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Jason Collett

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Jason Collett is a Toronto-based Canadian singer-songwriter. He has released four solo albums, and is a member of Broken Social Scene. His latest album, Song & Dance Man, was released in February, 2016.

Early life

Collett was born in Bramalea, Ontario, a Greater Toronto Area suburb. He began writing songs at a young age to escape the boredom of his suburban life, and cites Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Nick Lowe as influences. Eventually, Collett moved to downtown Toronto where he worked as a woodworker and carpenter, doing renovations and custom home building, while he pursued his music. He was a part of the short-lived alternative country group Bird, of which Andrew Cash and Hawksley Workman were also members. Bird released one album, 2000’s Chrome Reflection. Collett is also credited as a collaborator on the Grievous Angels' Toute la Gang record; Chuck Angus was a band member. Collett also took part in Toronto's popular indie music gathering, Radio Mondays. Collett, along with others such as The Weakerthans and artists on the record label Arts & Crafts, would perform and write songs together. Collett has mentioned how Radio Mondays were great community-building events, with five or six artists on stage at a time.

Broken Social Scene

It was his work with Broken Social Scene that allowed Collett to give up woodworking and become a full-time musician. Collett became a member of Broken Social Scene, serving as one of their guitarists, after the band’s album You Forgot It In People. Collett was eventually convinced by Kevin Drew to join the band once they moved from a strictly instrumental band into one that wrote their own songs – "Digphilly". Though Collett took a break from touring with Broken Social Scene in the fall of 2005 to pursue his solo career and spend time with his family, Collett has made many musical connections through the band. His 2005 album, Idols of Exile, produced by Howie Beck, featured many prominent Canadian artists. Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, Leslie Feist and Brendan Canning all contributed, as did members of bands Stars and Metric.

Solo work

2006 concert at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada.
Collett has released four solo albums. In 2001 he released Bitter Beauty; in 2002 it was Motor Motel Love Songs. In 2005, he released Idols of Exile, his first on his current record label, Arts & Crafts; it was the same label to sign Broken Social Scene. Jason's Here's to Being Here was released in February 2008 and is different from Idols of Exile. Instead of a group effort, with many collaborating artists, Collett decided to focus on making an album that was meant to be played live. Collett tours under his own name with backing band The Dark Horse. In February 2008, Collett added Gregory McDonald, who plays keyboards with Sloan, and Jeremy Little, a bass player, to his touring band. Formerly touring with backing band Paso Mino, made up of members Robbie Drake, Afie Jurvanen, Mike O'Brien and Michael P. Clive, Collett’s band has undergone many changes in recent years. For Collett's Wood Wires and Whiskey tour in Autumn 2008, the band consisted of Robbie Drake and Mike O'Brien, as well as newcomers Carlin NicholsonKhanna, Vish."From Scene to Shining Scene", Exclaim!, March 2010. (also a member of Toronto acts Zeus (band)Zeus and the 68's) and Neil Quin (also a member of Toronto acts Zeus, Major Grange and The Sexy Moving Parts). Zeus played as Collett's backing band for many tours as late as 2016.
In 2009, Jason Collett took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had him reflecting on his longtime relationship with Kensington Market.
Collett's fifth solo album, Rat a Tat Tat (produced by O'Brien and Nicholson), was released in March 2010.
His sixth release, Reckon was released in September 2012. It follows the perspective of different lives in 2012 while striking upon issues dealing with the economic crisis, corporate bailouts, and dealing with the stress of it all.
Collett hosted The Courtyard Revue at Luminato Festival in June 2016 in Toronto.
He released his new CD, Song And Dance Man on February 5, 2016.
In 2018, he contributed the song "Sensitive Man" to the compilation album The Al Purdy Songbook."Canadian poet Al Purdy inspires songs by Jason Collett, Sarah Harmer and more". Now (newspaper)Now, January 22, 2019.

Personal life

Collett has lived in many neighbourhoods in Toronto, from Kensington to the Ossington and Bloor areas. Collett has been eating organic food since the mid-1990s and makes an effort to ensure that all the food on his tour bus is organic. Jason is also very politically involved. He is a member of Canada’s New Democratic Party and performed at an NDP kick-off rally in Toronto during the fall 2008 election. At a recent show at Queen's University, Collett expressed his displeasure for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He also brought a petition to get Canadian citizen Omar Khadr released from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre where he had been kept for some time.


  • 2000: Chrome Reflection Bird
  • 2001: Bitter Beauty
  • 2002: Motor Motel Love Songs
  • 2005: Idols of Exile
  • 2008: Here's to Being Here
  • 2010: Rat a Tat Tat
  • 2010: Pony Tricks
  • 2012: Reckon/Essential Cuts
  • 2016: Song and Dance Man

See also

  • List of Canadian musicians

  • External links

    • Jason Collett's official site on Arts & Crafts (record label)Arts & Crafts
    • CBC Radio 3 Page on Jason Collett
    • Sloppy fun: An interview with Jason Collett (Nov 3, 2008) R4NT Magazine
    • Set of live videos and mp3 bootleg at
    • Jason Collett at
    • Interview with Jason Collett at Bar Hop Sessions
    • Strangers Almanac Column on Jason Collett from Glide Magazine
    • Jason Collett performs at a New Democratic Party event
    • City Sonic: Jason Collett Film

    Category:Year of birth missing (living people)
    Category:Living people
    Category:Canadian male singer-songwriters
    Category:Canadian rock singers
    Category:Canadian country singer-songwriters
    Category:Musicians from Brampton
    Category:Musicians from Toronto
    Category:Canadian indie rock musicians
    Category:Arts & Crafts Productions artists
    Category:Broken Social Scene members
    Category:20th-century Canadian singers
    Category:21st-century Canadian singers
    Category:20th-century Canadian guitarists
    Category:21st-century Canadian guitarists
    Category:Canadian alternative country singers
    Category:Canadian male guitarists
    Category:20th-century male singers
    Category:21st-century male singers

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