Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler, OC (14 January 1930 – 18 September 2014) was a Canadian composer and trumpet and flugelhorn player, based in the U.K. from the 1950s onwards. Most of his performances were rooted in jazz, but he was also active in free improvisation and occasionally contributed to rock music recordings. Wheeler wrote over one hundred compositions and was a skilled arranger for small groups and large ensembles. Wheeler was the patron of the Royal Academy Junior Jazz course.

Wheeler was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 14 January 1930. Growing up in Toronto, he began playing cornet at age 12, and became interested in jazz in his mid-teens. Wheeler spent a year studying composition at The Royal Conservatory of Music in 1950. In 1952 he moved to Britain. He found his way into the London jazz scene of the time, playing in groups led by Tommy Whittle, Tubby Hayes, and Ronnie Scott.

Share this post

Leave a Comment