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Don Rader (musician)

Don Rader, jazz trumpet player, ca. 2005.

Donald Arthur Rader (born October 21, 1935, Rochester, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz trumpeter.

Rader began playing trumpet at age five and was taught by his father. He studied at Sam Houston State Teachers College and served in the Navy in the 1950s as a member of the band, then played and arranged for Woody Herman (1959–61), Maynard Ferguson (1961–63), and Count Basie (1963–64), Louie Bellson, Harry James, Terry Gibbs, Frank Foster, Henry Mancini, Les Brown (1967–72), and Stan Kenton.

Rader appeared on numerous television programs with various bands and can be seen playing in the trumpet section of The Count Basie Orchestra on the November 10, 1963 episode of The Judy Garland Show.[1] During his time with Count Basie, Rader played on numerous Basie LP releases and is in the trumpet section on Frank Sinatra's original recording of "Fly Me to the Moon" with the Count Basie Orchestra (Reprise, 1964).

He also toured with Della Reese, Sarah Vaughn, Andy Williams, Percy Faith, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis (on and off for 28 years), and Bob Hope (on and off for 28 years including 5 tours of wartime Vietnam).[2]

He assembled his quintet in Los Angeles in 1972 and continued working with West Coast jazz musicians, including Lanny Morgan, Lew Tabackin, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. He recorded prolifically as a leader and worked in music education for many years, including in Australia in the 1980s.

Critic Scott Yanow described Rader as "an excellent straight-ahead bop soloist... a perfect example of a jazz musician who would have been much more famous had he lived in New York during much of his career."[3] In The Age, Leon Gettler wrote, "Rader's use of the mute and his phrasing makes him sound so much like Miles Davis you do a double take. But it's his lyricism, that sense of him telling a story through sound, which adds a distinctiveness that's in its own class."[4]


  • Polluted Tears (DRM, 1973)
  • Now (PBR International, 1976)
  • Don Rader (Now, 1978)
  • Wallflower (Discovery, 1978)
  • Anemone (Jet Danger, 1980)
  • A Foreign Affair (Bellaphon, 1990)
  • Off the Beaten Track (Tall Poppies, 1998)
  • Odyssey (2006)

As sidemanEdit

With Count Basie

With Maynard Ferguson


  1. ^ Hulme, George (2000-09-01). Mel Torme: A Chronicle of His Recordings, Books and Films. McFarland. ISBN 9780786437436.
  2. ^ "The Australian Jazz Agency - Don Rader". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Don Rader". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Don Rader Quartet". Vibrato Grill Jazz. Retrieved 2016-01-08.

External linksEdit