Morris (Moe) Koffman

Inducted in 1997

Jazz pioneer Morris “Moe” Koffman was one of Canada’s most celebrated multi-instrumentalists. It was the flute, however, that arguably became his best-known instrument, thanks to hits like “Curried Soul” and “Swingin’ Shepherd Blues.”

With more than 30 albums recorded over 40 years, Koffman explored a wide range of music genres with a fluidity born of the discipline of classical but the experimentation of jazz. Born in Toronto in 1928, he was called “one of Canada’s jazz institutions” by the New York Times upon his death by cancer in 2001.

Career Highlights


Inducted into the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame


Voted Flutist of the Year at the Annual Canadian Jazz Reports Awards


Received the Order of Canada


Given the Harold H. Moon Award for outstanding contribution to Canadian music

Quick Fact

His 1957 debut album, Cool and Hot Sax, for Jubilee, featured the hit “Swingin’ Shepherd Blues.”


Named Best Alto Saxophonist in CBC Jazz Unlimited poll


Moe Koffman signed his first recording contract with Main Stem Records in Buffalo, N.Y.

Video Background


Quick Fact

His song “Curried Soul” has been a staple of the CBC radio show As It Happens since 1969.