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Larry McDonough

Larry McDonough has been performing in the area for 35 years. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in music education from the University of Minnesota in 1978, performing on piano and trumpet, and in school ensembles with Clark Terry and Thad Jones, and for President Nixon and the President of Mexico.

He played extensively in the Twin Cities in the 1970's and early 1980's, performing solo and in his own duos and trios. He regularly performed at the old Night Train club in the Como Avenue warehouse area, and at the Jax Restaurant. He also taught, and composed and arranged for high school band.

McDonough moved away in the earlier 1980's, and after returning a few years later, he performed primarily at private functions, including a performance for First Lady Hillary Clinton. He began playing jazz publicly again in the late 1990s, performing solo and in his own duos and trios, and with BOZO allegro. McDonough appeared on BOZO allegro's second CD, Relentlessly Cheerful.

He has released five CDs under his own name. Two are CDs of solo piano jazz, “Small Steps” and “Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano,” two are of his ensembles, “Live, Cooking at the Dakota” and “Simple Gifts,” and “My Favorite Things: Odd Times for Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra and Concert Band,” a compilation of high school ensemble performances of original pieces and arrangements. He records for his own independent label, LM Jazz.

McDonough has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks. He also has performed with such groups and performers as the Wolverines; vocalists Patty Peterson, Shirley Witherspoon, Connie Olson, Diane Jarvi, and Vicki Mountain; bassists Bruce "Pooch" Heine, Tom Lewis, Tom Hubbard, Billy Peterson, Paul Peterson, Kevin Barnes, and Chuck Adams; guitarists Mike Elliott, Brian Barnes and Bill Bergmann; mandolin player Chris Silver; drummers Dave Stanoch, Dave Hagedorn, Phil Hey and Kevin Washington, and horn players Eric Leeds, Dave Jensen, Kathy Jensen, Phil Holm, Ruston Reynolds, Dave Hagner, and Jeff King; as well as cover bands Jules and the Mystics.

In 2007 he was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons.

He now performs solo, as well with his group, Larry McDonough Quartet. A former high school band director, he also works at Minneapolis Legal Aid as a tenants' attorney, where he has been recognized by the Minnesota Law and Politics as a "Super Lawyer," and by William Mitchell College of Law as one of "100 Who Made a Difference" over the 100 year history of the school.


Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame. Minnesota Justice Foundation Distinguished Service Award, for making significant contributions to poverty law and public interest work and to ensuring equal justice for all Minnesotans. National Lawyers Guild Minnesota Chapter First Annual Paul Marino People's Lawyer Award, for work as a tenants’ attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis and teaching housing and poverty law at the University of St. Thomas and University of Minnesota Schools of Law. The late Paul Marino was a Legal Aid attorney and executive director, tenants’ attorney, William Mitchell College of Law professor, Guild president, and actor. University of St. Thomas School of Law "Knowledge Creation and Societal Reform", one of the "Living the Mission" Awards 20th Anniversary ACORN Award for improving the lives of tenants by working with the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office in filing actions to improve conditions in rental housing. “100 Who Made a Difference,” 100 graduates over the 100 year history of William Mitchell College of Law. Hennepin County Bar Association Pro bono Publico Award, for excellence by an attorney in the public/private/judicial sector.


Album Review

Larry McDonough Quartet: Simple Gifts

Read "Simple Gifts" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Never look a gift horse in the mouth the old saying goes, but pianist Larry McDonough's Simple Gifts is a record that needs careful deconstructing and critiquing.

The CD starts off with a smart arrangement of Beethoven's “Ode to Joy," where Richard Terrill's soprano saxophone states the theme before the musicians take solo turns. They don't wander far from the melody, but they do go enough of a distance out to give the music a satisfyingly pleasant spin.

The recording ...

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University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota Bachelor of Science, June 1978 Music Education: Piano and Trumpet Assistant Band Director, Edison and Lincoln High Schools, Minneapolis and Bloomington, Minnesota Independent clinician

Clinic/Workshop Information

Performance in odd meters





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