Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler, 14 January 1930, Toronto, Canada. Sometimes known as Weeny Keller, this outstanding jazz composer, trumpet, cornet and flügelhorn player is one of the shyest and most self-effacing artists imaginable. Buddy Rich once said show me a humble man and Ill show you a nonentity which must make Wheeler the worlds most respected and influential musical nonentity. Major figures from jazz and improvised music, such as John Surman and Evan Parker, have queued up to work with him since the 60s and continue to do so; witness the line-ups he assembled for Orchestra UK and the Kenny Wheeler Big Band at the start of the 90s. He learned cornet at the age of 12 and studied trumpet and harmony at Toronto Conservatory. He moved to London in 1952, mainly working in big bands such as Roy Fox and Vic Lewis. From 1959-65 he was in the John Dankworth band, but also played with the groups of Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriott.
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