Don Alder

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Hailed as one of the best guitarists in Canada, his unique style of playing incorporates fingerpicking with simultaneous percussion on the soundboard to create a wall of sound. His music is his own unique weave of deeply textured melody and story. Lyrical and compelling, his original songs are notes of exploration.

"We are extremely proud to have Don as a National Endorsee. We recognize that Don is at the forefront of the ‘new fingerstyle’ movement and look forward to a long relationship with this mind blowing guitarist.” - Yamaha Guitars Canada

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Don Alder is a Canadian guitarist, singer and recording artist who resides in Vancouver, BC.  His unique style of playing incorporates fingerpicking with simultaneous percussion on the soundboard.  Don’s music is his own unique combination of deeply textured melody and rythm.  He is a master at creating percussive music on the guitar.  He is also known as one of Canada's best acoustic and harp guitarist, and whose videos have been viewed tens of thousands of times on youtube.

Don has done what few guitarists have ever achieved—he has won noteable guitar competitions, including: International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, Guitar Player Magazine Guitar Superstar Competition, and U.K. Guitar Idol, as well as being on Canadas Got Talent.  He is one of the elite and sought after world class fingerstyle guitarists. His jaw-dropping guitar style puts him on the bus with such players as Tommy Emmanuel, Pat Donahue, and many others. What separates him, though, is his combination of warm vocals and powerful guitar prowess.

Don has performed in Asia, Europe, and across North America.  He has shared the stage with other world class performers, and is currently a member of EXTREME Guitar Duo with American guitarist Keith Knight.  Don is endorsed by Yamaha Guitars International, Dean Markley Strings, and several other music manufacturers.

Don is also inextricably linked to the Rick Hansen Foundation in Canada.  As a teenager, he and Hansen were involved in a car accident in which both were thrown from the back of a flatbed truck.  Hansen suffered a severe spinal injury rendering him paralyzed from the waste down. Don suffered only minor injuries.

In 1985, Don put his music career on hold for over 2 years to assist Hansen in what would later be called the Man in Motion Tour in which Hansen wheelchaired across over 30 countries to create awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. In concert, Don plays, sings, and tells stories related to Hansen’s tragic and inspriational story.

Don's residency work includes clinics and workshops on various styles of playing guitar.  He also offers outreach residencies to communities in need.  Don is also an inspirational lecturer on people with disabilities creating awareness for their unending potential to achieve any goal.

One presenter, the Montreal Guitar Show, was quoted in reference to Don: "To listen to him, you'd swear there were four guitarist laying down those melodies. His technique is impeccable." In 2005, Don released Cool Tunes, an instrumental recording that received rave reviews.. In 2010, he released the CD Not a Planet, which was nominated for a Juno.

"Don Alder wowed the audience at Opening Ceremony of Interdependence 2012 – Global SCI Conference attended by other 500 delegates from 22 countries. In fact, the crowd responded so positively we invited him back to play at the Closing Ceremony. Don’s unique talent, excellent execution and high energy performance was greatly appreciated." - Nancy Thompson Director, 25th Anniversary, Special Projects Rick Hansen Foundation

"I have been coordinating the entertainment at the Harmony Arts Festival for over 10 years and it gives me great pleasure in booking the best talents that BC has to offer. Throughout the years Don Alder has performed at the Festival countless times and always delivers an amazing performance. The audience delights in the passion of his playing and in sharing the gift of this world-class guitarist. This year, once again, Don’s set was very well received and he continues to be professional and easy to work with. I would highly recommend Don for any Festival or event and look forward to working with him again in the future." - Jodi Smith, Artistic Director, JLS Entertainment

"Don Alder has presented workshops at the festival in 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2012, he was a featured performing of the closing concert, one of the highlights of the three-day festival. His energy, amicable personality, and creative performance certainly inspired many. I would highly recommed Don to other art festival organizers." - Don Hlus, Music Department, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

"We were thrilled to have Don Alder present at our Public Salon with several other community leaders like our former Governor General Michaelle Jean. He wowed the audience with his outstanding musical abilities and adeptness with his guitar. We have received so many positive comments about his presentation, both verbal and musical. We were also pleased that Don's presence stimulated a greater attendance at our event and brought a new audience to what we do." - Sam Sullivan, Founder, Global Civic

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Program Formats:

• Standard Concerts: Don Alder, solo, two (2) sets (50/35 min.) with intermission. Early shows and late shows also available which consist of two (2) concerts, four (4) sets.

• Don Alder Variety Concert: Don Alder in concert solo, and with other musicians, two (2) sets (50/35 min.) with intermission. Early shows and late shows also available which consist of two (2) concerts, four (4) sets.

• Festivals: Concert format within the parameters of the presenter. Workshops included (max. two (2) per day).

• Residencies: include but are not limited to demonstrations, workshops, master classes, lectures (download any workshop manual here)

• Lectures: Appropriate for college undergraduate music and business majors: two (2) hour lecture (download Synopsis or curriculum here).

• Corporate Events

• House Concerts: Same as Standard Concert within the parameters of the presenter.

Venue Size

• Typical audience capacity is between 300 and 600; larger for festivals.

Venue Types

• Performing Arts Centers, Theatres, Festivals, larger listening rooms.


• All ages





03/07/2014 - 03/08/2013

Torrance Cultural Arts Center

Torrance, CA

05/29/2014 - 06/01/2014

T.H.E. Show Newport

Newport Beach, CA


Capstone Concert

Rochester, MN

See full schedule at Pollstar


Stage must be raised, covered rain or shine, and be no less than 20’ wide by 20’ deep.

Risers at back of stage needed for rack, mixers, etc., to reach hip level or higher.

If stage is portable, it must meet Performer’s requirements.

Stage must be in place prior to agreed Performer set up time.


Three (3) working 110 outlet (20 amp) back and front of stage.

Sound Reinforcement System

Board must have minimum 16 input mixing console and use phantom power.

Equalizer with three (3) bands of equalization per channel with phantom power (min. 48v).

Outboard equalizers for house and monitors (31 or 27 band preferred).

Professional main house driver speakers with sub cabinets and sufficient power amplifiers (min. 450 wt per channel).

Three (3) floor monitors.

High-quality reverb unit for house.

Snake on stage with minimum 16 inputs.

Sufficient high quality XLR cables.

Two (2) standard microphone stands (with booms).

One (1) small microphone stand (with boom).


Four (4) sturdy guitar stands.

One (1) guitar amplifier (2 x 12” speaker cabinet w/ built in amp/preamp).

High quality microphone cables for all mics.

Sound Techs

At least one (1) qualified sound technician for sound check and performance.

Downloadable Tech Sheet with Plot

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