Fonds F0703 - Archie Alleyne fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Archie Alleyne fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Moving images

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Physical description

0.85 m of textual records
ca. 800 photographs
175 audio cassettes
13 videocassettes : VHS
12 audio disc : vinyl
39 compact discs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Accession consists of material documenting the career of Archie Alleyne as a musician, philanthropist, and influential figure in the Toronto jazz music scene. Material includes collected material on other Toronto-based jazz musicians; posters, photographs, and other memorabilia from performances and events; correspondence; material related to the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund; notebooks; and drafts and research material for his memoir, Colour Me Jazz: The Archie Alleyne Story (2015). Audio-visual material includes recordings of jazz-related programming broadcast on television, audio interviews with jazz musicians, and released and unreleased music performances

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Fonds has been arranged in four series which reflect the received organization of the material.

Language of material

  • English

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Series S00850, Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund, contains files which include personal information. Some files are subject to a research agreement.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2017-003. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2017/18/12. C. Long (Creation)
2018/07/28 KCP. Added accrual information, GMD, and levels of description.
2018/08/24 KCP. Added file inventory of audio-visual series.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.

Language of description

  • English


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