Fonds F020 - Russell (Russ) Dufort fonds

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Title proper

Russell (Russ) Dufort fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • [195-] ; [199-] (Creation)
    Dufort, Russell

Physical description area

Physical description

104 cm of textual records
ca. 35 objects
4 photographs
1 wooden box

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Russell (Russ) Dufort was born in 1923. His musical career began as a teenager when he played drums with The Stardusters, a local big band. Later, Dufort played with the renowned Johnny Holmes Orchestra. He also sometimes played as part of Oscar Peterson’s trio. He was part of an early recording session at R.C.A. Victor. During World War II, Dufort was a drummer with the Royal Canadian Air Force, in Ottawa, Saskatoon, and Vancouver. He played drums at the Bombing & Gunnery School in Dafoe Saskatchewan.

Dufort left the Johnny Holmes Orchestra when family obligations required him to get a more steady job, first at Canadian Pacific, then at Canadair Limited, where he worked for over 40 years. He continued to play on weekends, first with Montreal musician Bud Hayward, and then forming his own quintet, the Russ Dufort Orchestra. A significant moment in his career was leading a band which played between sets at a Duke Ellington concert in the 1960s.

Dufort was present at the inauguration of the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall at Concordia University, where he was reunited with his old friend Oscar Peterson. Dufort became an honorary lifetime member of the Montreal Musician's Guild in 2003.

Dufort continued to play drums with visiting musicians at the nursing home in which he resided. He passed away in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, on May 23, 2017.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds documents the career of drummer Russell (Russ) Dufort. It includes materials related to Dufort's time with the Johnny Holmes Orchestra, the Stardusters, and the Royal Canadian Airforce band. The fonds also includes arrangements purchased from Russell Dufort from the Escorts.

The fonds is composed of annotated scores, set lists, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, a business card, a membership card, swizzle sticks from Montreal clubs, and a wooden box used by the Escorts to transport their music, among other materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Materials were donated by John Dufort, son of Russell (Russ) Dufort, June 28, 2016.


Original order of the materials has been maintained. Scores were organized by instrument by the creator.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

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    Restrictions on access

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Reproduction for research or private study is permitted. Use of material in publications cannot be done without permission of the copyright holder.

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    Box listings available.

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    Further accruals expected.


    Copyright belongs to the creator(s).

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