As a young saxophonist growing up in Nova Scotia, I had the wonderful opportunity of studying with Donnie. He was a big factor in my decision to chase my musical dreams. "You have to hang with like-minded people" comes to mind when I think back to those lessons. When I moved to Toronto and needed
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I first met Donnie in 1978 when he started at Dalhousie. I was in my 2nd year of a B.Sc. on my planned path to becoming a doctor, and was playing music just on the side in the local bar scene. “You can’t make a good living playing music” was my thinking at the time (and that of many others). I h
I just want to say thank you, to everyone who spoke and for everyone present at today's gathering, for holding space so that we could all share and feel together. It's without a doubt I wouldn't be the person or musician I am today without him. Still to do this day, whenever I walk down Dovercourt I
The first time that I met Don was at a Mike Murley show at a hotel at Robie & Quinpool. We were introduced by Susan Hunter, who said, "You HAVE to meet Donnie!" and I fell in love with him immediately. The next day, he insisted on buying me lunch at an amazing Middle Eastern restaurant across from t
When I first met Don, It was like winning the Atlantic Lotto. Imagine my luck moving to Halifax to attend Dalhousie and getting to study with a Jazz legend. It was like moving to New York without the overpriced roach infested apartment. Donnie's playing was stellar. His technique allowed him to impr
I recently posted this on my Facebook account. One of the proudest moments of my life was when Don Palmer told my father that I was one of his favourite students. I studied 4 years of jazz saxophone at Dalhousie University and Don Palmer was my saxophone professor. He was a Canadian jazz legend an
I just found this old recording of Don and I playing "She's Funny That Way" at the Halifax Jazz Fest, maybe 20 years ago? I know the late great Doug Riley is on piano and David Occhipinti is on guitar but not sure about bass and drums. It is nice to have this.
Barb your brother was so cool and I was very happy to find out that Cape Breton and Nova Scotia were more than Celtic music. Many happy memories of his work. I remember the first Jazz fest in hfx outside TUNS. Hope you carry his memories forward. What a talented family :)
Around 1980, I was commissioned to create the score for a short film. I needed a versatile wind player, and an affordable studio. But I hadn’t been in Nova Scotia long yet, and didn’t know many wind players, or studios. Several musician friends suggested I contact Don. And it turned out that
What a beautifully moving tribute today to a beautiful human being in so many ways. I of course was lucky to grow up in Halifax as a young musician and although I didn’t have a lot of formal lessons with Don, he definitely influenced me as a young musician. Lots of ways. Of course anytime he was pla
It would have been around 1976, Donny playing with Eddie MacDonald and Red Mike at the bandshell in Wentworth Park, Sydney. Just a short walk from 70 South Bentick, home of the Palmer clan, all of us at the park that night to listen to the show. I remember being in awe of the sounds coming from that
Don spoke very eloquently on the subject of duo playing at the Music Room in Halifax on Feb. 8, 2003. He was there to introduce Mike Murley and me for a concert, and Don said some lovely words about interacting musically. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to interact musically with him over t