Saxophonist Don Aliquo has been described as a player “with an articulate flow of always surprising ideas, sophisticated with a dexterous technique and an incredibly smooth tenor sound that seduces rather than shouts.” Although his early influences are saxophonists John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Dexter Gordon, his recent recorded output also displays the influences of Lester Young, Stan Getz and Joe Henderson as well.
His latest CD project, released in March 2015 is entitled NEW TIES AND BINDS and is a collaborative effort with the brilliant trumpeter Clay Jenkins. The record also features the impeccable Rufus Reid, Harold Danko and Jim White. The work features the quintet in a set of originals written mainly by Aliquo. Previous releases include SUN & SHIELD featuring veteran jazz masters Reid again on bass, Jim McNeely, piano and the dynamic drummer Obed Calvaire. The album also introduces Aliquo’s work as a jazz clarinetist, an often over-looked instrument with deep jazz roots. Other collaborations include CHICKEN ON THE HILL WITH WILL (October 2014) featuring iconic Pittsburgh artists Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin and David Budway.
Don’s formative years were spent in his hometown of Pittsburgh where he studied with his father, Don Sr. an active and well-respected jazz artist. He went on to play with many of the city’s jazz legends including Roger Humphries, David Budway, Dwayne Dolphin, Jeff Watts, Danny Conn, John Wilson, Joe Harris and many others. As a member of Roger Humphries’ group he recorded and had the opportunity to hear and jam with many artists who came through the city including Pittsburghers Stanley Turrentine and George Benson.
Since his arrival in Nashville in 1999, Aliquo has been an active and influential jazz artist in the greater Nashville area and beyond. As either a leader or sideman, he has had the opportunity to perform and record with Gary Burton, Donald Brown, Scott Robinson, Roger Humphries, Marvin Stamm, Dana Landry, Michael Jefry Stevens and Obed Calvaire. In Nashville, he has been blessed to play and record with many of the region’s world-class artists including Rod McGaha, Duffy Jackson, Jeff Coffin, Jim Ferguson, Jamey Simmons, Lori Mechem and Beegie Adair to name a few.
Don is currently Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University where he also served as the Director of Jazz Studies from 2002-2012. Don is an in-demand clinician, presenting concerts and clinics throughout the United States and is honored to represent Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces and Selmer saxophones.