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Donald Knaack

Donald Knaack, (“The Junkman”), graduated from the University of Louisville School of Music with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and the Manhattan School of Music with a Masters in Music, and followed the road of a traditional percussionist: a stint in the US Military Academy Band at West Point, performing in the Louisville Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic, and as a studio musician in Hollywood. He was also an artist-in-residence at the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The Center at Buffalo was a mecca for experimental music, and it was there that Knaak returned to his childhood love of pots, pans and junk. At the Center, he met and subsequently worked with the late composer John Cage. “Cage was composing for junk and found objects in the late 1930s and 1940s.

Additional Resources

Watch Past Performances

Donald Knaack 8/5/05: Donald Knaack

Percussionist Donald Knaack plays junk jazz on found objects and materials that others have discarded—all recycled materials.

Donald Knaack

Percussionist Donald Knaack plays junk jazz on found objects and materials that others have discarded—all recycled materials.
Donald Knaack 6/28/02: Donald Knaack

Donald Knaack, “the Junkman,” composes for and performs on a variety of found materials. Selections from his Grammy nominated CD Junk Music were used by Twyla Tharp in her new work for the American Ballet Theatre.

Donald Knaack

Donald Knaack, “the Junkman,” composes for and performs on a variety of found materials. Selections from his Grammy nominated CD Junk Music were used by Twyla Tharp in her new work for the American Ballet Theatre.

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