Pat Lacroix: Music Bio

Pat began singing as a child. His mother and brother were both very musical, and so it was no surprise when Pat’s studies found him pursuing a professional career in music. During high school Pat sang in his brother’s band along with trumpeter Donny Clark. Post high school he attended Westlake College of Music in Hollywood CA where he sang with the Westlake Big Band and studied piano and voice.

Gordon Lightfoot was also a student at Westlake at that time, and with two other young men they formed a vocal quartet that they dubbed the Four Winds. They appeared on the Bobby Troupe TV show and did some back up recording. After Westlake Pat spent a year traveling around England, Holland and Germany singing for his supper and doing TV work on AVRO Hilversum, Holland.

Returning to Canada Pat landed in Halifax where as a soloist he had two weekly television series and broadcast nationally on the weekly Strings and Things radio program. While in Halifax Pat met Denny Doherty (later of the Mamas and the Papas.) Denny, Pat and Richard Byrne formed a folk trio they called the Halifax III. Before leaving Halifax for greener pastures the trio did a 16-week TV series for CBC called Traveling on Home.

The next year or so was spent working the clubs in Montreal and Toronto as well as performing on such TV shows as Parade, Juliette and The Tommy Ambrose Show.

The next move was to New York where the group landed a two year recording contract with Columbia's Epic Records. They recorded two LPs for Epic and toured extensively, doing concerts all over North America. They also did TV appearances on The Mitch Miller, Merv Griffin and The Mike Douglas Shows and opened for Shelly Berman and later Bill Cosby.

In 1963, The Halifax III were booked on a 30-day, 15 state bus tour called Hootenanny USA. Also on the bill were Glen Yarborough of the Limelighters and The Journeymen with John Phillips. During this tour they had a run-in with the Ku Klux Klan after cancelling a concert in Jackson, Mississippi when it was discovered that the venue was segregated. The next day John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the tour moved out of the south and back to New York where the tour finished with a concert at Carnegie Hall.

It was about that time that the advent of Beatles was effectively bringing down the curtain on the Folk Music trend and after one last engagement at the Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel the group disbanded.

Pat took up a career as a commercial photographer which has kept him occupied and in demand for the past many years. Sometime in the early 90s, with the encouragement of Frank Falco, his piano teacher, he returned to his first love: American Popular Standards, sung with a jazz feel. Pat's sensitive touch with this material is a welcome addition to the Canadian Jazz vocal scene. His annual performances for theToronto Downtown Jazz Festival are a testament to his enduring popularity, and the high esteem in which his fellow musicians and singers hold him.

George Evans, vocalist