Fox, Donal

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Fox, Donal

Fox, Donal, jazz composer, pianist; b. July 17, 1952, Boston, Mass. His mother studied violin and sang in choruses in her native Panama; his father played both classical and jazz clarinet in high school and college and studied composition at Boston Univ. before majoring in physics. When Donal was eight years old, he began piano lessons privately and began to improvise with his father, then studied piano at the New England Cons, until he was 19. At the age of 22, Fox and Reginald Hubbard initiated a concert series featuring Fox’s early compositions. Under the direction of pianist Vivian Taylor, the chamber group Videmus performed Fox’s music and a two-piano work, “Dialectics,” was commissioned by Ms. Taylor. Other chamber groups followed suit. He was awarded a two-year residency with the St. Louis Symphony (1991–93), was special guest of the Library of Congress (1993–94 season), a visiting artist at Harvard Univ. (1993–94), and was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition (1997). He has performed and recorded duets with jazz artists Oliver Lake, John Stubblefield, David Murray, Billy Pierce, and with poet Quincy Troupe. He has also broadcast on the National Public Radio program JazzSet, and two 1993 programs of the PBS television show Say, Brother: “Donal Fox and David Murray in Session” and “The Fox/Troupe Duo in Performance and Rehearsal.” In 1998 he performed at the Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass, with John Stubblefield, Kenny Davis, and Pheeroan Aklaff.


Variants on a Theme by Monk (1990); Etched in Stone (1993); Ugly Beauty (1993); Gone City (1994).

—Lewis Porter