Saxophonist Don Aliquo has been described as a player “with an articulate flow of always surprising ideas, sophisticated with a dexterous technique and an incredibly smooth tenor sound that seduces rather than shouts.” Although his early influences are saxophonists John Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Dexter Gordon, his recent recorded output also displays the influences of Lester Young, Stan Getz and Joe Henderson as well.
Don’s formative years were spent in his hometown of Pittsburgh where he studied with his father, Don Sr. an active and well-respected jazz artist. He went on to play with many of the city’s jazz legends including Roger Humphries, David Budway, Dewayne Dolphin, Jeff Watts, Danny Conn, John Wilson, Joe Harris and many others. As a member of Roger Humphries’ group he recorded and had the opportunity to hear and jam with many artists who came through the city including Pittsburghers Stanley Turrentine and George Benson.
Since his arrival in Nashville in 1999, Aliquo has been an active and influential jazz artist in the greater Nashville area and beyond. As either a leader or sideman, he has had the opportunity to perform and record with Rufus Reid, Jim McNeely, Gary Burton, Donald Brown, Scott Robinson, Clay Jenkins, Roger Humphries, Marvin Stamm, Michael Jefry Stevens and Obed Calvaire. In Nashville, he has been blessed to play and record with many of the region’s world-class artists including Rod McGaha, Duffy Jackson, Jeff Coffin, Jim Ferguson, Jamey Simmons, Lori Mechem and Beegie Adair to name a few.
His latest solo CD, entitled SUN & SHIELD features veteran jazz masters Rufus Reid, bass, Jim McNeely, piano and the dynamic drummer Obed Calvaire. Recorded in June 2010, the work features the quartet in a set of originals written mainly by Aliquo. The album also introduces Aliquo’s work as a jazz clarinetist, an often over-looked instrument with deep jazz roots. Other recent or upcoming releases are The Don Aliquo/Clay Jenkins Quintet featuring Rufus Reid, Jim White and Harold Danko. (Release date March 2015) and “Chicken on the Hill with Will” (October 2014) featuring iconic Pittsburgh artists Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin and David Budway.
Don is currently Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University where he also served as the Director of Jazz Studies from 2002-2012. Don is an in-demand clinician, presenting concerts and clinics throughout the United States and is honored to represent Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces.