"A magical, musical alchemist of hip hybrids"

Owen McNally, the Hartford Courant

"smart, economical writing and fabulous blowing"

Marc Myers, JazzWax

"an artistic visionary"

George W Carroll, NiteLifeExchange.com

"a major force in the world of jazz composition"

Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

"one of the most accomplished pianists in the business"

Edward Blanco, All About Jazz


Jazz Music Producer of the Year

2019 Independent Music Awards

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Latest posts!

Trumpet Practice Routine
 
Trumpet Practice Routine
Following a daily trumpet practice routine with my son was a definite highlight of my summer. I enjoyed introducing him to some introductory jazz concepts, and it has been really fun observing his progress. Before moving on to a new fall routine, here are some reflections, to document what we practiced over the summer months.…
The Power of Incentive
 
The Power of Incentive
How do you get a kid to do something for which they have limited interest? Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right incentive. This summer, I wanted my 13-year old son to learn the twelve major scales on his instrument. (Knowing scales is foundational for all music making, but especially for jazz. One…
Half-Marathon Pacer
 
Half-Marathon Pacer
As many of you know, running has become a daily discipline and passion for me in recent years. In May I ran the Providence Marathon, completing it in 3:24:16. I had thoughts of running the Hartford Marathon in October, but a couple of months into training, my body was telling me to back off. I…
Recalling Jazz Standards
 
Recalling Jazz Standards
I had the pleasure of playing with tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart on Tuesday evening at the Northampton Jazz Workshop. It is interesting our paths hadn’t crossed before, given that Grant and I are both originally from Canada. He’s a really solid player with a firm grasp of the hard bop vocabulary of tenor titans like…
We Demand Action
 
We Demand Action
Three mass shootings in one week, not to mention countless other gun related deaths (suicides, domestic violence, homicides, accidents, etc.) — Is this enough to incite change and spur our lawmakers into action?
Essential Jazz Reading: Notes and Tones, by Arthur Taylor
 
Essential Jazz Reading: Notes and Tones, by Arthur Taylor
Even now, after having studied and played jazz music for more than three decades, there’s still plenty I will admit to not knowing about the art form, and the context in which much of it was created. I was drawn to this music in the late 1980’s, as a Canadian teenager who loved what he…
Earl MacDonald is a composer, arranger, pianist and educator specializing in jazz. Originally from Canada, the former musical director for Maynard Ferguson is now based in Connecticut, halfway between Boston and NYC. Here you can find out about Earl’s new music, performances, teaching, and latest projects. Visit Earl’s blog, download MP3s, buy CDs, read reviews, or take a free online lesson. Enjoy, browse leisurely and visit often.

Available for:



artist-in-residence programs • clinicscommissionscross-disciplinary collaborationsfestival adjudicationguest conducting of all-state and regional jazz ensembles • performances (with one of Earl's many bands) • soloist appearancesrecord productionsummer music camp instructionworkshops