“Exciting, confident, beautiful, soulful. Colleen is one fine musician.”
Colleen Allen is one of Canada's most in-demand musicians for live concerts and recording sessions. Based in Toronto, the acclaimed and versatile multi-instrumentalist has performed all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe with world class jazz and pop artists including Molly Johnson, David Clayton-Thomas, Holly Cole, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rik Emmett, Marc Jordan, Andrew Craig and Jackie Richardson, to name a few. Known for her warm, authentic tone and soulful style of soloing, she works frequently with Brian Barlow's Big Band, Cirque du Soleil, is a resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, and a member of Manteca, Canada’s premier fusion jazz big band. She has been in the house band of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue since its inception in 1986.
Colleen’s own recordings as a leader draw from her seasoned experience as a musician performing in a variety of genres and situations. Her first CD "Colleen Allen” displays her talents as instrumentalist, arranger, bandleader and producer. Her sophomore release “Flashlight” features bassist George Koller, guitarist Rob Piltch and Snarky Puppy drummer Larnell Lewis. As she notes, “I heard an interview recently with Wayne Shorter, where he described the past as a flashlight to the future. I loved the image of the past shedding light, informing the steps we take into the future. Each of the songs on this recording, represents some past light that has guided me on my path.”
Colleen is a beloved mentor and teacher of music for 15 years now at Humber College and a regular adjudicator/clinician for musicfest, and the TD jazz education festival in Picton.
“Colleen Allen is a wonderful musician; an artist whose strongest aspects of musicianship are those that are most difficult to acquire: emotional honesty, commitment, love of the art and, most important, deep soul.
- Russ Little
“Colleen plays with a warm complexity that says ‘this is who I am’…”
"Colleen Allen's stellar talent and her sustained commitment to evolving her craft has the ultimate effect of elevating every performer she plays with. How lucky we are to experience this level of grace and professionalism."
– Lorraine Segato