Celebrated jazz musician Peter Appleyard has died at the age of 85

As one of Canada’s most celebrated jazz musicians and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Peter Appleyard was a true Canadian treasure.

Appleyard spent most of his life and music career in Toronto.

He died of natural causes, according to his son Peter Appleyard Jr.

The memorial will likely be held in August.

In close to 70 years in music, he has impacted and influenced the jazz community in immeasurable ways, releasing over 20 albums and lending his talents to counless others. He’s played with some of the best jazz bands in history as a member Benny Goodman’s Jazz Sextet and shared stages with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and Oscar Peterson to name a few.

Last year, Peter came out of retirement releasing two albums; The Lost 1974 Sessions, recorded in Toronto in 1974 with the Jazz Giants — Hank Jones, Slam Stewart, Mel Lewis, Zoot Sims, Bobby Hackett and Urbie Green — and a new studio album of jazz standards called Sophisticated Ladies.

Recorded in Toronto with producer Anthony Montano, the album features the greatest female jazz singers in the country, including Jill Barber, Sophie Milman, Carol McCartney, Carol Welsman, Emilie–Claire Barlow, Molly Johnson, Diana Panton, Elizabeth Shepherd and Jackie Richardson. It is truly a celebration of jazz music’s greatest songs performed by Canada’s greatest living jazz artists.

He will be sadly missed.