THE KLEZMORIM > Bio > Band Members > Donald Thornton 

Donald Thornton

Band member:  1979–93 & 2004

Instruments:  Tuba, piano

Other functions:  Musical transcriber/arranger; cross-country driver/Road Worrier; bandleader 1988–93; album producer, Variety Stomp

Albums:  Metropolis, Notes from Underground, Jazz-Babies of the Ukraine, Variety Stomp

Good ink:  « Much of the band's punch springs from its fine brass section, with tubaist Donald Thornton supplying the lumbering, Russian-bearish rhythms. »    — Downbeat

Other gigs:  Santa Rosa, Napa, Modesto, Oakland, and Vallejo Symphony Orchestras; The Brassworks. Tuba instructor, California State University's Stanislaus and Hayward campuses.

Profile:  Classically-trained and gifted with absolute pitch, Donald lends a meticulous, theoretical approach to The Klezmorim's charts -- balancing the band's tendency toward rough-and-ready head arrangements. Defying stereotypes, Donald long ago established tuba as a melodic instrument in klezmer music. He has also distinguished himself as an award-winning brewer.