Toronto-born bassist Kieran Overs has been active on the Canadian music scene since 1970, first on guitar and electric bass, and for the past 34 years on acoustic bass.
Overs holds an Honours Diploma from Humber College, a B. Mus. from Humber/BCOU and an M. Mus. from McGill University (Montreal). He has also studied privately with renowned Danish bassist Neils-Henning Orsted-Petersen and arranger Rick Wilkins. He has toured internationally with Moe Koffman/Dizzy Gillespie, Jane Bunnett, Sophie Milman, Carol Welsman and Emilie-Claire Barlow, among others. Having worked in Toronto as a sideman with such artists as Zoot Sims, Chet Baker, Bill Charlap, Harold Mabern Jr., Carol Sloane/ Bill Mays, Brian Dickinson, Pat Labarbera, Alex Dean and Kirk MacDonald, Overs has established a solid reputation in Canadian jazz. Overs is currently a member of The Nancy Walker Quartet, Ted Quinlan Trio and Inside Out (with Lorne Lofsky and Barry Romberg). To his credit Overs has 4CDs as leader/producer and more than 80 as a sideman. He was one of only 8 jazz artists selected to represent Canada on the 4CD/50-artist box set “Here and Now – A Celebration of Canadian Music “, produced by the Canada Council to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations (released world-wide in October 1995). A profile of Overs’ career can be found in Mark Miller’s book “The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada”.
He is an adjunct faculty member of the music departments at Humber College (Toronto) and Mohawk College (Hamilton), and is active as a freelance musician, clinician and bandleader. His current band is an all-star lineup of Canadian musicians, Overs’ Eleven.
- 2003/ 2004 M. MUS. (McGill University, Montreal)
- 1998/2003 B. MUS. in Jazz Studies (B.C.O.U. in affiliation with Humber College, Toronto)
- 2005/2011 Bass, Ensemble, Jazz Pedagogy, Improvisation (2nd year degree & Intro to Improv), Creative Development and Arranging instructor Humber College
- 2005/2011 Bass, Ensemble and Jazz History instructor Mohawk College
- 2010 & 11 Clinician and Instructor for Carleton University Jazz Camp, Ottawa
- 2010 & 11 Clinician and Instructor for the Summer Jazz Initiative for GTA Youth, Toronto
- 2005 & 10 Clinician and Instructor for Jazz Works Summer Camp, Ottawa
- 2004 Instructor Chamber Jazz Ensemble (winter semester) McGill University
- 2003 Bass instructor Humber College
- 2000 Artist in residence/lecturer, St. Francis Xavier University, (fall semester) Antigonish, Nova Scotia
- 2000 Clinician and instructor at Saskatchewan Jazz Camp
- 2000 Adjudicator and clinician at Brandon jazz festival
- 1999/2000 Instructor and arranger 12 piece jazz ensemble and double bass Humber College
- 1999/2000 Instructor Jazz Combo and Bass Humber College Community School for ages 3-17
- 1998/99 Instructor and arranger for 11 piece Jazz Ensemble Humber College
- 1999 Instructor Theory I, Continuing Education, Humber College
- 1978/99 Private instructor, bass
Professional Performance experience
- 2008-2011 International touring with Sophie Milman (including concerts in Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, the Montreal and Vancouver Jazz festivals, Massey Hall and throughout the U.S.), club and concert appearances with various artists throughout Canada
- 2005/2007 Canadian and International tours with Sophie Milman (including Blue Note – New York, Nagoya and Tokyo, major clubs throughout the US and appearances in Paris, London, China, Taiwan and Malaysia), Nancy Walker Quartet, Jane Bunnett groups, William Carn Quintet, Carol Welsman and club and concert appearances with various artists
