Colin O'Donohoe started his career as a professional jazz drummer but has more recently focused on world music. He's released two albums to date under the name Donohoe: Shi Jing: Ancient Book of Songs and Songs of the Saints, both of which can be found at CDBaby and other stores listed at the end of the article.
He's interviewed here courtesy of Ariel Publicity.
Where are you from? I was born in Rochester, N.Y. My family (wife, two kids) and I have been traveling the country for the last year. We are now in Paris, Texas. For how long? We're not sure.
How does living there affect your songwriting? I am greatly influenced by the people I meet. Ultimately, music is communication. So, living here in Paris I've been inspired to learn more about traditional country music like Earl Scruggs, and others.
How long have you been playing, and what was your first instrument? I've been playing music for about 18 years. My first instrument was snare drum and xylophone.
What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music? I've been told by various ethnic groups of people (Brazilians, Cubans, Turks, Ghanaians, Chinese) that I play like one of them. I like the feeling that I can adapt and play music in a foreign style well enough to gain their approval.
I really love learning new styles of music and give it as much respect as I can. I try to learn about the origins and traditional techniques first before learning the contemporary practices.
What are your main musical influences? Sting, Mozart, Miles Davis, Billy Strayhorn, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, The Chieftans, Beastie Boys, U2, and various ethnic music from around the world.
What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying? I've been listening to Toumani Diabete a lot right now. I've also been listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan since coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Have you seen any great live shows lately? The Wiggles.
What was the first album you ever bought? Cinderella's Night Songs and Genesis' Invisible Touch -- bought them the same day in third grade!
(Editor's note: Genesis' "The Brazilian," from that album, is one of the finest pieces of instrumental rock music ever recorded. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a ... big dumb dummy.)
First concert you ever attended? Clancy Brothers (I was little, probably 4 or 5), and my dad always took me to the RPO (Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra).
Are you working on any music right now? Yes! I'm writing some random songs in various forms. Plus, I'm working on my third album, which is inspired by the Buddhist sutras. Finally, I'm working hard on putting a new large international ensemble together.
What's your favorite artist and album? Sting. Ten Summoner's Tales.
What is your favorite physical record store? The Record Archive in Rochester, N.Y.
What is your favorite movie? Office Space.
Chocolate or vanilla? Swirl.
You have $5 to spend on dinner. What are you eating? Pizza or soup, depending on what city I'm in.
What's your favorite magazine to read? Money.
What do you think is the most alarming media story in the last few months? Lack of stories about substance and prolific writing about nonsense.
Do you support any specific charities, and how do you give back as an artist? As an artist, I have a pulpit from which I can speak about cooperation and collaboration between groups. I feel it a mission of mine to help others find ways of co-habitating peacefully and prosperously.
Charities that I support: Salvation Army, and other nonprofits that ask and whom I believe in.
Have you read any great books lately? Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
What gets you up in the morning? My kids.
What keeps you awake at night? My kids.
What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten? Lao food ... so many different things. Did you know they have something called "boom boom juice?" I've yet to have some, but I will. :)
What's your favorite website to get music information or news? Besides yours? iTunes.
Editor's note: Aw, shucks. :)
Your press kit says you were performing Turkish and Arabic music when 9/11 occurred. Are you planning to record and release an album of music in that vein? I'd love to, but there aren't any immediate plans for it.
Donohoe's music may be purchased at his Web site, at CDBaby (click album icons to get to their respective pages at that site), on Amazon or at iTunes.
Donohoe - Shi Jing: Ancient Book of Songs
Donohoe - Songs of the Saints