Bowen, Ralph (Michael)

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Bowen, Ralph (Michael)

Bowen, Ralph (Michael), jazz educator, b. Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Dec. 23, 1961. His grandfather led a dance band in Canada; his brother plays saxophone and his wife is a professional violinist. He started on clarinet as a young teen, and then studied sax with Pat LaBarbera from 1978–83. He played around Toronto from 1979–84 with various groups, and also led his own ensembles. He continued his studies in the early 1980s at the Univ. of Ind. and Rutgers Univ. (B.Music, 1989), and was part of the group Out of the Blue with fellow students Mike Mossman and others from 1985–90. Bowen and Mossman played as a team with Michel Camilo (from 1986) and Horace Silver (from 1988). Bowen has since played with pianist Renee Rosnes’ band and several other groups. He began teaching at his alma mater part time in the late 1980s, became head (“convenor”) of the jazz program there in the mid-1990s, and in 1997 became a full-time professor.


Movin’ On (1992).

—Lewis Porter