Earl MacDonald is a composer, arranger, pianist and educator specializing in jazz. Originally from Canada, the former musical director for Maynard Ferguson is now an Associate Professor and the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.
MacDonald earned a bachelor of music degree in jazz performance at McGill University and a master of music degree at Rutgers, where he apprenticed with Kenny Barron. He is an active clinician, guest conductor and teacher at summer camps. MacDonald’s last two CDs received JUNO nominations for jazz album of the year. For his chamber jazz explorations on “Mirror of the Mind”, MacDonald was described as “a magical, musical alchemist of hip hybrids” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant)
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Mirror Of The Mind, from pianist Earl MacDonald and the Creative
Opportunity Workshop, is an album that surprises and delights—from the
unusual piano, cello, sax and percussion line-up to the mix of styles and
inspirations that influence MacDonald's writing. — Bruce Lindsay, All
About Jazz, November 2013
Mirror of the Mind is another great installment in the interesting,
endeavors and ever growing catalog of pianist/composer Earl MacDonald.
Chamber Jazz at its best. — H. Allen Williams, Jazz Times, November
Pianist Earl MacDonald succeeds in carving out a brand new niche for
himself separating his past from this new vision of jazz yet to be clearly
Mansfield Center, CT
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced students
Earl MacDonald teaches at the University of Connecticut.
Although he is not currently accepting private students outside of
UConn, he has posted several free, online jazz piano and
improvisation lessons on his website.
MacDonald has enjoyed guest conducting opportunities with a wide range
of ensembles including the U.S.A.F. Airmen of Note, the BMI-New York
Jazz Orchestra, the UConn Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra,
university jazz ensembles at North Texas, Northern Illinois, Rutgers, the
University of Manitoba, and Amherst College, as well as regional high
school honor ensembles throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, and
the MENC All-Eastern Jazz Ensemble.
He works as an adjudicator and clinician at educational jazz festivals, in-
service conferences, and summer camps across Canada and the United