Donal Fox: "Monk and Bach" at Regattabar April 15-16, 2005

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Donal fox, piano; Al Foster, drums; John Lockwood, bass, perform material from James Brown, T. J. Anderson, Stevie Wonder and J.S. Bach.

“Boston has a long history of turning out innovative musicians whom the rest of us are too long in discovering. Think of Jaki Byard, Sam Rivers and Alan Dawson, among many others, and add to the list Donal Fox, a remarkable pianist who has positioned himself on the cutting edge of jazz by incorporating classical techniques and melodies. He is best known for virtuoso duets with Oliver Lake and David Murray, but the pinnacle of his achievement is found in his blending of Monk and Bach, in his vivid reimaginings of the Modern Jazz Quartet, and in such dazzling original works as “Scarlatti Jazz Suite” and “Italian Concerto Blues.”Donal is one of a small handful of musicians who embody the promise of jazz’s future.”

Innovative pianist and composer, Donal Fox, will present a brilliant and genre-defying program of music by James Brown, Robert Schumann, Thelonious Monk, Astor Piazolla, J.S. Bach, Stevie Wonder, Domenico Scarlatti and Donal Fox at the Regattabar in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16th, at 7:30 and 10 pm. Joined by Miles Davis alum, Al Foster, on drums, and John Lockwood on bass, Fox’s virtuostic, swinging style crosses a wide spectrum from classical to jazz and is poetic, hip and ultimately contemporary.

Fox is an internationally acclaimed composer, pianist and improviser in both the jazz and classical fields. His numerous awards include a 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition, a 1998 Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), and 1999, 2001 and 2003 nominations for a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts.

Fox served as the first African American composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony from 1991-92. In the 1993-94 season, Mr. Fox was a special guest artist at the Library of Congress in a program that was recorded by National Public Radio and was a visiting artist at Harvard University where he received a Certificate of Recognition from the President of Harvard for his contribution to the arts.

In 2003-2004 , Fox was featured concert artist with the American Composer Orchestra Improvise Festival where he gave the New York premiere of T. J. Anderson’s piano concerto, Boogie Woogie Concertante, with the MSM Jazz Philharmonic at LaGuardia Concert Hall and the world premier with the Harvard University Wind Ensemble directed by Thomas Everett. The concerto was written especially for Mr. Fox and asks for him to improvise all the solo passages and cadenzas in the eight-movement work with spontaneous interactive dialogue with the orchestra. Fox will perform the Atlanta premier at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University on Thursday, March 3, 2005.

Fox’s exciting and innovative “Jazz Duet Series” has included concerts, recordings and collaborations with Oliver Lake, John Stubblefield, Billy Pierce, David Murray, Elliott Sharp, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Al Foster, Gary Burton, John Patitucci, and poet Quincy Troupe to name a few. He has recorded as composer and pianist for New World Records, Evidence Records, Music & Arts, “Passin' Thru Records, Yamaha’s Original Artist Series, and Wergo Records. Jazz journalist Bill Beuttler of the Boston Globe named Fox as one of his Top Ten Jazz Acts of 2004 in the company of Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Ron Carter. Fox will embark on an extensive European festival tour with his “T.S. Monk to J.S. Bach” project in 2005.

Al Foster, master drummer, was a member of the Miles Davis group for thirteen years. Davis said about him, “ for what I wanted in a drummer, Al Foster had it all."

Foster has also performed with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Randy & Michael Brecker, Bill Evans, George Benson, Kenny Drew, Carmen McRae, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, Dexter Gordon, and Chick Corea. He has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson.

Tickets to Donal Fox: Monk and Bach are $20 on Friday, April 15, and $22.50 on Saturday, April 16. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 pm. The Regattabar is located at the Charles Hotel, One Bennett Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. For information and reservations, call 617-395-7757 or order tickets online at

For more information on Donal Fox, see. or contact Dawn Singh at 857-544-0739 or

JPEGS available



“ An innovative composer and virtuoso pianist.”

                    Billy Taylor

“Coruscating improvisation.”

                    Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

“One of the most exciting musical personalities on the current scene.”

                    Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Phoenix

“Triple-threat talent: composer, performer and improviser.”

                    Anthony Tommasini, Boston Globe

“His music is unlike that of anyone else, while at the same time it evokes McCoy Tyner, Art Tatum, the intensity of Coltrane and of the blues, shades of Bach and Cuban music. In other words, his compositions have an inherent solidity, not like music which fluctuates to fit current fashions.”

                    Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, France

Master of improvisation a the piano: Donal Fox makes ‘Bach swing.’”

                    Der neue Tag, Germany

“Fox’s performance was simply great. He showed himself a brilliant technician and an exquisite magician at the keyboard. From Bach’s Preludium emerged a tango by Astor Piazolla as if it were the most natural thing in the world and out of Arnold Schoenberg’s Fantasia for Violin op. 47, he created a veritable blues piece.”

                    Mittelbayrische Zeitung, Germany

“Fox is a virtuoso, his command of classical, jazz, and contemporary is profound; profound enough to keep all-star drummer, Al Foster, of the Miles Davis (Comeback) Band and bassist, Kenny Dais, (formerly of the “Tonight Show”) straight, straight and playing their hearts out to keep up with the seemingly four-handed Fox.”

                    Matthew Berger, Boston Tab

He’s created an area almost of is own, he straddles classical composition with jazz injecting rhythm questions that compliment both sides. It’s the closest thing today to the old John Lewis, Milton Jackson Modern Jazz Quartet.”

                    Fred Taylor, Artistic Director,

                    Tanglewood Jazz Festival, USA, and

                    founder of the famed Paul’s Mall-Jazz

                    Workshop, Boston

“Composer/pianist, Donal Fox, has an extraordinary musical reach–Latin vamps, New Orleans second line marches, free-jazz explosiions, Monk taken to the out-there edges of Schoenberg and Webern, a lyric take on Bach or Chopin or jaz trio. He’s got the all-over power of McCoy Tyner and the superb keyboard marksmanship of Ellington and Horowitz”

                    Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix


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