Gordie Brandt

Gordie (Gordon Edward) Brandt. Guitarist, b Regina 20 Jun 1924, d Saskatoon 31 Jul 1983. Raised in Saskatoon, Brandt began playing guitar at 12.

Brandt, Gordie

Gordie (Gordon Edward) Brandt. Guitarist, b Regina 20 Jun 1924, d Saskatoon 31 Jul 1983. Raised in Saskatoon, Brandt began playing guitar at 12. Although he was interested in jazz in his mid-teens, he first worked professionally 1940-1 as a member of a country group, Sleepy and Swede and the Tumbleweeds (see also Rhythm Pals), who toured in western Canada. While playing 1941-8 in Vancouver dance and jazz bands (with Carl DeSantis, Wilf Wylie, Arnie Molar, and others), he was guided informally by the guitarist Ray Norris and by the pianists Wylie and Alan McNab.

Brandt lived 1948-52 in Toronto, where he studied with Gordon Delamont, worked in clubs with Vic Centro, Phil Nimmons, and Rudi Toth, and played in CBC orchestras under Johnny Burt and Bert Niosi. Returning in 1952 to Saskatoon in 1952, where he was the city's leading jazz musician, he appeared 1954-60 on CFQC TV's 'Gordie Brandt Show' and performed in concerts and in clubs. After he opened a retail and teaching centre in 1961 he was less active as a performer. Though not widely known outside western Canada, Brandt was regarded by his peers as one of Canada finest jazz guitarists.

His son Kim (b Saskatoon 24 Nov 1953), a bassist 1969-73 with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, moved in 1973 to Toronto, where he has worked as bass guitarist with Ian Tyson, Sylvia Tyson, and in other country and pop studio settings - eg, 'The Tommy Hunter Show'.