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©brenda alexander-roessingh

Born in Leiden, Holland, raised in Calgary, Canada, Karel began his professional musical career in 1970.  He first studied piano under Henry L. Peters, then took jazz instruction from Ray Petch.  In 1973, he studied jazz arranging and composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and completed a degree in secondary music and mathematics education at the University of Victoria in 1981.

Karel has played throughout the world in almost every imaginable venue. He has led bands for Howie Mandel, Rich Little (and his lesser known brother Fred), Bob Newhart, Shari Lewis (and Lambchop), and Ted Knight, played with Valdy, the Moody Blues, Powder Blues Band, Jan Arden, The Shirelles, and Leslie Gore, and opened for the Temptations (with vocalist April Gislason) and solo for legendary jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli

Karel has composed extensively for film, television and video productions.  Television and film credits include a great many themes and scores for documentaries, news, drama and children's programs broadcast world-wide.

He has produced more than sixteen of his own recordings, including several for the Canadian Naturescapes series, which have been distributed world-wide, two jazz trio CDs and many solo piano CDs.  His new solo project, birdsong in the parkade, was recorded in August, 2017 on a magnificent Steinway piano at the lowest level of Victoria's View Street parkade, with music based on bird songs collected on a cross-Canada camping trip he and his wife Brenda took in 2016.

Karel has played on countless recordings for other artists. In 2011, he produced and played on Canadian folk legend and icon Valdy's latest CD, and more recently he has performed and arranged on recordings for Maureen Washington, Edie Daponte, and Garnett Betts.

In the field of children's music, Karel was musical director and keyboardist on Babes, Beasts and Birds by Pat Carfra (the Lullaby Lady), chosen by the Ladies' Home Journal as one of the six all-time best children's bedtime albums, keyboardist and arranger on John Demers'  My Backyard,  and George Dixon's series of children's musical stories. He has also written a series of music for interactive toys made by Fisher Price.

Karel is in his sixth term as municipal councillor and has served two terms as mayor (1999 - 2005) in his home municipality, the District of Highlands. He is a founding member and director of the Island Biodiesel Co-op  and serves on the CRD Arts Commission (and served a term as chair), the Greater Victoria Public Library board (also serving a term as chair), and as vice-chair of the CREST Board of Directors.

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Karel Roessingh - ROESSONG MUSIC LTD

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All photography except "Orca Suite" album cover (unless otherwise credited) copyright © brenda alexander-roessingh
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