Donald Williams, Saxophonist
Donald's mother purchased his first Alto Sax. She arranged for private instructions in their home and he proved to be a natural. He has studied saxophone techniques with Ed Schluth, Byard Lancaster, Middy Middleton, Rayburn Wright, Bobby Zankel and Sam Reed, Al Gray, Bobby Watson, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Reggie Workman, and Johnnie Coles.
In 1975, Donald formed an R & B band called, "Last Nerve". Their performances were mainly in Philadelphia and New Jersey. From 1979 to 1983 he has played with various other R & B and Jazz bands in Philadelphia in 1993 he formed a group called "NORTHBOUND". In 1995 he formed a band called "TO BE CONTINUED". Eventually R & B music was no longer a challenge, so Donald returned to his first love, Jazz, and still has his band Called "TO BE CONTINUED". Early in Donald's music career, he played on the street corners of Philadelphia for coins and in subways and coffee houses, such as Long March Coffee House, then eventually, at the New York Café and the World Famous Zanzibar Blue Café and Warm Daddy's blues club In Philadelphia Pa. It was an honor and a blessing for Donald to have played with other talented musicians in the area such as Bill Lewis, Kahn Jamaal, Lex Humphreys, Sam Reed, Rufus Harley and Byard Lancaster, Kevin Eubanks, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.
Donald has traveled and performed in Europe at the Moers Jazz Festival , in Dusseldorf Germany with the last of the poets the African Griots also on the festival were Gerald Veasley The Roots and jazz saxophonist Willie Williams. With pride, on several occasions, Donald has made visits to the Philadelphia Prisons were he has talked to and performed Spirituals for the Inmates at Graterford State Prison and State Hospitals and Various Churches in Philadelphia PA, Valley Forge and Lancaster PA, and in New York City's Church of the United Nations in Manhattan. Donald has also performed in Night Clubs, Casinos and Hotels and Parties in Baltimore Md, Virginia, Atlantic City, Cape Mays Jazz Festival, On California's Venice Beach and Florida's Palm Beach. Most recently, at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia Pa, Donald's talent granted him the opportunity to perform at the "African American Extravaganza" sponsored by Barbara Daniel-Cox, where Donald was the opening act for "Jon Lucien from the Virgin Islands."
In addition to playing Alto, Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Donald has the talent for vocals as well. He is currently a member of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, Inc. The House That Jazz Built, where he studies Theory and Big Band Music Arrangements and Performance with guidance of Don Gardner and Lovette Hines.