Donny McCaslin Group, Monday, March 4, 2013


Donny McCaslin Group
Monday, March 4, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… heavy gauge but hyper-articulate jazz-rock…” – The New York Times

Donny McCaslin’s steady rise, from young saxophone tyro – touring with vibraphone legend Gary Burton in the early ’90s – to world-class performer, is no surprise to anyone who witnessed his playing when he was a teenaged musician growing up in Santa Cruz. Now, with his tenth album, Casting for Gravity, McCaslin puts forth an energetic, acoustic/electronic soundscape comprised of otherworldly melodies underscored with driving rhythms, a 21st century vision for the shape of jazz to come. Donny’s current group features an excellent lineup of musicians that includes Jason Lindner, on keyboards; Tim Lefebvre, on bass; and Nate Smith, on drums.

Born in 1966, McCaslin grew up in Santa Cruz. The son of vibraphonist/pianist Don McCaslin, Sr., he became involved in music through his father’s influence and participated in the jazz program at Aptos High School. During his teens, the younger McCaslin could often be heard performing with his father’s group, Warmth, at the old Cooper House outdoor cafe where many local and visiting, musicians sat-in with the band. While still in his teens, he formed a group with his high school contemporary, drummer Kenny Wolleson, playing the Monterey Jazz Festival three years in a row. McCaslin won a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in 1984, and he was off to Boston. By 1987, he had become a member of Gary Burton’s group, an association that lasted for four years. During that time, he caught the ear of jazz critic Leonard Feather, who wrote, “(McCaslin) amazed the audience one night by stealing the show in a saxophone jam featuring such seasoned pros as Red Holloway, Phil Woods, David “Fathead” Newman, and Flip Phillips.” In the early ’90s, McCaslin replaced Michael Brecker in Mike Mainieri’s Steps Ahead, and distinguished himself as a top saxophonist on the New York scene. He went on to perform with Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, and Santi Debriano, among others, and performed on the 1997 recording by Lan Xang, an experimental music collective.

In 1998, McCaslin released his first solo album, Exile And Discovery. McCaslin’s recording caught the ear of the jazz media and established him as an up-and-coming creative force to watch. As a much in-demand saxophonist, he continues to work as a sideman in collaborative projects. In 2006, McCaslin joined trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas’ group, replacing Chris Potter, and performed on Douglas’ Meaning and Mystery. Now, touring with his own group in support of Casting for Gravity, McCaslin has come into his own as a mature artist, willing to step outside his ‘comfort zone’ and explore new textures, pushing the boundaries of what defines the sound of jazz for today.

Donny McCaslin Group

DATE: Monday, March 4, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $23/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Matthew Jurasek

(610) 667-0501

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