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Pete Johnston was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada, and is the son of a high school music teacher and a Baptist Church pianist. He studied music composition and double bass at Dalhousie University, alternating scholarly endeavours with tours of North America as part of the Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra, with whom he won a Juno Award in 1999. After completing his studies at Dalhousie in 2000 Pete moved to Toronto and began working as a freelance musician, teacher and novel editor. Following several years in the part-time employment trenches, Pete returned to the academy, completing a Master’s degree in composition in 2005 and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in 2009, both at York University. As part of his doctoral research he spent the 2006/07 academic year in London, England, where he performed for Queen Elizabeth II. Since completing his Ph.D. Pete has resumed his work as a freelance bassist and music educator in Toronto, which includes performing regularly with the groups See Through Trio, See Through 5, and Aurochs, and teaching at Ryerson University and Humber College. In 2011 Pete had the great fortune of being awarded a Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council to study with renowned bassists Barre Phillips and Gary Peacock.


As a leader
See Through 5 - Utilities

See Through Trio - Parallel Lights

Aurochs - Rational Animals

See Through Trio – Near Northern Static

See Through Trio – Lines and Spaces

See Through Trio – Our Own Devices

Quatrain - Adamant Shoals, independent

The Art Ensemble Of Halifax - Exile On The Wayside and Subfield Emissions, independent
As a sideperson
Muskox – Invocation/Transformations, independent.
Listen to Muskox

AIMToronto Orchestra – Year of the Boar, Barnyard Records
Listen at:

Muskox – Five Pieces, Standard Form

Muskox – Gallantries, Woods and Waters

George Grosman – Mango, independent

Danny Bakan - “…and truth is spectacular”, independent, Golden Quill Porcupine Award

Paradise Public Radio – It Seems Like Only Yesterday… independent

John Wesley Chisholm – Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts, Arcadia Entertainment Inc. East Coast Music Award nominee

Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra – Holiday Romance, Universal Music. Juno Award winner

Joel Plaskett - In Need of Medical Attention, No Alternative

Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra - Life Desire, Lucky Life Recordings. East Coast Music Award winner