Bassist, composer, teacher, sideman, and bandleader Jim Donica has performed and recorded with some of the finest artists in the world. He can be heard on landmark recordings such as Maynard Ferguson’s, “Big Bop Nouveau,” the soundtrack recording of “Permanent Record,” “Trash City” with Punk Rocker Joe Strummer, and with MCA recording artists The David Becker Tribune, on “Long Peter Madsen” and “Siberian Express.” His long-standing and ongoing gig with the legendary Chita Rivera has taken him around the world.
In addition to teaching both upright and electric bass, Jim also coaches jazz tap dancers. He has mentored many fine musicians who have gone on to have careers in music and has helped students of all abilities foster their love of music. Through his friendship with jazz tap dancer Heather Cornell, Jim learned that he enjoys working with tap students on musicality, time, feel, and repertoire and works with students from all over the world.
Donica completed a Jazz Studies degree and received a Performance Certificate from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington. While there, he played in the 20th Century Be Bop Band for Jazz Legend David Baker. Afterward, Donica set out for New York where he continued his professional pursuit of jazz and improvisation, creating his own groups and collaborations such as Urban Survival – put out two recordings and toured nationally – as well as the Jim Donica Group, (Apria Records) featuring Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker, Bruce Barth, Frank Kimbrough, and Tim Armacost as well as the group, Quantum Mechanics.
On Broadway, he’s held the bass chair in Chita Rivera’s, “The Dancers Life”; Kander and Ebb’s, “The Visit” and in “Allegiance” with George Takei and Lea Salonga. Donica has also performed with the Broadway productions of “Avenue Q,” “Evita,” “If Then,” and “Cats.”
Donica lives in the upstate NY hamlet of Rosendale with his wife along with his trusty hound. He loves and is inspired by the beautiful Hudson Valley. He is an official endorser of Overwater Basses, UK.