The Artistry of … Archie Alleyne

We recently lost Canadian Jazz Artist Archie Alleyne, who was an icon, mentor, teacher and gentleman.

I was privileged to be connected to an innovative theatre company known as Mercury Theatre Productions with director Jon Michaelson when the show Lady Day at Emmerson’s Bar and Grill produced by Robert Chorney, Ken Cole and Victor Tovey was mounted here in the city. This show about Billie Holiday was gilded by the presence of Archie Alleyne in the cast and as the drummer in the band – a stellar line up including, the superb piano player and JAZZ.FM91 host, Joe Sealy, the phenomenal bass player Doug Innis, and guitarist Richard Bing all backing up the amazing Renee Lee as Holiday. Archie, having played with Holiday, made the show all the more special.

He was a humble man as I got to know him with plenty of time for others and with a focus on making the whole better. The Kensington Market native was active in the jazz scene for more than six decades, and was named to the Order of Canada.

To me the Artistry of Archie Alleyne was he believed in the value of giving and giving back.