George Koller, Bass

George Koller Bass

Photo by Denise Grant

George Koller is a bassist, producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and promoter of jazz and world music of all varieties. In a wildly diverse and expansive career, he has performed, or toured and recorded with Peter Gabriel, Eartha Kitt, Chaka Khan, Eddie Harris, Loreena Mckennitt, David Clayton-Thomas, Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, Ian Tyson, The Shuffle Demons, Laila Biali, John Mcdermott, Larry Coryell, Karrin Allyson, Phil Woods, Michael Mcdonald, Carvin Winans, Valdy, Eliana Cuevas, Holly Cole, and the renowned group “Ensemble Vivant”… just to name a few. A prolific composer and producer and bassist, George also plays a variety of instruments; many of them featured on his award winning (HMV “fresh blood” grand prize) solo CD entitled “Music for Plants, Animals and Humans”. He also has solo recordings on the Solitudes/Avalon/Reflections labels (Cello by the Sea, India, Bali, Breathing for Relaxation, Peaceful Harmony, Zen Tranquility, Zen Harmony, Zen Serenity, Rest Well). He has performer/bassist credits on over 1500 cd’s… and producer credits on 250 cds. Some recent producer credits include: Laila Biali, Fern Lindzon, Eliana Cuevas, David Clayton Thomas, Rita Chiarelli, Monsoon, Near East, June Garber, Lara Solnicki, Julie Michels, Linda Carone, Shuffle Demons, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, and Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds. He was voted National Jazz Awards “Bassist of the Year” in 2007, and has a Toronto Star critics award and two “Porcupine” awards. His latest solo album is called “Secret Space Program”…featuring a diverse collection of songs in many styles.

Born in 1958 and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, George was fortunate to have great teachers and a thriving musical community to work in. Tommy Banks, Big Miller, Bob Stroup and Judi Singh were his mentors. George studied classical music at the University of Alberta and jazz at Grant McCewan University… where he also became the bass instructor. Next stop was Calgary for 3 years. George embraced that city and flourished in the studio and jazz club scene. Calgary enjoyed an artistic renaissance in that time period… and its proximity to the Banff School of Fine Arts feeds a thriving music scene to this day. At age 26, George then moved to Toronto in 1984, and from this location toured Canada at least 35 times… and USA, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Brazil, Ecuador, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, Estonia, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, India, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, South Africa and New Zealand.

George Koller’s credentials include:
Founding Director: Kirana East/West orchestra, Founding director: FreeUnion Collective (inspired by Fred Stone), Radio Host: CKLN jazz Universe friday morn (from 1994-96), Producer/artistic director- International Divas (concert series), Producer – World Jazz for Haiti (23 song fundraiser cd), Producer: Maple Leaf Rising Sun (songs for Tohoku Japan), Artistic Director: An Artist’s Affair for University Hospital network – 3 years, Music Director: Porgy and Bess at Soulpepper, Music Director: Carvin Winans, Music Director: David Clayton-Thomas, Music Director: Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, In House Producer: Number 9 Audio Group, CBC Accent on Toronto: music director for 15 years, CEO of ZSAN record label.