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Pat Donaher

It can take a long time to arrive at an occasion.

As he prepares to launch his fourth album, Occasionally, saxophonist, composer and teacher Pat Donaher draws on curiosity and collaboration to make this distinctive new record. His warm, inviting sound and his distinctive compositions invite the listener to visit a series of moments and events in his life- many of these pieces were written as gifts for big life occasions of family and friends.

Pat grew up in Boston, at an exciting moment for that city’s jazz and new music scenes. He grew up seeing the first wave of “young lions” and rabble rousers like the Either Orchestra and Orange then Blue, playing jam sessions and immersing himself in the city’s vibrant scene.

After attending the Eastman School of Music, he moved to New York in 2001, where he participated in a variety of projects, from music with strings to early jazz/jungle fusions He composition “PorkPie” was featured in the Knitting Factory’s webcast “Decompostition” series in 2000. His projects featured Brad Shepik, Curtis Fowlkes, Matt Shulman, Peter Epstein, Khabu Doug Young, Michael Plunkett, and Damion Reed. In addition, he collaborated in various multimedia projects involving theatre, poetry and visual art.

He returned to Boston to pursue his other love, large scale composition, with the legendary Bob Brookmeyer at New England conservatory. His music for large ensemble has been performed at several major venues nationally, including Jordan Hall in Boston and Eastman Theatre in Rochester by both collegiate and professional ensembles, and his settings of the poetry of ee cummings for vocalists and strings were featured prominently at a cummings birthday celebration in his’ hometown of Cambridge, MA. In 2003 he was recognized by the American Society of Composers and Producers (ASCAP) for excellence in jazz composition.

Pat has released three commercial CDs, On Any Given Day, featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi and pianist Ben Kibbey, Nu Currency with his band No Sale Value, featuring Matt Schulman, Jenny Scheinman, Tom Mason, and Chris Vatalaro. A third album Who We Are Together, featuring pianists Camille Jentgen and Hwaen Chuqi, was released in 2013

Past projects include No Sale Value, an explosive electronic band featuring singer Sunny Kim, and Ooomph, an “avant bar band”. Pat also continues a longstanding interest in duo playing.

Pat's broad musical background has allowed him a tremendous variety of performance opportunities. He has played with , among others, Steve Vai, Bernard Haitink and the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, Steve Lacy, Joe Henderson, Dave Douglas, Michael Cain, Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Lacy, Benny Carter, Gene Jackson, Maria Schneider, Dave Liebman, Ralph Alessi, Brad Shepik, David Amram and Matt Wilson.

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Album Review
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“Occasionally is an occasion unto itself, a dual showcase for Donaher’s alto playing and compositional chops…” Downbeat

“(Donaher’s) sextet on this recording is not flashy, even as it is star-studded; it is never pounding when it can be pulsing... there is a clear identity to this music, and that identity is highly recommended.” -PopMatters

“This recording will please those people who love intelligent and smartly-constructed melodies in creative music as well as those who enjoy excellent solo turns. Pat Donaher has found a good balance on this recording, an album that shines from start to finish.” - Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

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Album Discography

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