Meet the Grammy nominated Junkman
Donald Knaack hails from the United States, but now calls the fair shores of Brixham his home. The Shorely met up with Donald to find out about his Grammy nominated work as 'The Junkman' and new life right here in Torbay.
Donald Knaack is a classically trained percussionist, graduating from the Manhattan School of Music. Over time, he's developed a new kind of Junk Music based upon the sounds of found objects; finding encouragement and direction from his mentor and collaborator, the legendary John Cage. Before long, and long before the eco movement existed, The Junkman as they call him, was playing exclusively on recycled materials, composing music forged by their unique timbres, and guided by the artistic mantra, “tools that are no good require more skill”.
His album Junk Music was nominated for a Grammy Award, and he's performed at the Lincoln Center, The Van’s Warped Tour with Eminem, Black Eyed Peas and Blink 182 no less!, The United Nations, The Kennedy Center, Sundance Film Festival, concerts with Phish, Seoul Drum Festival, Summer Series Dubai and a solo concert at the United Nation’s COP 16 Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, where he was awarded the “Cantando por el Planeta” award by the Federal Government of Mexico for is HOP (Help Our Planet) environmental education program for schools.
His music teaches us to be kind to Mother Earth and each other, and that's why you'll often see him working with young people. In schools and colleges, Junk Music allows Donald to develop an education methodology for teaching basic music rhythm, meter, and timely eco-messages simultaneously. He advocates that this method empowers students to make small, habit-changing steps that lead to huge, planet-changing outcomes.
The Junkman celebrates Earth Day every year with a Global Junkjam with students and musicians all over the world using Google Plus Hangouts. This year and for the first time ever, the Global Junkjam will be hosted in the UK, live from Grinagog Festival (20-22 April 2018) at Torre Abbey in Torquay. Donald will be Master Percussionist, leading not only the Global Junkjam, but also a series of concerts and workshops.