Jazz musician Bob Fenton, a long-time contract faculty member in the jazz program in the Department of Music in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, has died. Mr. Fenton was 83.
Mr. Fenton taught at York for many years. He died on Oct. 26 at the Toronto East General Hospital. A well-known and highly respected jazz pianist in Toronto, Mr. Fenton’s career spanned more than 40 years.
"Bob Fenton taught part-time in the jazz program at York for many years. Those of us who knew him personally will remember Bob as a gifted jazz pianist, accompanist and teacher, and a man who remained openly enthusiastic about both jazz music and the Detroit Tigers until the end of his life," said Barry Elmes, Chair of the Music Department. "He was also one of the kindest human beings I ever met. Bob will be missed by many, both at York and in the wider music community."
"Several graduates have spoken to me about the impact that Bob Fenton had on their musical education at York," said Phillip Silver, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. "He was a major contributor to the strength of the jazz program and he will truly be missed."
Mr. Fenton was predeceased by his wife Sylvia and is survived by his son Robert Harold, daughter-in-law Joan Leslie and grandsons Demian and Sean-Paul, as well as by his sister Joyce Oxford of Midland, Ont. He will be greatly missed by his friend and companion, Marie Graf of Scarborough, and friend Graham Beakhust.
Mr. Fenton’s friends and colleagues are planning a musical tribute at The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, 194 Queen St. West, Toronto. The tribute will take place in the new year, with details forthcoming in YFile. At the request of his family, donations to Greenpeace or Christian Children’s Fund would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.