Donald Malloy’s eclectic approach to music is one best described as unique. Raised in an environment where music was as much a part of life as breathing, Donald developed his musical identity like a child goes through his adolescent years.
Growing up in the Ifa tradition, Donald’s first musical experience was with traditional “African Praise Music” playing the drums and singing. Later he learned to play the trumpet through the Cleveland Hts. School system and quickly gravitated toward jazz. By the age of 18 Donald had performed with Terence Blanchard, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Bobby Watson, and Winard Harper. After graduating Cleveland Hts. High and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously, Donald was awarded a scholarship at the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory. There he studied with jazz greats like Marcus Belgrave, Billy Hart, and Gary Bartz.
While pursuing his studies Donald continued to demonstrate his musical talents. He performed with such greats such as, Gerald Wilson, Billy Hart, Marcus Belgrave, Jimmy Heath, Eric Lewis, Frank Foster, Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Byrd and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra to name a few. It was at this time that Donald became aware of his gift for composition. He was commissioned to compose the piece Stark Winters for the independent film Man Cry. He also composed a four movement suite for the Jazz Heritage Orchestra entitled Spirit of New Orleans.
Upon graduating from Oberlin, Donald furthered his education as a graduate student at Rutgers University. There he was mentored by, the legendary William Fielder. Since his move to New York City, Donald has had the honor of performing with such greats as Geri Allen, Victor Lewis, Frank Lacey, Michele Rosewoman, Cecil Brooks III, Mike Mossman, The Drifters, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, and Frank Sinatra Jr. Donald, also will be in the new film by producer Michael Hausman (The Firm, Broke Back Mountain, Amadeus) called Downtown Express where his song Juanita from his new album The Mothers will be heard.
In March of 2009, Donald released his debut album Spiritualtiy with his cutting edge band SIGHT. Here, he has revisited his spiritual roots, combining the music for the Orisha (African deities of the Yoruba people) and jazz. Each song on the album embodies different aspects of the Spirit, be it love, femininity, masculinity, aggression, destiny or wisdom. These energies represent different aspects of God, and through this music, the creator is praised. SIGHT has recorded their second album which was released in March of 2011 called, The Mothers.
Now residing in Brooklyn, New York, Donald continues to push forward. He is always being inspired and is determined to transcend boundaries. Like life, Donald’s music grows with each new experience. “A person can never lay stagnant. You either move onward and upward or downward and backward.”