Don Crisp




Don Crisp was born in Chicago and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He started taking piano lessons at the age of six from an aunt who wanted him to play in church. When Don was eight his father, Maurice, bought him an alto saxophone, and by the time he was 15 was proficient with the clarinet, electric bass and drums. All this musical activity in high school led to a music scholarship at the University of Memphis. After leaving college in 1989 he relocated to California, and it was there, in the San Francisco Bay Area, that he began using his musical skills to make his own music. Subsequently, he became a keyboardist for prolific Jamaican reggae artists such as Pablo Moses, The Mighty Diamonds, Frankie Paul, The Itals, and Foundation. He also accompanied them on extensive tours of the U.S, Canada, and Europe. It was in the Bay Area that he first experienced house music and other forms of electronic dance music. He was greatly influenced by what he heard and by the mid- 90s had started his own label, Crisp Records, initially releasing material with fellow San Francisco musician and DJ, Chris Lum. He put out three EPS on the imprint before moving on to other projects. The label had been quiet since the late ‘90s, but in the summer of 2011 Don revived it, renaming it Crisp Recordings, and began a collaboration with legendary Bay Area producer, Guy Nado AKA DJ Rasoul. This collaboration has spawned 14 releases on Crisp, which have found success on dance floors across the globe and in the top 100 charts on Tracksource. At a time when the vast majority of dance releases are minimalist and lacking any real sense of emotional content or arrangement, Don’s work brings some much needed fun and funk into the equation.