Although his international reputation is that of a bassist having appeared on some landmark recordings including “John Handy Live at The Monterey Jazz Festival” (1965) and “Jim Hall Live” (1975) Don Thompson is also an accomplished pianist, vibraphonist, composer and arranger. He spent many years with George Shearing with whom he appeared playing bass and piano (in a duo setting) and vibraphone in the quintet.
Through the years he has worked and recorded with many of the greatest jazz musicians in the world such as Jim Hall, Paul Desmond, Frank Rosolino, Kenny Wheeler and John Abercrombie.
Don has won three Juno awards, The Oscar Peterson Award (Montreal Jazz Festival) and the Hagood Hardy Award for Composition (Socan) as well as thirteen National Jazz Awards. In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order Of Canada. Don now resides in Toronto where he enjoys playing, writing and teaching.
Formed in Poland in 1986, the Penderecki String Quartet has been based in Waterloo, Ontario since 1991. Recent appearances include New York (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Hong Kong (Academy for the Arts), Los Angeles (REDCAT Hall at Disney Center), St. Petersburg (Sheremetev Palace) and the Adams Festival in New Zealand. The PSQ has also toured from coast to coast in Canada, participating in concert series such as the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, the Banff Centre, and Music Toronto. The Quartet is a devoted champion of the music of our time, having premiered over 100 new works from composers in Canada and abroad. The Penderecki String Quartet members are on the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University where they have built the string program to be one of the best in Canada, attracting an international body of students.
- Don Thompson, Piano
- Jeremy Bell, Violin
- Jerzy Kaplanek, Violin
- Christine Vlajk, Viola
- Katie Schlaikjer, Cello
This performance is part of the WOMEN IN JAZZ series, sponsored by DIVA INTERNATIONAL, makers of the Diva Cup