Born: October 21, 1935 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Don moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles in 1942 and had, by that time been playing the trumpet for four years, beginning when he was five years old (inspired by the work of his father, who was a trombone player), graduating from Banning High School in 1953. He attended Long Beach City College in 1954 before entering the US Navy. He graduated from the US Naval School of Music in 1955. He then attended Sam Houston State University, Texas from 1958 to 1959.
1959- Joined the Woody Herman Orchestra.
1961- Joined Maynard Ferguson Orchestra.
1963- Joined Count Basie Orchestra.
1965- freelanced in New York and re-joined Woody Herman.
1966 to 1982- freelanced in Los Angeles and worked in every major motion picture studio; did live tv and film tv productions; worked and traveled with Henry Mancini, Percy Faith, Les Brown/Bob Hope (12 years including five Christmas tours of Vietnam '67-'71); Della Reece (Tv series & Vegas), Jerry Lewis (33 years traveling and Muscular Distrophy Telethons); Bill Holman Band; Stan Kenton Orchestra (6 years staff member Kenton Clinics); Terry Gibbs Dream Band (10 years including tv show Operation Entertainment); Diana Ross (Ten week tour); Louis Bellson; Benny Carter (four tours of Japan); Supersax; Elvis Presley (one tour); Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra jr. and Andy Williams.
1983 to '84- Joined staff orchestra at South German Radio-TV network in Stuttgart. Also worked at Radio Zurich in Switzerland; NDR radio orchestra in Hamburg, Germany and WDR Radio band in Koln, Germany.
1985- returned to freelancing in Los Angeles but return to Europe to work yearly where I have recorded cd's with Bill Holman; Peter Herbolzheimer; Frank Foster; Rob McConnell and others. Began doing Jazz tours doing concerts and clinics.
1994- re-located to Sydney, Australia and began freelancing with: Sydney Allstar Big Band; Tom Burlinson; Frank Bennett; Doug Parkinson; Tommy Tyco; Rhonda Burchmore; Grace Knight et al.
Side projects:Jazz trumpet improvisation teacher at Sydney Conservatory of Music (approx 5 years); visiting artist at Central Queensland Conservatory of Music (3 times a year); motion picture and recording sessions. Taught at Polytech in Christchurch, NZ and at the Polytech in Wellington, NZ as well as doing concerts and clinics throughout New Zealand and numerous arrangements of charts and albums.