Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

you won’t forget me

Greg Lowe

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It’s the last thing you said which rings in your ear when someone you care about dies. More than the accomplishments or acquisitions, our legacy is determined by the experience left behind. For those who knew Greg Lowe, a prolific Manitoban musician who passed away this May, those experiences were ones of respect, trust, professionalism, and love.

There was more heartfelt laughter than tears at the memorial service for Winnipeg’s beloved guitar player. Lowe was the kind of man who resonated with a depth of purpose and a lightness of being. What followed his spirit across the WAG reception hall were stories filled with profound affection and familial anecdotes. This is an artist who inspired each of us towards our own greatness.

Greg Lowe was a pivotal part of Winnipeg’s lush music community, contributing his artistry to dozens of projects, each varied in artistic style. Before he left us at the age of 59, he had released seven albums of original music, and created hundreds of compositions for radio dramas, theatre, film, and television, including works for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Prairie Theatre Exchange. He was guitarist and musical director for Joni Mitchell: River, a theatrical production that played in several Canadian cities. This Grant MacEwan jazz studies graduate and private student of John Scofield was equally at home with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Woody Holler Orchestra. You might have heard him with bands like the Lincolns, Swing Soniq, or the Ministers of Cool. From heavy metal to heavy jazz, Lowe attacked each project with skill, wit, showmanship, imagination, and gratitude.

The truth of Greg Jay Lowe’s legacy is how we felt in his presence, on and off stage. Grounded. Optimistic. Open-hearted. Connected. Happy. These are the words that come to mind when I remember him. As a musician you knew you had in him a respectful collaborator, an honest confidant, and a deeply skilled virtuoso. His friends felt the integrity of each interaction. We will miss you Greg, but we are strengthened by your presence in our lives.

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