As a prime mover on New York’s downtown “No Wave” scene in the early 1980s, Tomas Doncker cut his teeth as a guitarist with such genre-busting groups as James Chance & The Contortions, Defunkt, J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz and many more. Eventually he went international, touring and recording in Japan with jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, and producing studio and songwriting sessions with Boosty Collins, Yoko Ono, jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe and Grammy-winning producer Prince Charles Alexander, to name just a few. Since then, Doncker has continued to work with an A-list of iconic musicians, including Ivan Neville (on his solo album Thanks), Bonnie Raitt, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour lead singer Corey Glover, former P-Funk keyboardist Amp Fiddler…and the list keeps growing… Read more
In 2008, he produced and released Inside Out, featuring his band with percussionist Daniel Sadownick and bassist Booker King, and followed that with The Mercy Suite, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. In 2010, Doncker performed for the first time in China as a headlining act at the Shanghai Folk Festival, and in front of an audience of over 100,000 as part of the Shanghai World Expo.
His latest work as a singer/songwriter and producer embraces a broader musical vision that he likes to call “global soul,” drawing influences from numerous sources, including East and West Africa and the Caribbean. Small World is the flagship release on his own label, True Groove Records (distributed by Sony/RED), and will be followed by Power of the Trinity, a meditation on the legacy of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, featuring legendary bassist/producer Bill Laswell, Ethiopian singer Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibabaw, Senegalese percussionist Aiyb Dieng, saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, electro-dub specialist Dr.Israel, and a host of New York’s finest jazz, funk and rock musicians.
01 – Tomas Doncker feat. Gigi & Bill Laswell – Conscience Of The World (Small World Pt. 1, 2011 )
02 – Tomas Doncker feat. Peter Apfelbaum & Selam Woldermariam – Ethiopian War Chant (Power of The Trinity, 2012)
03 – Tomas Doncker feat. Bill Laswell & Selam Woldermariam – Peace Is Not Fiction (Power of The Trinity, 2012)
Background music during the interview:
Tomas Doncker – Heart Full Of Blue, Bill Laswell – Work Song, Defunkt – Illusion, Boogie Down Productions – Poetry, LeVert – Just Coolin’, Tomas Doncker feat. Tsegaye Selassie – Blood Is Not Enough, Bill Laswell – Simulacra