Don Gibbons was born and raised in the city of Timmins in Northern Ontario. He began playing music at 12 years old, first on several brass instruments, then he found his voice on drums when he was 15. Three years later at18, he started his professional career, joining a full time road band that worked the Ontario club circuit. Since the band was centered out of Toronto, Don moved there and went on to spend ten years playing jazz and rhythm and blues, working with many artists in the Toronto area, as well as extensive touring in northeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Among many other projects, those years included some time in Detroit and the Michigan area with Hamilton based The Rich and Poor, as well as playing drums in groups led by Canadian musical icons such as Kelly Jay, Bill King and George Olliver. Don was also a regular in several B3 combos, usually with jazz organist Carleton Vaughan.
Don and his family now live in Ottawa Ontario where he remains extremely active in the jobbing circuit, playing a variety of music. His personal project is the Don Gibbons Quintet. As well as performing many times in the Ottawa International Jazz Festival where it specializes in post bop styles, the quintet also plays club dates and corporate events where the repertoire becomes based more on jazz standards. For jazz, Don’s cymbals of choice are the Soultone Vintage Series. Their darker sound is perfect for Don’s approach to jazz. Just the right amount of “stick”, balanced by great tone, but with enough wash to afford a perfect level of sizzle when riveted.
Don plays with several R@B ensembles, but his favorite is a hard driving group called the Hurricanes, with a repertoire that ranges from blues to funk and that always delivers a high energy, yet tight performance. For rhythm and blues, Don prefers the awesome and spectacular Soultone Gospel Series. Nothing beats their pure tone and crisp sound. They afford great tonal centers that allow for amazing “top end” intervals and expand a drummer’s musical choices They cut at all volume levels, are never overbearing and never “wash out”.
Current set ups are:
Jazz Rhythm and Blues
20” Vintage Ride 20” Gospel Ride
20” Vintage Ride (Rivets) 18” Gospel Crash (Rivets)
18” Vintage Crash (Rivets) 17” Gospel Crash
16” Vintage Crash 16” Gospel Crash
14” Vintage Hats 16” Gospel Crash
14” Gospel Hats
17” FXO Crash