Meet bassist Don Kane, whose clarinet, sax, vocals and bass work grace many Elfenworks Productions past, current and planned releases. After 23 years at NASA, Don has joined us as our Chief Information Security Consultant.
A much sought-after musician, Don has played professionally for many decades. Don joined the Musican’s Union at 14, apprenticing with his father’s band, the Three Beats, a local San Francisco mainstay which appeared at Nick’s Rockaway Beach through the ’50s and ’60s. Don Studied bass with Chuck Rainey and Carol Kaye, clarinet with John Geanacos, and voice with Faith Winthrop. Don added bass to his repertoire while serving with the U.S. Air Force military band during the Vietnam era. After receiving an honorable discharge, he began his days as a touring musician, working with Bob Crosby, Xavier Cugat, Sammy Kaye, Vaughn Monroe and others.
Don was hired as Eddy Arnold’s bass player after Arnold had just won CMA entertainer of the year award. Although Eddy Arnold toured, his band was based in Nashville, where Don appeared on the Grand Ole Opry and also did session work for Eddy and others. It was during this period that Don toured and recorded with the country singer Skeeter Davis. After returning the Bay Area, Don worked with the Cleve Jones Trio, a popular local band, and supported visiting artists including Bob Hope. This is the era in which he began his long collaboration with Val Diamond (formerly a star of Beach Blanket Babylon) and Ross Gualco, who were both with Sounds of Joy. Years later, they were to form the group Crosswinds, which is still performing today. He also sang (baritone) for three years with Masterworks Chorale. He currently plays in various local groups and big bands including the JohnnyCats, the NASA Ames Big Band, Crosswinds, and Commodore Callahan, for whom he has written original melodies, and with whom he enjoys playing fundraisers and awareness-raising concerts for good causes. In addition, Don is also active online as a moderator for badassbassplayers.com.
Don is happiest backing up various groups of any style, because he is informed by his background in classical, jazz, country, and rock. He is often called upon at the last moment, and part of that is because of his strong sight-reading abilities and comfort on-stage. He is forever thankful to pioneering nerve surgeon Dr. Susan MacKinnon and her team at the Center for Advanced Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis for restoring the functionality of his right arm, after a motorcycle accident in 2007.
As is true for so many musicians, Don is also a career technologist. He spent twenty-three years at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where his responsibilities included security plan development and implementation. Don holds a CISSP® certification, a “globally recognized standard of achievement that confirms an individual’s knowledge in the field of information security.” As such, he serves as our Chief Information Security Consultant. Would you like that IT Security with a little bass or clarinet?