Event Details

Donny McAslin + special guest support from Kevin Armstrong
with Kevin Armstrong
Sat October 26, 2024 3:30 pm BST (Doors: 3:30 pm )
The Engine Room , The Old Maltings Building, North Shields
Ages 18 and Up
Donny McCaslin is best known as the saxophonist on David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar. The noted composer and bandleader has released a dozen albums over his genre-defying, Grammy-nominated career.

McCaslin began playing at age 12, and as a teenager, performed in his vibraphonist father's band in Santa Cruz. By high school, he had appeared multiple times at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

After attending Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, McCaslin became a sought-after player in New York City. David Bowie saw McCaslin perform as soloist for the Maria Schneider Orchestra and brought in McCaslin’s progressive jazz quartet that came to define Blackstar's visionary stylistic fusion. As David Hadju wrote in The Nation, “Donny McCaslin was David Bowie’s David Bowie.”

In turn, Bowie influenced McCaslin, who fused alt-rock and jazz on his first album with lyrics, 2018’s BLOW.

Donny comes to The Engine Room late afternoon to discuss his work and in particular his work with David Bowie.


Kevin met David Bowie in late 1984, and worked with him on various projects including putting together his band and performing at the legendary Live Aid show at Wembley in July 1985, adding to the first Tin Machine lineup and co-writing songs including the title song for Bowie's Outside 1 album.

David Bowie introduced Kevin to Iggy Pop as guitarist on the the 1986 album Blah Blah Blah and Kevin became Iggy's bandleader in 86/87. He put together Iggy's touring band again from 2014 until 2019.

He has 4 decades of unique and wholly incomparable experience working with some of the biggest names in music

Kevin has worked with Morrissey, Grace Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, Prefab Sprout, Thomas Dolby, Transvision Vamp Brian Eno, Paul McCartney, Sandie Shaw, Gil Evans, Alien Sex Fiend, Keziah Jones and many many more.

Kevin will be at The Engine Room in the afternoon to read from his biography Absolute Begineer, and he may give us a couple of examples of his superb guitar wrok too.

Donny McCaslin Group
Kevin Armstrong