Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Donawa, Andre (Scott)
Donawa, Andre (Scott), electric bassist, sound engineer; b. Bridgetown, Barbados, 5 September 1964. Around the age of one his parents (Martin Donawa and Gloria (Scott) Donawa) moved to Vancouver for 3 years. The family returned to Barbados for about 2 years and then moved to Greneda for 3 years. His formal training started with piano lessons, which all the children (2 brothers and a sister) studied. His sister Marcelle is currently the premier harpist on the island.
It is during this time that he developed most of his understanding of the various roles that each instrument plays in a group. Playing in various church bands created a love for the different instruments in a group and he soon had had own drum kit and trumpet. At the age of 13 he got his first bass and it became his primary instrument. In 1979 he went to St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada for 3 years of high school and another 3 getting his Bsc in Biology. While there he took a number of elective courses in music including one on musique concrete, which in turn led to his fascination with the Echoplex looper as a live tool in his solo gigs.
He returned to Barbados and worked in an accounting firm for a couple years and then went to England to study accounting, satisfying certain family responsibilities. After finishing his Level 2 ACCA, and 6 months away from finishing the coarse, he realized that anything else but music was not satisfying. In order to find more time for music he started his own business, a Comic Book/Video game retail outlet in a local mall. In 1978 he decided to pursue music on a full time basis and enrolled in a program by the Bass Collective in New York. His instructors included bass vituoso John Patitucci.
On his return he joined with trumpet player Paul Hibert, holding down the low end in the group August Moon. The group played regularly at the local jazz spot Waterfront Cafe'. During this time he met Middle Eastern influenced guitarist "Hassan" who had a profound influence on his development. 1999 was the start of his love affair with working in the studio and he soon acquired his own.
In 2000 he opened the Barbados Jazz Festival, opening for Oleta Adams. The musicians on that memorable gig were James Lovell (drums), Andre Daniels (keys), Adrian (keys), Victor Linton (guitar). He also released his first cd " A Dolphin's Dream," at the festival.
In 2001 he took part in the creation of a course developed by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and the Government body for Youth Affairs. The program is called the Youth Achieving Results (YAR). It is geared at targeting kids who have the potential to get into trouble and also have an interest in music, an opportunity to pursue their dreams. It was during this year that he attended a Victor Wooten Bass/Nature camp that inspired him to take the bass into less traditional areas.
Currently he continues to teach the YAR program and is in the studio finishing his second album.