Music has always been Don?s love
BY THE time Don Burrows was six years old he had played with some of the biggest names in the jazz world ? and he hadn't even left his loungeroom.
"From the age of three, I had my mum's comb and a tissue and I would play with the best bands in the world," the Australian jazz legend said at the Jetty Theatre yesterday.
"I sat in front of the speaker for hours and hours with that comb and tissue. I realise now that I learnt so much from playing with the likes of Duke Ellington."
This early start resulted in Don playing his first professional performance at the tender age of 13 ? just three weeks after he acquired his first clarinet.
By 16, Don was the principle clarinet for the ABC band, playing alongside professional musicians three and four times older.
"I was a kid and here were these musicians in their late 60s," Don said.
"I was the butt of all the jokes."
While Don's prowess with the clarinet, flute and saxophone is unquestioned, it is his other great passion ? photography ? that has brought him to Coffs Harbour this time around.
Tonight, Don will open his photography exhibition ? 'Stop, Look and Listen' ? at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, before giving a performance with master pianist Kevin Hunt at the Jetty Theatre tomorrow night.
For Don, his love of photography is as natural as his love for music.
"They belong so beautifully together. If you gave me my clarinet, my camera, a fishing rod and a golf club, then I would have all that I want in life," he said.
Split tickets for tonight's opening and tomorrow's performance are $35 and available by phoning 6652 4697.