Born: September 14 Primary Instrument: Percussion
An accomplished and much sought after percussionist, Don Littleton has mastered an enticing array of percussion instruments. Though especially proficient in all styles of jazz, his gift has uniquely endowed him with the finesse and artistry that spans many genres: orchestral, musical theater, rhythm and blues, hip hop, reggae, blues, and more. His percussive skills include: Cajón (box drums), Timbales, Trap Drums, Drum Set, Bongo Drums, Chácaras, Claves, Conga, Cuica, Djembe, Shekere, and other percussion instruments.
Don began his musical career in the 1970's while in junior and senior high schools. His exceptional talent for percussion was recognized and encouraged by his music instructors. Upon graduating high school, Don took his considerable talents to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and majored in Music. While a member of Multi-Jazz Orchestra, Don's natural gift for percussion was recognized nurtured by Alvin Batiste, who became his tutor and mentor. It was during this time that Don was recruited by jazz legend Cannonball Adderley to play in his quartet which was accompanied by the Louisiana Symphony.
Don has performed with great and legendary musicians, such as Pharoah Saunders, Kenny Burrell, Art Davis, Eddie Harris, John Heard, Billy Childs, Ernie Andrews, Billy Higgins, Roberta Flack, and many, many others. Don's mentors were legendary jazz greats such as Billy Higgins and Charles Lewis. Although Don is known for his own unique style, he has been compared to the likes of Arthur Taylor and Roy Haines.
Don has collaborated on the recordings of many other musicians, such as Karl Denson, Freestyle Fellowship, Solomon Burke, Derf Reklaw-Raheem, Rick Zunigar, Harper/Evans Project, David Ornette Cherry, David Dahlstein, Fred Griffin, Phil Ranelin, Scott Martin, and others. He released his own cd with his group, The Littleton Brothers, where he featured Bobby Watson.
Littleton has a way of always pushing the music towards higher heights and coloring percussively with lightening drumsticks and crashing cymbals at all the right places. ~Dee Dee McNeil deedeemac.com