James McGowan

Pianist, Composer, Music Theorist, Educator

James McGowan Ensemble: Reaching In/Reaching Out
A new classical-jazz fusion octet featuring Modasaurus with Quatuor Despax, expanding to a 12tet with Ed Lister, Mike Tremblay, Petr Cancura & Mark Ferguson. 
See Modasaurus.com for upcoming concerts and recording releases. Supported by a Concept to Realization grant from the Canada Council for the Arts

James McGowan Octet
Photo of Modasaurus


A jazz-fusion quartet led by pianist and composer James McGowan, with Alex Moxon on guitar, JP Lapensee on bass, and Jamie Holmes on drums; collaborations with Mike Tremblay, Wayne Eagles, Michael Hanna, and the Despax String Quartet.

Piano Performance

Solo and collaborative projects, featuring jazz piano, improvised music, classical, and other genres). You will often find him performing around Ottawa, such as at the
Brookstreet Options Lounge or with groups such as EvenSong Quintet.

Composition and Arranging

Award-winning composer of orchestral works, choral compositions and arrangements, chamber music, electronic music, art songs, music theatre, and jazz-fusion. PDF copies of some of these compositions are available at this link.

PLACE & Community Music

PLACE (Performative Learning & Artistic Communities of Engagement) is an initiative led by University Chair in Teaching Innovation James McGowan to help students engage with music and the arts in both their curricular and extracurricular activities to promote academic success, connection and community belonging as well as good mental health and wellbeing. 

Jazz Theory Research

Dr. McGowan is the editor of the Jazz Theory Bibliography, a searchable online resource for research in jazz theory, which is hosted at Carleton University, in the School for Studies in Art & Culture. He has also published in the fields of Jazz Theory and Community Music. 

Carleton Music 

Associate Professor of Music, Supervisor of Performance Studies, and Assistant Director of Jazz Camp at Carleton University, teaching music theory, musicianship, counterpoint, composition, jazz, and community music. Follow links for more info about concerts, events, and the Music program.

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Upcoming Performances

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