Don Alias, Percussionist
Don Alias attended Gannan College studying
medicine and later went to Boston to study biochemistry.
During this time he met Tony Williams and Chick Corea
and played bass in a Latin jazz group with Tony, Chick
and congero Bill Fitch. His first professional engagement
was with the Eartha Kitt dance troupe performing with
the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band of 1957.
He learned most of his craft on the streets
of New York associating with other percussionists who
studied Afro-Cuban drumming.
Don joined Nina Simone and became the
Musical Director during the last of his three years with
her group. In the band was bassist Gene Perla who he later
went on with to co-lead the group Stone Alliance. His
association with Miles Davis came during the "Bitches
Brew" 1969-70 period. After making this historic
recording, he went on the road with Miles for a year.
During his long and varied career, Don
has enjoyed stints playing trap drums with Blood, Sweat
& Tears and Mongo Santamaria, and as a percussionist
with Joni Mitchell, Sting and all of Jaco Pastorious'
Presently he is re-instituting his group
Stone Alliance. In the past, Stone Alliance has toured
South America, Europe, and the U. S. and have 4 albums
to their credit. The current members of the power trio
are Don, drums and percussion, Gene Perla, electric bass,
and Mitch Stein, electric guitar.