Donny McCaslin was nominated for a 2014 Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, along with Wayne Shorter, Fred Hersch, Terence Blanchard, and Paquito D'Rivera. Donny's solo was pure joy and Fred's was Bach-like poetry. Wayne played a shorter solo and was awarded the honors.
Donny started out in Santa Cruz at age 12 playing with his dad, an English teacher turned-jazz vibraphonist. Donny's dad Don had this legendary gig at a landmark building with an outdoor cafe - the Cooper House, built 1894 -which eventually succumbed to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 (both the gig and the building, unfortunately). By 1989 though, the building might have succumbed to Donny's ferocious solo style anyway.
In high school Donny led a band (Aptos HS) that performed three times at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Then off to Berklee in Boston, and 4 years touring with Gary Burton. Donny moved to NYC in 1991 and took over for Michael Brecker in the band Steps Ahead.
Donny's been a featured soloist in Maria Schneider's big band (check out his solo on the beautiful tune Hang Gliding. Song begins at 31:30. Listen to the whole thing, and watch Maria Schneider smile! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZM5ekpurvA). Donny's recorded 11 albums as a leader, and collaborated with players like David Douglas, David Binney and other forward-looking musicians.
Scott Colley is the bassist of choice for musicians like Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, and Micheal Brecker among other great jazz unknowns. Scott's found holding down the rhythm section on over 200 recordings, and has played and toured with just about every amazing jazz musician you can think of.
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Jonathan Blake. Purely and simply a force of nature. Defines the term. Plus he's the only member of this trio that has played violin on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (when he was 6). For real! It's been sort of downhill since then, performing with Tom Harrell's Group, Kenny Baron, and beloved by the Who's Who of the Jazz Scene. The DalyJazz "bass drum-stone" was invented to keep Jonathan's boundless energy (and kit) from taking out the front row of listeners.
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