Don Fraser has had a full and fascinating playing career that reads like a chronicle of swing and jazz from the sixties to the present day.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Don started out as a typical teenage rock n’ roll drummer, playing in basement bands and at high school dances. In his late teens no longer enamored with playing rock music, a friend turned him on to the Oscar Peterson record “Oscar Peterson Plays The Duke Ellington Song Book”. Hearing this record was a musical revelation that led to a dramatic change in his approach to playing drums.
Don was inspired to get together with like-minded friends, playing constantly, developing his chops and basic musical conception. Growing up around the music business, his father a professional musician and bandleader, he was encouraged to learn his craft well, focusing on music theory, reading and performance. He spent two years under the guidance of renowned Canadian drum teacher Jim Blackley.
Don’s playing style combines the qualities of a talented drummer with the expertise of a truly professional musician. He is a drummer who exercises good taste when accompanying small jazz groups – employing a tasteful, but always driving, great jazz feel. He has the rare ability to anticipate what other musicians are going to do, making a memorable and supportive contribution to any performance that is easy to listen to.
Don continues to play focusing on his passion for jazz. Blessed with good health, he is now content to be a sideman contributing his playing experience, whether it is with a small jazz group, backing up a vocalist or playing in a big band. Don’s philosophy as a drummer, keep on playing or lose it.