After completing his studies at St. Francis Xavier University (B. Mus. Jazz Performance, ‘93) and having spent two years in cruise ship show bands, Rod Murray came to Vancouver in 1996. Within a few months he was playing regularly in various jazz, salsa and funk bands around the city, including Orquesta La Clave and the Ken Aldcroft Trio, an ensemble consisting of guitar, drums and bass trombone. Before long, Rod became a full time member of various groups including the Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, the Jill Townsend Big Band, Hard Rubber Orchestra, and latin jazz group Rumba Calzada. This list has now grown to include the Ian McDougall 12tet, jazz sextet Ugetsu and the Kevin Elaschuk Quartet among others.
Through his involvement with many of these groups, Rod’s had the honor of performing with many fine musicians in Vancouver such as Brad Turner, Ross Taggart, Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, Phil Dwyer, Jodi Proznick, Chris Davis and Dave Robbins to name but a few. He’s also been fortunate to play with a number of world renowned jazz and Afro Cuban musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Slide Hampton, Eddie Daniels, George Lewis, Dave Douglas, Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy Bosch, and Changuito . He’s also performed with pop artists Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra Jr., Gladys Knight, Frankie Valli, the Temptations and Gino Vanelli. From ’98 to 2000 and again in ’06, he toured Canada and the US with the Juno Award winning Colin James and the Little Big Band. Other notable tours include Hard Rubber Orchestra (Holland and Eastern Canada, ’98,’06), the NOW Orchestra (Europe,’02 &’04) and Rumba Calzada (Miri Jazz Festival, Borneo, ’08 &’09)
Rod has appeared on recordings by Ian McDougall, Jill Townsend, the Nightcrawlers Big Band, Miguelito Valdez and Puro Son, Jonathan McCaslin, Ugetsu and Rumba Calzada. As a session player, he has recorded with Yes, Sam Roberts, Dan Mangan, Matthew Good, Powder Blues and Hey Ocean. He’s also performed in pit orchestras for a variety of musicals including Chicago, A Chorus Line, the Lion King, Wicked and Mary Poppins.