John de Waal

Drums Instructor

John was born in Calgary, Alberta. His father, who played in local dance bands in the forties and fifties, introduced him to the drums. It was not until John took a workshop at the Banff Center in the mid 1970's that he became devoted to jazz. He continued his studies with private lessons and the University of Calgary music program. 

John has played with an impressive roster of international jazz luminaries. This includes Rosemary Clooney, David Friesen, Sheila Jordan, Rob McConnell, Marian McPartland, Maria Schneider, Bobby Shew, Phil Woods and Bill Watrous, among others. 

He has performed at several international jazz festivals; highlights include the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Montreal Jazz Festival. 

On the Canadian scene John has shared the stage with Tommy Banks, Guido Basso, Hugh Fraser, Phil Nimmons, PJ Perry and Don Thompson. He has recorded with Calgary locals Pat Belliveau, Viviane Cardinal, Cheryl Fisher, Johnny Summers, Rob Young, Deanne Matley, and the Prime Time Big Band. John has made a number of guest appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Since 1979, he has owned and operated de Waal Music Studio. He maintains a full teaching schedule and conducts drum clinics and workshops in and around the Calgary area.

For more info on John de Waal please visit

Click here to view the Calgary Avenue Magazine article written on John de Waal


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