Donald Clayborn Sleet was an American jazz trumpeter. He was a member of Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars and Lenny McBrowne and the Four Souls. Widely considered a gifted musician, compared to the likes of Art Farmer and Kenny Dorham, Sleet had a short career as a result of his drug abuse, recording only one album as a leader.
Sleet was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on November 27, 1938. His father was a music teacher at school from whom he began to take lessons at age nine. His family moved to San Diego, California, when he was ten years old. There he took piano lessons for four years before taking up the trumpet. Buddy Childers was his mentor for a year in Hollywood, before studying with Daniel Lewis in San Diego, where he was part of the San Diego State College Jazz Band. In addition, he studied with Shorty Rogers in Los Angeles, where he became a member of Terry Gibbs's big band. He also studied classical music, playing for the San Diego Symphony for three years.
Sleet fronted a small jazz combo in the mid 1950s, winning the Easter Week Jazz Festival at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach in 1956 and 1957. In 1959, he joined Lenny McBrowne and the Four Souls, with whom he recorded an album in early 1960. In the summer of 1960 he became a member of Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars. In October 1960, Sleet went to New York with The Four Souls to record their second and final album, Eastern Lights, supervised by Ornette Coleman.