Cowal Highland Gathering - Donald Black
27th - 29th August 2020

Ceilidh Tent
Donald Black

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Donald Black

Donald Black, “the instrument’s foremost exponent in Scottish Traditional Music” (Scotland on Sunday) hails from Benderloch, Argyll, Scotland.

He received his first harmonica at the tender age of four. His roots are firmly steeped in the West of Scotland Pipe and Gaelic tradition but his repertoire extends well beyond this to embrace the idioms of Ireland, Shetland Isles, Nova Scotia and mainstream Scotland.

Donald is totally self-taught and, with his own unique style and mastery, has virtually been responsible for the harmonica having been given a new respect and acceptance; meaning afficianados, professionals and reviewers taking it seriously as a significant part of the Scottish Traditional Music scene.

Using the harmonica as a lead instrument, Donald Black’s live performances of thoroughly challenging jigs, reels, marches, hornpipes, strathspeys and emotionally charged slow airs/laments have delighted audiences in his native Scotland, as well as England, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Russia and the U.S.A. – taking his Scottish Celtic Harmonica from Moscow to Kansas City, Chicago to Stornoway:- see

Donald has recorded five albums to considerable acclaim; one of them being a joint venture with the highly respected multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Jones of Scottish Celtic – Rock band Runrig:- see
and is mentioned in four books on the instrument:- The Encyclopaedia of the Harmonica by Peter Krampert, Harmonicas for Dummies by Winslow Yerxa, Die Mundharmonica by Cristoph Wagner and Five Cents and a Boxtop by Charlie McCoy. Over the years he has made several TV appearances and enjoyed extensive radio-play both at home and abroad.

Currently, live performances are either that of a two or three-piece line-up:- ie., with Donnie Mackenzie (acoustic guitar) or adding Martainn Skene (keyboard) joining Donald on an array of harmonicas:- the DONALD BLACK BAND Facebook:- DONALD BLACK SCOTTISH CELTIC HARMONICA