Jack Nissenson

Jack Nissenson (1933-June 24, 2015 in Montreal)[1] was a member of the Mountain City Four, a Canadian folk music group, based in Montreal and active in the 1960s. In addition to Nissenson, the group consisted of Peter Weldon, Kate McGarrigle and Anna McGarrigle.[2]

Before the Mountain City Four, Peter Weldon and Jack Nissenson were members of a traditional folk band called Pharisees. When Weldon and Nissenson met the McGarrigle sisters, they formed the Mountain City Four.[3]

Nissenson recorded an early concert performed by Bob Dylan at the Finjan Club on Victoria Street in Montreal in July 1962.[4] He made the recording with an old British-made reel-to-reel tape recorder, so the quality of the recording is exceptional. This recording remains as one of the most sought-after early recordings of Bob Dylan with collectors and fans.[5]

Nissenson moved to Toronto in 1975.[1] During the late 1970s and 1980s Jack sang and played guitar with a political folk group in Toronto called Bread and Roses.[citation needed]

Upon returning to Montreal, Jack continued to play folk music for many years as a solo singer and with a group named "The What Four" (with Peter Weldon, Marvin Segal, John Knowles and often Jane McGarrigle).[6][7] He was also an accomplished storyteller and belonged to a group called Word of Mouth Productions with storytellers Dylan Spevack-Willcock, Sarah Comrie, and John David Hickey.[8]

Jack died at St. Mary's Hospital, Montreal, on June 24, 2015, surrounded by friends and family. He is survived by his brother Harvey Nissenson.


  1. ^ a b "Jack Nissenson". Québec's Intercultural Storytelling Festival. 2005. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  2. ^ "McGarrigle, Kate and Anna". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Kate McGarrigle". The Scotsman. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  4. ^ Heylin, Clinton (1996). Bob Dylan: a life in stolen moments: day by day, 1941-1995. New York: Schirmer Books. p. 23. ISBN 0-02-864676-2.
  5. ^ Pinkerton, CD. "Finjan Club - Bootleg CDs". www.bobsboots.com. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. ^ "The What Four play in memory of Kate McGarrigle" (PDF). Westmount Independent. April 6–7, 2010. p. 10,12. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Westmounters revive McGarrigle era scene" (PDF). Westmount Independent. March 16–17, 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  8. ^ Stephanie O'Hanley (October 28, 2004). "Spooken word". Ottawa XPress. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  • "Kate & Anna McGarrigle" Folk & Blues: An Encyclopedia, St. Martin's Press, 2001