- 2000/2004 Concert and nightclub performances with Eric Alexander, Barry Harris Trio, Jane Bunnett, Carol Sloane, Carol Welsman, Kirk MacDonald, André White, Lorne Lofsky, Ingrid Jensen, Bill Charlap among others
- 1988/99 Leader, arranger, composer of the Kieran Overs Dectet for a 3 night performance of 30 original Canadian compositions, leader, arranger, composer for concert and nightclub performances with the Kieran Overs Nonet/Quartet. Canadian tours with the Kieran Overs Quintet/Quartet, Bernie Senensky Septet, Marilyn Lerner Duo/Sextet, Jane Bunnett Quintet, John Macleod Quartet and the Carol Sloane Quartet featuring pianist Bill Mays. Canadian and U.S. concert and nightclub performances with Carol Sloane and Carol Sloane/Clark Terry. Five country European tour with the Jane Bunnett Quintet (Ronnie Scott’s – London, Paris Jazz Festival, Leverkusen Jazztage & Jazztime Hildesheim – Germany, Jazzclub Tangram – Milano, Auditorium de Palma de Mallorca). Toronto nightclub performances with Sonny Fortune, Barry Harris, John Stetch Trio/Quartet, Nancy Walker Trio, Brian Dickinson Trio, Bernie Senensky “Chalet” Trio, Alex Dean Quintet/Quartet, Phil Dwyer Quartet, the Ted Quinlan Quintet, among others. Participated on video with Barry Harris for the Barry Harris Workshop Video
- 1982/88 Bassist for the Moe Koffman Quintet Touring in Canada, U.S.A., South America and Europe the Moe Koffman Quintet and the Moe Koffman/Dizzy Gillespie collaboration. Club dates with various artists including Lorne Lofsky, Zoot Sims, Salome Bey, Sonny Stitt and Chet Baker
- 1975/82 Bassist with the Howard Cable Orchestra Imperial Room/Royal York Hotel Playing for performers such as: George Shearing/Mel Torme, Sammy Cahn, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera, Eartha Kitt, Diahann Carole, Phyllis Diller, Robert Goulet, Jackie Mason, Mamie Van Doren, Frankie Lane, The Mills Brothers and others
- 1970/74 Guitarist for 4th incarnation “Motherlode (1970) and Hagood Hardy’s “Montage”group (1971-74)
Radio & Television
- 2007/2009 Various radio and television appearances with Sophie Milman and Emilie-Claire Barlow.
- 1982/2006 “Sound of Toronto Jazz” live concerts broadcast on Jazz FM 91 radio with: trumpet feature evening, piano feature broadcast, The Kieran Overs Quartet & Nonet, Moe Koffman Tribute Band, Moe Koffman Quintet, Alex Dean Quartet, Jane Bunnett Quintet, Nancy Walker Trio, Memo Acevedo Latin Band and the Lorne Lofsky Trio
- 1985 All That Bach: CBC movie celebrating the Bach 300 w/Moe Koffman
- 1985/2006 CBC “Jazz Beat” radio broadcasts with: Maureen Kennedy, Min Rager Quintet, The Kieran Overs Dectet, Quartet & Quintet, Kieran Overs/Marilyn Lerner duo, Carol Sloane Quartet, Bernie Senensky/Eric Alexander Quartet, Bernie Senensky Septet, Kirk MacDonald Quartet, Jan Jaczyk Trio, Ted Quinlan Quintet and the Nancy Walker Quartet
- 2004 CBC radio “On Stage” w/ Marilyn Lerner/Sonny Greenwich
- 2002 CBC radio “On Stage” Jane Bunnett with special guests Dewey Redman & Stanley Cowell
- 1991/2003 TVO’s “Studio Two” television feature “On Stage” w/Carol Sloane, Darrell Grant, Carol Welsman, George Evans and Nancy Walker.
- 2000 CBC radio “Shakespeare Winter Festival” composer & performer w/ Nancy Walker of music for production of Under Milkwood with Kenneth Welsh and Mary Walsh.
