Richard Monkman
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Richard Monkman

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Jazz Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Guitar ace values jazz roots"

Learning to play jazz doesn't automatically make you a jazz musician, but it will teach you how to be versatile.

Guitarist Richard Monkman sees jazz as just part of the musical identity he's developed, along with extensive training and varied interests.

"I'm not really specifically a jazz musician, but maybe more of a songwriter who's very influenced by jazz," explains the local guitar ace.
While jazz chords, conventions and instrumentals take the overwhelming feel on Monkman's new CD Graffiti Logic, his eclectic range hints at pop, rock, country and more. "I'm glad it comes off that way. I wanted to show all that I can do."

Monkman will have the core band from the album (bassist Dan Churchill, drummer Gord Graber, keyboardist Bill Richards) on hand to mark the CD release at the Blue Chair Cafe Thursday, mixing up the mostly original tunes from the disc with a few standards like the CD cover of Wayne Shorter's Footprints.

Winnipeg-born Monkman grew up with the same exposure to mainstream music most people get. By 14, he was into the standard rock guitar gods and knew he wanted a career in music. He was playing in rock bands in high school before he started listening to jazz players in his late teens.

Following high school, Monkman moved to Edmonton in 1991 to study in the jazz-oriented program at Grant MacEwan College. He remembers adjusting his expectations at the start.

"When I got out of high school, I thought I was pretty hot stuff, but suddenly I was sitting in a room full of guys who all thought the same thing, who were as good or better than I was. It was a great learning experience."

Along the way he also had some lessons with Bill Wallace (The Guess Who) and Greg Lowe (The Lincolns), and gained exposure to jazz guitar names like Pat Metheny, John Scofield and later, Bill Frisell. All these elements helped shape his first half-hour EP When You Dream (2002), which got Monkman, a Métis, two nominations in the 2003 Aboriginal Music Awards.

Richard Monkman's band plays Blue Chair Cafe Thursday at 8:30 p.m. The new CD will be available at the gig, from his website, and from some local retailers who offer independent artists.

- By The Edmonton Journal oct 22-2009


• “Graffiti Logic” Richard Monkman (2008 independent release)
• “Rain” Richard Monkman (2003 independent release)
• “Patch works” Bissell centre CD (2003 independent inner city project)
• “70 years of Dark-Eyed Junco” (2001 independent release)
• G.M.C.C. 25th Anniversary CD (1995 Edmonton)
• R.B. Russell Homegrown CD (1993 Winnipeg)
• Studio work for Bill Wallaceof the Guess Who (1992 & 1993 Winnipeg)
• Studio work for Ron Chenier of Fist (2002 Edmonton)
• Studio work for Apple Blossom Sounds (1988 Winnipeg)



I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I moved to Edmonton to study Jazz at Grant MacEwan College. I currently reside in Edmonton, Alberta and it is here that I have been fortunate enough to have
performed with and learned from some of Edmontons finest musicians which has enabled me to grow and develope as a musician and human being. Through my studies and related experiences I have been fortunate to have assumed the roles of:
Session musician
Throughout my career I have fronted or performed with various musical groups from jazz quartets to folk duos. I am also currently working on my first practice/study book which I hope to have completed by early 2009. Along with my own projects, I also play in a cover/original rock band called July Which has opened for Bryan Adams, Harlequin, Trooper, Alannah Myles and Lee Aaron to name a few.

"Beyond his eclectic composing style, Monkmans clean, intelligent guitar lines are very appealing whether hes heading into improvised territory or going for tuneful hooks.
Roger Levesque
CKUA Radio Network
The Edmonton Journal