Don Wilner- bassist, performs in both the classical and jazz genres. He earned a Doctorate in Music and taught at the University of Miami, was the Principal Bassist and a featured soloist with the Palm Beach Pops, and the Assistant Principal Bassist with the Miami City Ballet for many years.
Don can be heard on his CD's- Estrada Do Sol (with Duduka Da Fonseca, Harry Allen, Mike Orta, Sammy Figueroa), Figments Of My Imagination (with Eric Alexander, Kenny Drew, Jr., Mike Orta) , Mysterious Beauty (with Mike Renzi, Grady Tate), Eddie Higgins’ Picture in Black & White, Annette Sanders collaboration with Mike Renzi, Everything I Love, as well as on many other recordings.
He is the author of several articles on jazz bass, including "Interactive Jazz Improvisation in the Bill Evan’s Trio."
Don was named "Best Jazz Musician" in Miami New Times Magazine Best of Miami Issue.
An outstanding accompanist and soloist, he has performed and recorded with George Coleman, Maureen McGovern, Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae, James Moody, Ceder Walton, Tom Harrell, Fred Hersch, Toots Theilmans, Hubert Laws, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Peter Nero, Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton, John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum, Michell LeGrand, Marion McPartland, and many others.
Named Best Jazz Musician in Miami New Times Magazine Best of Miami Issue 2000. Dr. Wilner originated, promoted, and sustained the jazz music program at the Van Dyke for 13 years (until it was sold in 2007), which New Times labeled Best Jazz Club in Miami numerous times.
"Wilner is one of the rare symphony musicians capable of first-rate jazz. His solos and interchanges . . . are lovely, and his upper-range arco playing has the vocal-like quality of a ‘cello. Much of the program (with Higgins) has a Blanton-Ellington feel, rather than the usual ‘piano with rhythm’." critic Art Hilgart.
Doug Ramsey, the well-known music critic for Jazz Times Magazine, wrote "Wilner is an astonishing bass player whether bowing, walking, interacting . . . or covering the instrument from top to bottom in his pizzicato solos. His purity of tone and breadth of technique may come from his classical background. They are matched by a time feeling achieved only by musicians with a bone-deep jazz sensibility."A talented musician and professor, Don Wilner received his Bachelor of Music- Studio Music and Jazz AND Applied Music (the first double major of its kind at the University of Miami), Master of Music in Jazz Composition, and Doctorate of Music- Applied Performance (combination of jazz and classical) all with complete scholarship/graduate teaching assistantship from the University of Miami. Don specializes in teaching double bass (classical and jazz), electric bass, cello and jazz keyboard harmony. The combining of classical technique and mastery of jazz improvisation is one of the advantages of studying with Don!
He has taught at several prestigious institutions, including the University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, and has taught master’s classes around the Americas.
Don currently teaches at Miami Dade College in Florida. He has recorded nine of his own CDs with several well-known jazz musicians. Please listen to the samples below to hear Don play. He can teach at any level, from beginning to advanced, in both jazz and classical styles.