Phil Nimmons is often referred to as “the Dean of Canadian jazz.”

In a career that’s spanned almost 80 years, he’s regarded as one of this country’s foremost clarinetists, bandleaders, composers, arrangers and educators. His most well-known ensembles are Nimmons ‘N’ Nine and later Nimmons ‘N’ Nine Plus Six, with which he created a body of work that is still performed by bands around the world.

Nimmons was awarded the very first Juno Award for best jazz album in 1977. He’s been inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Hall of Fame, he’s been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, and he’s received Canada’s highest honour for an artist: the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. And those are just a few of his many awards and honours.

His most recent honour is The Nimmons Tribute, a recording of his music performed by friends and former students and produced and arranged by none other than his grandson Sean Nimmons-Patterson, a fantastic musician in his own right.

Nimmons-Patterson joined us for a conversation about the project and the musical legacy of his grandfather.