DEC. 25, 1939 - MAR. 28, 2006
Don Alias, an LP artist for nearly 30 years, was an extremely gifted and dedicated artist. His extraordinary career included work with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Roberta Flack, Joni Mitchell, Weather Report, Tony Williams, just to name a few. His contributions to the world of music are numerous. A kind man with a gentle spirit, Don will be missed by all who knew him and admired his passionate and skillful playing.
"Playing with Don Alias was an honor and a priviledge. He was one of my favorite percussionists and together we would put together our knowledge of the instrument to speak to the masses. Don was a very deep man, disciplined, and a master at his craft. He was a brother and a great human being who will always be in our hearts and minds."
Giovanni Hidalgo, Master Conguero
"Don Alias was a very good friend and a great musician. We mutually admired each other's playing and we were like brothers, both on a professional and personal basis. He was a giant who will be sorely missed."
Lenny Castro, Master Drummer
"Don and I have been playing music very closely together for 20 some years. We started with David Sanborn and have done numerous projects together. He was a wonderful friend and confidant and has taught me a lot in my life about music, love and friendship. I love him and will surely miss him. I know he's up hangin with all the cats in a much better space and feelin' good! Don, We'll miss your smiling face brother."
Ricky Peterson, Composer, Producer & Keyboardist
"Like many musicians (and journalists) I've seen the great Don Alias perform with the great fusion, jazz, and Latin acts of our time. But most significant to me was an appearance in a cellar-like basement club in the early seventies, when Don brought his own band and performed on drumset and congas. His style on both instruments reminded me of a freight trane, unstoppable in his rhythmic pulse. As I sat a mere six feet from his bass drum in awe, what came out was an incredible pride, not pride as in hubris, but in his enthusiastic, unremitting passion for the groove. When Don Alias played that night, he did not falter or let the pulse waver. He was the Carrier and he would not relinquish his package until the final destination. It became obvious to me that nothing would stop Don's incessant, strong groove, not while his heart was still beating."
T. Bruce Wittet, Modern Drummer magazine staff writer, Associate Editor, Muzik Etc.
"Don Alias was everything one could ask for in an endorser: talented, loyal, easygoing, appreciative, and well-respected by his peers. I had the pleasure of seeing Don's band perform in London on his seven-city "Heartbeat" tour of the UK several years back. It was funded by the British Arts Council, and Don picked the creme de la creme of artists for his band, including Giovanni Hidalgo on congas, Michael and Randy Brecker, Gil Goldstein, Mitch Stein, Carlos Benavent, and Steve Berrios, just to name a few. The band's vibe, both on and off the stage, was one of comraderie, friendship, and respect. I have no doubt that Don was the reason for this, because he had those traits himself. We're going to miss him terribly, but he left behind his musical legacy for us to enjoy forever."
Steve Nigohosian, LP Artist Relations Manager