for the Musicians' Portrait Project
Sharman King began studying bass trombone with Jimmy Coombes at the University of British Columbia in 1966. After his first year at UBC, Sharman worked in the Expo '67 band in Montreal and studied with Ted Griffith, then bass trombonist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. During the summers of 1968 and 1969, Sharman was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada where he worked with Richard Erb, the bass trombonist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Although he had only one lesson with legendary Chicago Symphony tuba player and pedagogue Arnold Jacobs, Jacobs’s teaching style and musical force have been profound influences on Sharman’s playing and musical philosophy.
After touring with Buddy Rich in 1970, Sharman played tuba for a season in a sing-along band in the Your Father’s Moustache. He then joined the music faculty of The University of Calgary where he taught Music Theory and Stage Band. The University of Calgary Stage Band mounted performances with jazz notables Woody Shaw, Oliver Gannon and Ian McDougall; it is believed to be the first “for credit” university level stage band course in Canada. While in Calgary, Sharman joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as bass trombonist and began an association with Edmonton’s Tommy Banks which continues to this day.
On his return to Vancouver, Sharman became a faculty member of The University of British Columbia -- teaching trombone and stage band -- and Capilano College -- teaching trombone and The Business of Music.
He also resumed an active freelance career. Engagements included: bass trombone of the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, performances with singers Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Anka, Jack Jones, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Burt Bacharach and Luciano Pavarotti. He has performed in numerous television programs, including MacGyver, the ITV In Concert series, the Tom Jones series, the Paul Anka series, Celebrity Review with Tommy Banks and numerous CBC-TV series. Sharman worked on many CBC jazz radio shows with prominent Canadian musicians including Tommy Banks, Bobby Hales, Ian McDougall, Dave Robbins, Ray Sikora, Rob McConnell, Guido Basso, Moe Kauffman and Fred Stride. He has performed frequently in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre orchestra pit for ballet and musical theatre companies, including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Hello Dolly and Miss Saigon.
Sharman is currently bass trombonist of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, a position he has held since the Opera’s inception 20 years ago.
Sharman King is the founder and President of Book Warehouse, British Columbia’s popular chain of discount bookstores. He is an active board member of The Downtown Vancouver Association, Performing Arts Lodge, Canadian Music Centre, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, MusicFest Vancouver, the UBC Library Advisory Committee and the advisory committee of the Vancouver City College Music Department. He is also Vice-President of the Vancouver Musicians’ Association and a member of the Finance committee for Vancouver Opera. He is a voting member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Canadian Music Centre.