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  • Don Ross

    Don Ross

    Don Ross Biography

    A true innovator of guitar composition and technique, Don Ross has emerged as one of the most respected musicians in Canada and one of the top guitarists in the world. In September 1996, he managed to do what no other player has done: win the prestigious U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship for the second time (he first won in 1988). The competition, held yearly in Winfield, Kansas, judges not just technique, but emotion and intensity - hallmarks of Don's style.

    The son of a Scottish immigrant father and a Mi'kmaq aboriginal mother, Don was born in Montreal in 1960. A member of a highly musical family, Don first started experimenting with the solo possibilities of the acoustic guitar at the age of eight. By age ten he was playing in alternate tunings and exploring "fingerstyle" technique. The result of this exploration is an unclassifiable musical style that borrows from jazz, folk, rock and classical music.

    Don has recently signed a new recording deal with new US-based independent label Candyrat Records. His first disc for the label, "Music for Vacuuming", is - with the exception of one track - a completely solo affair. The acoustic rocker "How to Eat an Avalanche," the Brazilian-influenced "Never Got to Pernambuco," and an old favorite from his guitar lessons, "Fleetstep Choreography," are all presented as unaccompanied guitar pieces. On other tracks, Don plays drums, percussion, slide dobro guitar, piano, and electric bass. The album also features a beautiful collaboration with Hamburg-based musician Silas Olischlaeger ("Dracula II Mikrokosmos").

    Don's most recent release, "Live in Your Head," is a collection of live recordings spanning 2001-2006. Each performance is rendered in Don's slightly dangerous live style where almost anything can happen...and often does. Listeners, whether longtime fans or curious first-timers, will be treated to the electric immediacy for which Don Ross gigs are known.

    Don continues to do extensive touring in Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia's Pacific Rim. When he's not on the road, he lives a quiet life with his family in a small village in southern Ontario, Canada.


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