Born: February 10, 1942 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
The 1970’s and 80’s were the heyday for many of the surviving American musicians to tour the UK and Europe. Don was lucky to be in the right place at the right time as resident reedman at the famous Boston(Lincs) Jazz Club and as well as playing with many British stars like Digby Fairweather, Roy Williams etc., he also played with many visiting Americans. The list is impressive including Thomas Jefferson, Wingy Manone, Alton Purnell and many more paticularly Benny Waters with whom he played several tours and, his particular friend, Al Casey. By the mid 1990’s he was off again first to London and then Europe, the Middle East, the USA and the Caribbean. He had a trio in London with bassist Paul Godfrey and first Ray Dempsey and then the awesome Cedric West on guitar. In New York, he met up with Al Casey again and played alongside him and another old friend, George Kelly on tenor. He subsequently played with Michael Boothman and Kysufusion in Trinidad, before returning to the East Midlands around 1990.Since returning to the UK, Don has spent much of his time writing new tunes which vary from ballads to jazz tunes, including Caribbean and Latin American rhythms, and arranging material for his bands. He is still very active as a player as well, playing regularly with the Red Hot Chillies, Dave Gladdish’s Irregulars, the Big Wheel Quartet. He also goes out with his own swing trio, which is much in demand for weddings, garden and house parties, corporate functions and concerts.