Engineering & Producing
- 1991/2001 Produced: Gateway, Shape Shift, Quartetto & For The Record / Kieran Overs, At Long Last Love, Trish Colter Who Meets Who / Michael Occhipinti, Invitation, Luminosity & Levitation / Nancy Walker,
- 2000 Recording Engineer: Still Waters/Brian Dickinson & Kenny Wheeler
- 1993/97 Produced and engineered: Kaitlyn’s Waltz / Alex Dean, Song in Blue / Jacqueline Johnson, Live at the Senator / Brian Dickinson Trio
For The Record 2003 U/P, Quartetto, 1995 U/P, Shape Shift, 1994 U/P, Gateway, 1992 U/P.
In Collaboration With
Nancy Walker Quartet New Hieroglyphics, 2011 Indie, Mikko Hildon Nova Scotia, 2011, Addo Records, Ted Quinlan Streetscape, 2009, Addo Records, Sophie Milman Take Love Easy, 2009, Linus, Sheila Jordan Winter Sunshine, 2009, Justin Time, Diane Nalini Kiss Me Like That, 2009, Indie, Alex Ernewein, 2008, Indie, Sophie Milman Make Someone Happy, 2007 Linus, Nancy Walker Trio Need Another, 2007 Timely Manor, Daniel Barnes Classic Beauties, 2007 Indie, Emilie-Claire Barlow The Very Thought Of You, 2007 EMG, William Carn Quintet Lessons Learned 2007, Timely Manor, Barry Romberg (Random Access) Big Giant Head, 2007 Romhog, Emilie-Claire Barlow Winter Wonderland, 2006 EMG, Jane Bunnett Radio Guantanamo, 2005 EMI, Paul Read/Scott Robison The Heart Of Summer, 2004 Indie, Lorne Lofsky/ Barry Romberg Inside Out, 2004 Romhog Records, Maureen Kennedy This Is Always, 2004 Indi, Nancy Walker When She Dreams, 2004 Justin Time, Jane Bunnett Red Dragonfly, 2004 Blue Note, Moe Koffman Quintet Live At The Science Centre ’85, 2004 Jazz FM 91 Records, Patricia O’Callaghan Naked Beauty, 2004 EMI Int’l, Nancy Walker Levitation, 2003 U/P, Jane Bunnett Spirituals & Dedications, 2002 Justin Time, Norman Marshall-Villeneuve Jazz Message, 2002 Indie, Geordie MacDonald Inside The Outside, 2002 Sonavista Rec., Theresa Tova Live At The Top ‘O The Senator, 2002 Indie, Bernie Senensky The Chalet Sessions, 2001 U/P, Nancy Walker Luminosity, 2000 U/P, Tony Genge Blues Walk, 2000 U/P, John Stetch Green Grove, 1999 Justin Time, Tony Quarrington One Bright Morning, 1999 Ragged Pup Records, Marc Jordan This Is How Men Cry, 1999 Blue Note, Geordie MacDonald Bridge To Everywhere, 1999 Sonavista, Ted Quinlan As If, 1997 U/P, Jaqueline Johnson Song In Blue, 1997 Indie, Alex Dean The Power Of Beauty, 1997 Radioland, Nancy Walker Invitation, 1997 U/P, Marilyn Lerner Birds Are Returning, 1996 Jazz Focus, Brian Dickinson Live At The Senator, 1996 Jazz Inspiration, Ken Skinner The Jazzmongers, 1995 Village Jazz Records, Jane Bunnett The Water Is Wide, 1994 Denon, Rudy Smith Live In Toronto, 1994 Indi, Jacek Kochan Tomorrow’s Dreams, 1994 U/P, Michael Occhipinti Who Meets Who?, 1994 Auracle, Brian Dickinson Brian Dickinson, 1994 Jazz Inspiration, Alex Dean Kaitlyn’s Waltz, 1993 U/P, Jane Bunnett Spirits Of Havana, 1992 Denon, Harold Mabern Philadelphia Bound, 1992 Sackville, Lorne Lofsky Lorne Lofsky, 1992 Jazz Inspiration, Steve Holt Just Duet, 1992 Sacville, Junior Mance Here ‘Tis, 1992 Sackville, Jane Bunnett Live At Sweet Basil, 1992 Denon, Bernie Senensky Fun & Games, 1990 Unity, Alex