Don Thompson, pianist, bassist, vibraphonist, drummer, composer, arranger, recording engineer, was born in Powell River. After childhood piano lessons he took up the string bass and the vibraphone in his teens. He is essentially self-taught on all instruments. In Vancouver 1960-5 he was sideman to Chris Gage (playing bass or vibraphone) and Dave Robbins (bass) and accompanied the visiting US jazzmen Barney Kessel, John Handy, and others in local nightclubs. With the drummer Terry Clarke he joined Handy's quintet in the USA in 1965, touring widely and making two LPs, one of which, Live at Monterey, was among the most popular jazz recordings of the 1960s.
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