Knaack, Donald

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Donald Knaack


Born: July 04, 1947

Country: Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.

Studies: University of Louisville (B.M.Ed.1969), Manhattan School of Music (M.M.1973)

Teachers: Arnie Lang, Paul Price, Ed Shaughnessy


Donald Knaack (aka The Junkman) is a classically trained percussionist and composer who has used recycled materials as his instruments of music since long before the eco-green movement was cool. He calls it Junk Music™ and it all began with his mentor and collaborator, John Cage. He’s performed at Lincoln Center, The Van’s Warped Tour, The United Nations, Sundance Film Festival, concerts with Phish, Seoul Drum Festival, Summer Series Dubai, many schools and colleges 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 HOP program was also a recipient of the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

His music has been used in major television commercials for The NBA, ESPN and Electronic Arts. He and his music have been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News, National Public Radio, BBC, Associated Press and a front page story in Billboard magazine.

He is currently developing a children’s television show about music and the environment called Junk Music with The Junkman and premiered his new one man musical/visual extravaganza entitled BEAT IT! with The Junkman during the summer of 2012 in Manchester, VT.[1]

Works for Percussion

... for John CageVibraphone
In the Space of TimePercussion Quartet; With Tape
Morning Ceremony – Percussion Quartet; Voice
Music for Marimba (Knaack)Marimba
Reflections (Duo)Percussion Duo
Reflections (Solo)Multiple Percussion; With Tape