Dean Both Feet, 1990 Unity, Malcolm McNeil I’m Shadowing You, 1989 Emi Toshiba, Moe Koffman/Dizzy Gillespie Oop-Pop-A-Da, 1988 Duke Street, Bernie Senensky Friday The 14th, 1988 Unity, Moe Koffman Moe-Mentum, 1988 Duke Street, Brian Dickinson October 13th, 1987 Unity, Moe Koffman One Moe Time, 1986 Duke Street, Riki Turofsky Riki Turofsky Sings Kurt Weill, 1986 Fanfare Records, Alex Dean Dreamsville, 1985 Justin Time, Lorne Lofsky It Could Happen To You, 1981 Pablo Today
UP Compilation 3 2002, UP Compilation 2 2001, Sound Of Toronto Jazz 2000, UP Compilation 1 1999, Latin Jazz For Lovers 1997, Woman’s World 1996, Here & Now, UN 50 1995 CBC/Sony, Afro-Cuba 1994 Naciente, United Rhythms of Messidor 1994, Jazz Notes 1992 CB
Awards & Nominations
- 2008 Juno award for vocal jazz recording of the year; Make Someone Happy/Sophie Milman and Juno nomination for vocal jazz recording of the year; The Very Thought Of You/Emilie-Claire Barlow
- 2007 National Jazz Awards of Canada, nominated: Best Bassist of the Year
- 2006 Juno (contemporary jazz) “radio Guantanamo” Jane Bunnett
- 2003/2004 McGill Graduate Studies Fellowship
- 2002/2003 National Jazz Awards of Canada, nominated: Best Bassist of the Year
- 2003 National Jazz Awards of Canada, nominated: Best Jazz Recording of the Year
- 2002 Juno nomination for best mainstream jazz recording ‘Spirituals & Dedications’ Jane Bunnett
- 1998 Prix de Jazz du Maurier with The John Stetch Trio
- 1991 Juno (world music) Spirits of Havana/Jane Bunnett
- 2003 Canada Council for the arts grant to support graduate studies.
- 1999 Canada Council for the arts rehearsal/performance grant to present a concert of new composition and arrangements awarded to the Kieran Overs Dectet
- 1996 Canada Council for the arts rehearsal/performance grant to present 3 nights of 30 Canadian jazz compositions arranged by Kieran Overs awarded to the Kieran Overs Nonet
- 1995 Canada Council for the arts touring grant for a tour of central and eastern Canada awarded to the Kieran Overs Quartet
- 1992 Canada Council for the arts touring grant for a Cross-Canada jazz festival tour of awarded to the Kieran Overs Quintet
- 1992 Canada Council for the arts long-term study grant awarded to Kieran Overs
- 1988 Canada Council for the arts long-term study grant awarded to Kieran Overs
- 1986 Canada Council for the arts short-term study grant awarded to Kieran Overs for study in Denmark with Neils – Henning Ørsted – Pedersen
Other Points of Interest
- Compositions by Kieran Overs are featured in the Canadian Jazz Fake Book published in 1992.
- Private studies in arranging with Rick Wilkins: Toronto, 1990.
- Private bass studies with Neils-Henning Ørsted-Pedersen: Denmark, 1986.
- Overs was one of only 8 jazz artists selected to represent Canada on the 4CD/50-artist-boxed set “HERE AND NOW” – A Celebration of Canadian Music “; produced by the Canada Council to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations (released world-wide in October 1995)
- A profile of Overs’ career can be found in Mark Miller’s 2002 release The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada.