Styles: Hard Bop, Post-Bop
Member Of: D.E.W. East
Drummer Barry Elmes has been a fixture on the Toronto jazz scene since the early 1980's. As a leader, his playing displays an interest in bop and pre-bop schools of drumming. His work as a sideman though, recording with artists as diverse as Kenny Wheeler and Dizzy Gillespie, proves him to be an accomplished drummer in many musical styles. Since moving to Toronto in 1973, Elmes has performed and recorded with, amongst others, Tommy Flanagan, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Don Thompson, Ed Bickert, Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gilliespie, and the Moe Koffman Quintet, as well as co-leading the group Time Warp with bassist Alan Henderson. Barry was named "Jazz Musician of the Year" by Jazz Report in both 1993 and 1994, as well as "Drummer of the Year" for 1994 through 1996.
- Dan Cross (All Music Guide)
Born in Galt, Ontario, Barry Elmes has occupied a position of prominence on the Canadian jazz scene since the 1980s and has become internationally-respected over the years since, not only as one of Canada's most talented drummers, but for parallel accomplishments as a composer, producer, band leader, recording artist, and dedicated educator. His award-winning work has been documented on over 90 jazz CDs and he has performed all over the world with many renowned jazz artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Flanagan, Charlie Haden, Diana Krall, Joe Henderson, John Abercrombie, Oliver Jones, Cedar Walton, Phil Nimmons, and Moe Koffman. In 1992 Barry represented Canada at the Venezuela International Jazz Festival with the Time Warp, a quartet he co-leads. In 1994 he was featured with the Oliver Jones Trio on the Governor-General's Tour of China, Japan and Korea. In 1996 he performed in Brazil with the Ed Bickert Quartet and toured South Africa with the Canadian Jazz Giants. In 2002 Barry was commissioned to create a special jazz group comprised of established Canadian jazz artists and student jazz musicians to perform at the Governor-General's Performing Arts Awards Show (concert and national television broadcast). Barry has been commissioned by CBC Radio Canada to be the musical director for a special concert-recording-film in 2012 to honor the career achievements of CBC Radio show host Katie Malloch.
Barry has received numerous "National Jazz Awards", including: "Drummer of the Year" four times (1994-95-96,1998) and "Jazz Musician of the Year" twice (1993-94). He has produced over 30 CD projects, including Mike Murley's Juno Award winning CDs Live at The Senator (2001) and Test of Time (2013).
In 1991 he formed the Barry Elmes Quintet, featuring a "who's who" of the best in Canadian jazz. A success from the beginning, this group has released five notable recordings featuring Barry's compositions, the first of which, the critically acclaimed "Climbing", received a Juno nomination for Best Jazz Recording. The quintet's fourth CD release "The Five Minute Warning" received an Indie Award nomination for Best Jazz Recording 2001. The following year the Barry Elmes Quintet received the 2002 National Jazz Award for "Acoustic Jazz Group of the Year". Since its inception, the Barry Elmes quintet has completed several domestic tours and one international tour.
In 2011, the Barry Elmes Quintet released its long-awaited fifth CD entitled "Redshift", long-awaited fifth CD entitled "Redshift", showcasing Barry's new compositions performed by longtime regular quintet members Mike Murley (saxophone), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Reg Schwager (guitar), Steve Wallace (bass), plus special guests Kelly Jefferson (saxophone, flute) and Vanessa Rodrigues (Hammond organ).
In addition, Barry continues to produce jazz recording projects and presides over Cornerstone Records Inc., a successful artist-owned jazz label and publishing company dedicated to presenting recordings by Canadian jazz artists. Barry is an associate professor of music at York University and currently serves as the Jazz Area Coordinator