Keith O'Rourke 

Keith O'Rourke

Saxophone/Jazz Instructor

Keith O’Rourke is a born and raised Albertan. Growing up in Calgary, Keith developed a love for music fostered by many gifted teachers. In 1997 Keith graduated with a Bachelor in Music Performance degree.

Upon graduation, Keith knew that to progress rapidly he needed to immerse himself into a voracious jazz scene. This led Keith to move to London, England for a year, enjoying the opportunity to see many of the worlds’ finest jazz artists as they came through London on their European tours. Many of the artists would put on sponsored workshops to help promote their concerts. Both listening to these artists in concert and the advice they gave in the workshops played a huge role in shaping Keith’s performance and compositional style.

After his time in London, Keith returned home as a much more accomplished musician. He applied and was accepted in 2001 into the prestigious Banff International Jazz Workshop. In Banff, his peers were many of the upcoming jazz artists who are now making waves on the jazz scene, such as Aaron Parks and Chet and Jim Doxas. Even more important was the one on one time that the intimate learning environment provided with some of the leading jazz artists serving as faculty. This in depth learning from Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Kenny Werner and others was a huge inspiration for Keith.

Now much more confident in his skills, Keith felt that he needed to put his practice into regular performance. Keith spent the better part of the next seven years performing nightly aboard cruise vessels honing his skills in all styles including Jazz, Blues, R&B, Classical, Folk, Country and more.

Since returning to Calgary in 2008, Keith is now a recognizable figure in the jazz community who adds his own unique voice to many projects. In recent years, Keith has been very active recording and releasing new music with his own quintet and with his group Baritone Madness. The 2019 release of Baritone Madness’ self-titled album was a hit with radio play, charting at #1 in Jazz on the Ear Shot Radio charts for three consecutive months (2019) and reaching as high as #7 on the US NACC charts. The album release also led to appearances at the 2019 Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton International Jazz Festivals as well as invites to many festivals for 2020. Keith’s debut album “Sketches From The Road” (2017) also met with success including one review that said “Even if the name of the disc is a dead giveaway, nothing can really prepare the listener for the vivid nature of the music” and “Keith O’Rourke may just as well be a graphic artist for the creation of these memorable works”. 

Aside from his performances Keith also maintains an active schedule teaching private students and small group workshops. He enjoys passing on his knowledge and fostering a love of music to the next generation of players.