Donat (Opera House), as well as “The Soul Collective” (soul, jazz and gospel tinged R&B – acoustic tent on Sunday).  He will also have the pleasure of performing with saxophonist and woodwind specialist Vern Dorge (Blood, Sweat & Tears, Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet) in an intimate quartet setting (Friday night in the Orangeville Public Library).

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.