“ …with each generation continually producing those special individuals who push the envelope a little farther, Edwards is part of a new breed of young musicians who have discovered that total musicianship means more that just being a great instrumentalist, which he is by the way”.Ellis Marsalis
Donald Edwards was born in 1966 into a musical family. His father Dock is a classical pianist and his mother Geraldine, a voice major. Edwards began playing music at the age of eleven in Opelousas, Louisiana. He went on to study music at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the renowned teacher Alvin Batiste resides. He then continued in music education as a teacher at the University Of New Orleans. Edwards, now in New York, continues to give his time to help teach young aspiring percussionist in schools throughout the community.
Since his emergence in 1987 Donald has played across the globe with some of the finest musicians in Jazz. Edwards has performed with Jazz greats such as Freddie Hubbard, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Jesse Davis, Greg Tardy, Carmen Lundy, Kevin Mahogany, Javon Jackson, Ellis Marsalis, Wessell Anderson, Orrin Evans, Wynton Marsalis, The Mingus Big Band / Orchestra, Charlie Hunter, Russell Malone, Alvin Batiste, Stefon Harris and Mark Whitfield.
After winning the Louisiana Arts Ambassador’s Award for Composition in 1994, Donald became one of the most sought after drummers on the New Orleans music scene. New Orleans is place with a vocabulary of music all its own and Edwards is a drummer steeped in that tradition. He came up playing different kinds of music ranging from marching band, hip-hop and pop to r&b, Jazz, funk and gospel music. As a result, Edwards is now called on to play many different genres of music and meets them with creative interpretation and virtuosity. Donald Edwards is among the vanguard of players on the New York scene today.
Edwards has two recordings as a leader In The Vernacular (Leaning House Records) and Ducktones (Zoot-T Records) and is also involved in the production of numerous recording projects. With skills steeped in the rich and varied traditions of Louisiana, drummer and composer Donald Edwards is dedicated in his pursuit of creative improvisation, compositional development, and experimentation with rhythms through conversing in dialects of a universal language we call music.