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John Donaldson

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Biography of John Donaldson

CONTACT JOHN DONALDSON AT:

http://www.johndonaldson.org

Jazz gigs began when he was a student in 1978. He was part of the Cambridge Modern Jazz Club’s resident trio, backing visiting guest soloists in the city. In 1980 he won the prize for best soloist at the San Sebastian International Jazz Competition.

In 1982 he moved to California . He worked there and gigged with local notables including Eddie Henderson, Red Holloway, John Handy, Richie Cole, Paul Jackson and David Baker as well as working in groups alongside Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard, Donny McCaslin, and Louis Romero.

Since returning to England in 1993 he has worked with many of the leading musicians on the British scene including groups led by Iain Ballamy, Art Themen, Clark Tracy, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, Dick Pearce and Norma Winstone. He has also accompanied visiting U.S. soloists including, Art Farmer, Conte Condoli, Freddie Hubbard, Buddy de Franco/Terry Gibbs, Scott Hamilton, Ingrid Jensen, Jon Gordon etc.

He was the winner of the piano category at the 2006 British Jazz Awards.


‘With remarkably little publicity or fuss John Donaldson has emerged as one of Britain’s most exciting jazz pianists with his own distinctive style’
Dave Gelly. The Observer.

‘The album is simply superb, fluent, flowing pianistics set against a busy, energetic polyrhythmic drum and bass support. Altogether a magnificent piano album’.
Chris Yates. Jazz Rag.

‘One of the great piano players of recent British jazz. A patient, absorbing player by no means averse to building Tyneresque tension and release into his solos, but generally more interested in the subtle melodic and rhythmic felicities that can be drawn from them. A fine trio album.’
Chris Parker. VortexJazz.co.uk

‘Distinctive take on contemporary jazz piano—a bit like McCoy Tyner with the volume and temperature turned down’
John Fordham, The Guardian

‘Donaldson’s interpretations are strongly influenced by Sirkis's fluttering cymbals and tapping percussion, so much so that his dancing notes sound like the wings of butterflies. The tunes feel newly free and mischievous.’
Chris Searle. Morning Star

‘Pianist Donaldson turns up in bands led by Alan Barnes or Don Weller and can steal the show even in such company. He turns fleeting cues into triumphs, has a sophisticated harmonic sense and flair for dynamics-all demonstrated on this fine trio date.’
Peter Vacher. Jazz UK

‘A strong collection of tunes all round. A direct and assured approach’ ****
Peter Bacon. Birmingham Post

‘Brilliant pianist’ *****
Ray Comiskey Irish Times


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