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Swingin’ Moe Koffman

The Story

Since 1972, Moe Koffman's jazzy flute melody, Curried Soul, has ushered CBC Radio's As It Happens onto the air. But Koffman was a well-known musician long before that. In 2001, as Koffman recovers from a bout of chemotherapy, he sits down with the CBC's Ross Porter to remember a remarkable career: performing with jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, writing his 1958 hit Swinging Shepherd Blues and booking jazz acts at a well-loved Toronto club.

Medium: Television
Program: On The Arts
Broadcast Date: Feb. 2, 2001
Guest(s): Moe Koffman
Reporter: Ross Porter
Duration: 7:24

Did You know?

• Morris Koffman was born in Toronto in 1928 and first took up the violin at age nine. He moved on to the saxophone at 13, but it wasn't until age 22, when he had already begun a music career, that he learned to play his signature instrument, the flute.


• According to the New York Times, Swinging Shepherd Blues is "one of the few flute hits in jazz." It has been recorded as a cover tune at least 300 times.


• The outgoing theme song on As It Happens is also a Koffman composition. It's called Koff Drops.


• Koffman died of cancer in March 2001, less than two months after this clip was broadcast.




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