Music in the Library opens its 2011-12 season with an encore performance by jazz pianist, composer, arranger, educator Larry McDonough tomorrow (which happens to be National Coffee Day). The concert will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the O’Shaughnessy Room of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Everyone is welcome.
McDonough has performed locally for 35 years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in music education from the University of Minnesota in 1978, performing on piano and trumpet, and in school ensembles with Clark Terry and Thad Jones, and for President Richard Nixon and the president of Mexico.
McDonough played extensively in the Twin Cities in the 1970s and early 1980s, performing solo and in his own duos and trios. He regularly performed at the old Night Train club in the Como Avenue warehouse area and at Jax Café in Minneapolis. He also taught, composed and arranged for high school band.
Later, he performed primarily at private functions, including a performance for First Lady Hillary Clinton. In the late 1990s he performed solo, in duos and trios and with BOZO allegro, appearing on BOZO allegro’s second CD, “Relentlessly Cheerful.”
He has released five CDs under his own name – two are CDs of solo piano jazz, “Small Steps” and “Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano”; two are of his ensembles, “Live, Cooking at the Dakota” and “Simple Gifts.” The other CD, “My Favorite Things: Odd Times for Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra and Concert Band,” is a compilation of high school ensemble performances of original pieces and arrangements. He records for his own independent label, LM Jazz.
McDonough has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, trombonist Fred Wesley, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, and with a host of other groups and performers.
In 2007 he was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He now performs solo, and with his group, Larry McDonough Quartet.
For more information and to watch him perform a variety of his pieces on YouTube, visit the Larry McDonough website.