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Archibald Alexander Alleyne was born in Toronto 7 January 1933. He taught himself how to play the drums and began his music career in 1953. Between 1955 and 1966 he worked as the house drummer at the club Town Tavern, in Toronto, where he accompanied some of the most successful jazz musicians of the 20th century. Following a 1967 car accident, Alleyne suspended his music career and became a restaurateur (The Underground Railroad Soul Food). He resumed his career in 1982, when he established a quartet with Frank Wright (vibraphone) Connie Maynard (piano) and Bill Best (bass). In 1988-1989, he toured with Oliver Jones, travelled to Cuba, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, appearing in the NFB's Oliver Jones in Africa (1989).
In 2001, Alleyne created the Evolution of Jazz Ensemble (EOJ) which provided performance opportunities and mentorship to post-secondary African-Canadian musicians. He also established the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund in 2003 to provide bursaries to music students.
In 2000, Archie Alleyne and Doug Richardson created the hard-bop jazz band, Kollage. Kollage’s original lineup included Jeff King (saxophone), Chris Butcher (trombone), Alex Brown (trumpet), Stacie McGregor (piano), Artie Roth (bass) and Archie Alleyne (drums). Kollage disbanded in 2014. In 2015, the band was reestablished with Archie Alleyne Scholarship recipient and Evolution of Jazz Ensemble member, Isaiah Gibbons, as the percussionist.
Since 2011, Alleyne organized a series of live performances promoting Black entertainment history, known as the Syncopation Series. The program also included an accompanying photograph exhibit titled, Syncopation: Black Stories, which showcased the biographies of black artists in Canadian music history.
He was named to the Order of Canada in 2011 and received the Black Business and Professional Association's Harry Jerome Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2015.
Alleyne completed writing his memoir, Colour Me Jazz: The Archie Alleyne Story, in 2005. The final book, which was co-authored by Sheldon Taylor, was released in 2015.
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2018-03-04 KCP: Fixed VIAF identifier