Born: October 9, 1951 Primary Instrument: Piano
Don Glanden was born in 1951 in Wilmington, Delaware. He began traditional classical piano lessons at the age of ten with Sarah Miller; within a year he was accompanying the elementary school chorus. He was immediately drawn to jazz after hearing Charles Freeman, the family piano tuner, play blues and standards at the conclusion of his regular tunings. A friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown, Mr. Freeman proved to be an inspiring and encouraging influence.
Don’s teen years were spent at Brandywine High School, where he took three years of classical theory and played in the school’s award-winning jazz band The Blazers. During this time he also studied jazz composition with film composer Tom McIntosh and jazz piano with Bernard Peiffer, both at the Wilmington Music School. Peiffer became a mentor and profound influence on Don’s musical development in the following years. After attending West Chester University, where he was a piano major and student director of the lab band The Criterions, he left college for a year to study piano and composition exclusively with Mr. Peiffer....
...the pianist is a quality musician with an extraordinary conception and an impressive touch. His lush ballads and witty creations are of the highest emotional order, and his classical training shines through like a summoning beacon. —TOM BOWERS, Jazz Now Magazine
...a Philadelphia based pianist, dripping with talent... it’s clear that he has his own voice and approach to form and space. —JASON BIVINS, Cadence
...Glanden’s use of dissonance overwhelms and captivates. —BRETT MATSON, Victory Music Review
...a stunning solo piano version of “Autumn In New York,” the chords of which are almost entirely reharmonized. On other tunes, Glanden combines imaginative chordings with virtuoso melody-line runs. —ROBERT TATE, Jazz Now Magazine
...His compositions are singular as well, being quite extraordinary in their sensitivity... I could never express how much he’s expanded my musical horizons. —BRUCE KLAUBER, author and jazz historian
I have had the opportunity to work with Don Glanden in a variety of settings and I feel he is a disciplined and versatile musician and educator.
...his sense of improvisation allowed me to be spontaneous with the students... he demonstrated great skill as a reader and musical support to my more difficult charts. —ERNIE WATTS
My right (and left) hand man ...Don Glanden. —DONALD BYRD at The Kennedy Center