Described as “to the string bass as Basquiat was to canvas” Donovan Stokes’ playing encompasses a wide range of styles. Whether arco, pizzicato or “slap” style, from concert hall to club stage and from Bach to Rockabilly, Stokes is comfortable in many musical genres. His 2006 CD of unamplified solo bass works, Gadaha, demonstrates his “ability to perform circus type bass maneuvers with effortless efficiency.” Stokes is also a specialist in the use of amplified and electronically manipulated double bass.
As a composer, he has received recent commissions from the Young Bassist’s Division of the International Society of Bassists, Musical Arts Society of Chicago and the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. His most recent concert work Damaged, for Double Bass, Violin and Orchestra was premiered in February 2009, featuring violinist Blanka Bednarz.
His freelance work has led to performances with the Washington Choral Arts Society, the National Cathedral Choral Society and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. On the club circuit Stokes appears regular with his "Hardcore Jazz" trio. This trio of bass, drums and Rhodes piano, and incorporates elements of hardcore punk rock, psychobilly and jazz.
The author of several articles on double history and pedagogy, Dr. Stokes has given presentations for the International Society of Bassists on a wide range of subjects. Stokes is a regular clinician at the Richard Davis Bass Conference (Madison, WI) and has been on the faculty of the Golden Gate Bass Camp (Oakland, CA).
Dr. Stokes is currently Associate Professor of Bass at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA and is married to fellow bassist, and International Society of Bassists Young Bass Ambassador for 2001, Inez Wyrick.
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