Research Affiliate

Independent researcher and writer

John Gilmore was born in Montreal, trained as a journalist in the UK, and worked as a newsroom editor at The Montreal Gazette, The Canadian Press, and Radio Canada International. His early work as a writer was in journalism and non-fiction. He is the author of two ground-breaking books on the history of jazz in Montreal: Swinging in Paradise: The Story of Jazz in Montreal and Who’s Who of Jazz in Montreal: Ragtime to 1970. His research materials for the books, including oral history recordings, became the founding collection in Concordia University’s research archive of Quebec jazz and nightlife. John also writes and translates fiction. His poetic novel, Head of a Man, was published in the UK, and his translation of Quebec film-maker Bernard Émond’s novel, 20h17, rue Darling, was published by Guernica. John has also worked as a scholarly editor, a music programmer for CBC Radio, and a teacher. He divides his time between Canada and Europe.

Free jazz and improvised music in Montreal: 1970-2000

John is researching the social history of free jazz and improvised music in Montreal from 1970 to 2000. Formerly based in Berlin, he was a visiting researcher at the COHDS twice. He is once again living in Montreal, and is currently writing a book drawing on his oral history interviews with musicians, all of which are archived at the COHDS.