Ian McDougall was born in Calgary, Canada, and grew up in Victoria, leaving there in 1960 to tour in Great Britain with the John Dankworth Band. He returned to Canada in 1962 and began a lengthy career as a freelance player, composer and arranger in Vancouver, and in Toronto where, until 1991, he was also the lead and solo trombonist with Rob McConnell's Grammy and JUNO award winning group, “The Boss Brass”. Two suites composed by Ian have been recorded by that group – “The Pellet Suite” and the “Blue Serge Suit(e)”. Ian was also lead trombone and a frequent composer/arranger for the Brass Connection, which won the JUNO award for best jazz album in 1982.
Ian now resides in Victoria, where he continues to play and teach. He taught trombone, composition, and jazz studies at the University of Victoria for over fifteen years, leaving there in 2003 as Professor Emeritus. In 2004 Ian was awarded the University’s “Distinguished Alumni” award. For many years after leaving his teaching post, Ian toured as a soloist and with his groups, throughout Canada and abroad. Countries where he has performed include Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, the US, and England, where he was music director for two BBC Big Band broadcasts.
Over the years, Ian has been invited to be a performer and clinician at three International Trombone Association conventions, in Nashville, Rochester, and Las Vegas.
Ian has been the leader on seven CDs. His double CD entitled “In a Sentimental Mood”, which features the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington with Ian joined by a quartet, was nominated for both a JUNO Award and a Western Canadian Music award in 2006.
Since the early 1980’s McDougall has become even more involved in classical composition, and his works have been performed by the CBC Vancouver Orchestra the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Lafayette String Quartet, the Phoenix Choir, The 13 Strings, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Naden Band, among many others. Important compositions include Concerti for Bass Trombone, for Clarinet, and for Saxophone, the 3 Canadian Folk Songs for choir and string orchestra, the “Brass Trio”, and “Bells” for Brass Choir.
Ian released a Big Band CD in August of 2007, “No Passport Required”. It is made up entirely of Ian’s compositions, and is performed by a sensational band of Canadian west coast musicians. In 2007 Ian was the first recipient of the Phil Nimmons SOCAN/IAJE established composer award and was commissioned to compose “Chaos at the Border” which was performed in New York, Jan/07. Ian also performed and wrote for the CBC CD project entitled “LIVE! Jazz Legends”, which was nominated for a JUNO award in 2008. Ian is proud and honoured to have been appointed to the Order of Canada in July of 2008.
Ian’s ‘signature’ CD is “The Very Thought of You” – 14 beautiful ballads from the 40’s and 50’ featuring Ian on trombone, performing with a large string orchestra and jazz quartet. This CD was produced in 2012 and is available from this website or from CD Baby.