Saxophonist Don Ward aka Don “Juan” Ward is an accomplished professional musician known for his versatility and soulful sound. He has had the honor to perform and or record with a variety Grammy Award winning Icons from rock, soul, pop and gospel genres such as: Neal Schon (guitar) and Jonathan Cain (piano) of Journey, and Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. In addition, he has had the opportunity to play with soul legends such as: The Temptations – Glen Leonard, The Spinners – G.C. Cameron, Shalimar – Howard Hewett, Brass Construction- Dru Hill singer, Jazz , Neo Soul artist, Bilal and Atlantic Starr. Don was added to play sax during “The Sound Of Philadelphia” tour featuring: The O’Jays , Jerry Butler, The Delfonics, Eddie Holman, The Jones Girls, The Intruders, Russell Thompkins Jr. & the New Stylistics, and Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes.
Don played with many jazz greats in the area including Grover Washington Jr., Pieces of a Dream, Dr. Lonnie Liston, Christian McBride, Joey DeFrancesco, and Derrick Hodge. Don has also shared the stage with gospel legends such as CeCe Winans, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Beverly Crawford, Benny Hinn, J. Moss, Donald Lawrence, Byron Cage, Traimaine Hawkins, and Ernest Pughe.
Don Ward grew up in South Jersey where he gained an interest in music. He began playing the sax in sixth grade. Later, Don was accepted into the High School for Creative & Performing Arts in Philadelphia. He was awarded the 1st Count Basie Jazz Scholarship from Count Basies’ daughter. Moreover, he was accepted into the PA Governors School, the All City Jazz Band, and the Settlement Music School Sextet.
Later, his talents led him to travel to the Miami Florida area where he graduated from the University Of Miami earning a Bachelor of Music Degree. Mr. Ward would often play on cruise ships in between summer semesters. He was the Musical Director on the Discovery Cruise Ship sailing between Port Everglades Florida and the Bahamas.
Don Ward returned to his roots in the Philadelphia area where played professionally. He recalls playing for Joe Biden and Beau Biden. Don Ward has appeared on many television shows such as the Comcast Sports Network TV Talk Show – “MONDAY NIGHT LIVE” with host Michael Barkann and Ron Burke, “The Early Show” with Dave Price, and on Fox’s “Good Day Philadelphia.” Don was even in a CBS movie called “Dreams” where he wrote several songs.
Aside from recording for other artists, Don Ward achieved some recognition on his own solo recordings, writing and producing. His “Dreaming” CD was placed on the 52nd Annual GRAMMY AWARDS Nomination Ballad (Multiple Categories 2010.) His second CD, “Broken” was placed on the 54th Annual GRAMMY AWARDS Nomination Ballad in (Multiple Categories 2012.)
Don remains humble in the pursuit of his dreams and artistic excellence. He believes the best is yet to come!