Musician Victor Stephan Vogel, of Austrian-Hungarian descent, known as Vic Vogel, was born in Montreal on August 3, 1935, as the second son of first-generation immigrants Emilia Zuelt and Mathias Vogel, who was of gypsy origin. Vic Vogel grew up on Bullion Street in Montreal. His father played accordion, and especially violin. Vic learned to play piano at the age of 5, by watching his older brother Frank as he studied piano. Vic also taught himself to play trombone, tuba, and vibraphone as well as arranging. At twelve years old, he dropped out of school. He started performing in Montreal Jazz clubs, and by the late 1950s he was playing in numerous orchestras. In 1960 he conducted his first ensemble at the Montreal night club Chez Paree. He went on tour with the orchestra Les Doubles Six de Paris in 1961 and with a CBC band in 1966. From 1965 to 1982, he was part of the staff creating the emission “Femmes d’aujourd’hui” at Radio-Canada, and has been musical director for a number of variety shows. At CBC radio, he conducted his own bands, including the Vic Vogel Big Band, which was formed in 1968. During its 50 years existence, this band became an important part of Montreal’s jazz scene. Every year from 1980 to 2015, Vic Vogel performed at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. He composed and arranged the music for the opening ceremonies for the Man and his World world's fair Expo 67, the Olympic Games held in Montreal in 1976, the Canada Games in 1985, as well as for the 1981 and 1985 Grey Cup football game half-time shows. Vogel’s other compositions include musicals for the Théâtre des variétés, program themes for CBC-TV and CTV, and film soundtracks. He has also created arrangements for jazz soloists and symphony orchestras. Vic Vogel released his first piano solo album in May 1993. In 2010, Vogel was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Concordia University. In June 2019, he received the Medal of the National Assembly.
Vic Vogel died in Montreal on September 16, 2019.