Written by Grant Jackson from NPR
Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin got his start at age 12, when he began playing in his vibraphonist father’s band in Santa Cruz, Calif. That group played the Monterey Jazz Festival for three years. In 1984, McCaslin took a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston; while there, he performed regularly in the area with Ken Schaphorst’s True Colors Big Band.
McCaslin then joined with another vibraphonist, Gary Burton, and toured the world with him for four years. After moving to New York City, he performed with the group Steps Ahead, and has also played with the Gil Evans Orchestra, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, John Medeski, the Dave Douglas Quintet and many others.
McCaslin has recorded 10 albums as a leader. His most recent release, Casting for Gravity, fuses jazz with electronic textures influenced by artists such as Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada.