Ottawa jazz community loses prominent musician to COVID-19

Howard Crompton Tweddle, 69, who played bass in the jazz band Glebop Trio, died from coronavirus on Apr. 22.

Howard Crompton Tweddle, 69, who played bass in the jazz band Glebop Trio, died from coronavirus on Apr. 22

Howard Crompton Tweddle, 69, died on Apr. 22 due to complications related to COVID-19. (

A well-known figure in Ottawa's jazz community who died from coronavirus is being remembered as a skilled musician with a big heart.

Howard Crompton Tweddle, 69, played bass in the group Glebop Trio — made up of three friends who made music together for over 20 years.

John Haysom, a friend and bandmate who plays trumpet, said Tweddle was adept at playing the right notes, keeping time and guiding the band through mellow tunes.

"How good he was as a bass player in a jazz context is reflected by how many different groups he played with around the city and how many people are feeling very sad now," Haysom said in an interview on CBC Radio's All In A Day

Tweddle, who was born in Colchester, England, graduated from the University of Cambridge and worked in the technology sector, according to an online obituary. He had several patents to his name.

He performed on Sundays for 16 years with Glebop Trio at the Arrow and the Loon Pub in the Glebe, before it was demolished. More recently, the group could be seen playing at Pints and Quarts Public House on Bank Street.

The group also performed several times at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

Haysom said Tweddle had fans all over the city, many of whom responded with kind words when informed of his death.

"I got just a deluge of people saying how sorry they were to hear this," said Haysom.

The last time Haysom saw his friend was at a band practice in early March. The two musicians also played in a big band called Standing Room Only, which was preparing for a gig at a Sunday afternoon tea dance at the Almonte Old Town Hall.

Tweddle contracted COVID-19 the next weekend, his family believes, at the birthday party of a family member. He died in hospital on April 22.

"It was very hard not to be able to communicate with him," said Haysom.

Family and friends are planning a memorial event once physical distancing measures are limited. People who want to be kept informed can register online.

Haysom said there will be music played at the event in his bandmate's honour.

Do you know someone who has died as a result of the coronavirus? Send us an email and share your story.

With files from All In A Day

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