Professor, Desautels Faculty of Music
Room 241 Taché Hall
150 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Richard Gillis joined the faculty in 1991, and he contributed greatly to the development of the UM Jazz Band and jazz education courses. He has held the position of Jazz area coordinator, and he oversaw the big bands up until 2003. He currently teaches courses that include Brass Techniques and Major Practical Study.
Gillis currently holds the position of Artistic Director for the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, which presents a regular concert series featuring Winnipeg’s top jazz musicians and performs with guest artists from around the world. Some of the guests he has worked with include Bob Brookmeyer, Rufus Reid, Bert Joris, John Riley, Dick Oatts and many others.
Richard Gillis has recorded eight CDs with Icelandic guitarist Björn Thoroddsen, whom he has performed with in several locations in Iceland, Canada and the United States. Performances include recordings for radio and television, jazz festivals, and the 2005 International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) conference. In October 2006 they performed at the Lincoln Centre in New York, and in 2017 with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Most recently, Gillis recorded and released Devotion, a CD of trumpet chamber music (mostly original compositions), and he wrote Melodic Studies in the Less Familiar, a study book for trumpet. Recent plans are to perform a series of professional brass concerts in 2018-19, with the focus on new and significant music for brass by Canadian composers.