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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Pat Lacroix

Biography

PATRICK (PAT) LaCROIX (singer) was born in Canada in March of 1938. The Toronto jazz singer and connoisseur of the standard song has a repertoire of over 300 of ‘the greatest songs ever written’. LaCroix began singing as a child, later performing during high school in his brother’s band (with trumpeter Donny Clark). Post high school he attended Westlake College of Music in Hollywood, California, studying piano and voice and singing with the Westlake Big Band there.

With Gordon Lightfoot who was also a student at Westlake at the time and two other young men, they formed a vocal quartet called The Four Winds, doing some recording and in public appearances including television’s Bobby Troupe Show. After graduating from Westlake, LaCroix spent a year traveling abroad, singing in England, Holland, and Germany. Returning to Canada, he settled in Halifax where, as a soloist, he had two weekly TV series and broadcast nationally on the weekly Strings and Things radio program. It was in Halifax he met Denny Doherty (later of The Mamas and The Papas) and together with Doherty and Richard Byrne, formed The Halifax III folk trio, which became the featured group in a 16-week CBC-TV Series, Traveling on Home.

After a stint working the clubs in Montreal and Toronto, as well as performing on most of the leading variety television shows of the time. The Halifax III landed a two-year recording contract with Columbia’s Epic Records in New York, and from that base, recorded two LPs, toured all over North America, appeared on major television shows including the Mitch Miller Show, the Merv Griffin Show, the Mike Douglas Show, and opened in live concert for Shelly Berman and Bill Cosby. In 1963, The Halifax III embarked on a 30-day 15-state tour entitled Hootennanny USA, finishing with a concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

When the folk music era came to a close, the group disbanded and over the next years, Pat LaCroix established a career as a highly successful photographer, dedicating himself to the demands of that until in the early ‘90s, with the encouragement of piano teacher Frank Falco, he returned to his first love, the American Popular Standards ‘sung with a jazz feel’.

Pat LaCroix and His Trio (Lorne Lofsky on guitar, Mike Downes on bass, Bob McLaren on drums) appeared in concert as part of the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Series at the Ontario Science Centre on March 10, 1997.

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Pat Lacroix