"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!

Plug-in Jazz Lick
 
Plug-in Jazz Lick
The following video shows how to learn and plug-in a jazz lick that outlines V7 resolving to I. With no trumpet lessons taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak, my son and I have been doing these kinds of jazz exercises during our daily practice time together. Here’s the lick, written out in twelve keys. …
Writing Drum Parts
 
Writing Drum Parts
As a big band arranger, writing drum parts is one of the harder tasks you will encounter. So, watch this instructional video to see: what to include in a big band drum part, and how to enter it into Finale music notation software. This video was made for my jazz arranging class students, after transitioning…
Portrait of Jennie
 
Portrait of Jennie
Portrait of Jennie, a beautiful ballad written for the 1948 film by the same name, has been recorded by some of the most recognized trumpeters in jazz. Blue Mitchell, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd all have recorded versions. The piece was therefore a natural choice when I was looking for a ballad for my…
Cirrus
 
Cirrus
The process of collaborating with a visual artist and using non-musical stimulus led to the creation of this distinctive musical composition, "Cirrus."
Miles Davis Solo
 
Miles Davis Solo
A transcription and break down of Miles Davis' solo on the Sonny Rollins tune, "Doxy," recorded in 1954 on the "Bags' Groove" album.
Podcast Interview
 
Podcast Interview
When the local Episcopalian priest asked me to do a podcast interview, he may have gotten more than he bargained for. His show is called “Crossroads — where faith and every day life converge.” Guests are asked to share how their faith shapes and impacts their lives. This topic was right up my alley. Over…
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