Having received his first harmonica from a kindly aunt at the tender age of four, Donald is totally self-taught, and, with his own unique style and mastery, has almost single-handedly been responsible for the humble mouth organ having been given a new respect and acceptance – forcing professionals and reviewers to sit up and take it seriously as a significant part of the Scottish music scene.
He plays much of his music on the TREMOLO harmonica (favoured in and played extensively and mainly all over China and other parts of Asia) and is one of a very few players in the western world to do this. “There are some prominent western tremolo players, such as Donald Black from Scotland.” (Tony Eyres, Harmonica World, Oct/Nov 2010) – visit www.tremoloharmonica.com
Being a native of Benderloch, Argyll, Scotland, Donald’s roots are firmly steeped in the West of Scotland Highland Bagpipe and Gaelic tradition – but his repertoire extends well beyond this to embrace the idioms of Ireland, the Shetland Isles, Cape Breton / Nova Scotia and mainstream Scotland.
Donald Black’s live performances have delighted audiences from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, UK-wide, through Europe – and from Moscow to Kansas City. His playing of thoroughly challenging jigs, hornpipes, marches, strathspeys and reels, and emotionally charged slow airs and laments can only be described as spellbinding.
He has, over the years, received wide acclaim for his recordings.
Donald Black – “the instrument’s foremost exponent in Scottish traditional music” (Norman Chalmers – Scotland on Sunday, 02-03-08) – is married to Lorna and lives in his native Scotland.
Donald will be accompanied by Martainn Skene, an accordionist, pianist & cellist, from Lochaber, living in Glasgow, Scotland, out of the West Coast tradition of dance music, for his performances.Events