More About Donovan

Donovan Mixon M.M.

Guitarist, Composer, Academic, Music Clinician, Author


  • M.M. Jazz/Commercial Music, Manhattan School of Music, 1985
  • B.A. Music Education, Jersey City State College, 1978
    • Permanent K-12 Teaching Certification /Classical Guitar
  • Temple University, 1983
    • Graduate studies, 20th Century Composition & Piano.


  • 2020 – Present: Proprietor, Jazz-Play Studio LTD: Istanbul – Evanston, Il
  • 2020 – Present: Online course: Performance Ear Training. 
  • 2006 – 2010: Jazz-Play Studio (Istanbul)
  • 2000-2006:  Istanbul Bilgi University, Assistant Professor, Vice Chair.
  • 1993 – 1994: Adjunct faculty, D.A.M.S. Universita’ di Bologna Discipline delle Arti.
  • 1993 – 2000: Freelance Performing Artist and Music Clinician (Based in Italy).
  • 1986 – 1993: Berklee College of Music, Assistant/Associate Professor.

    Performance Ear Training Clinics

      • Bahcesehir University, Istanbul – Turkey
      • Robert College, Istanbul – Turkey
      • O.T.A. School of the Arts Singapore
      • Columbia College, Chicago – Il
      • Vandercook College, Chicago – Il
      • Roosevelt University, Chicago – Il
      • CJP (Chicago Jazz Philharmonic) Summer Jazz Camp, Chicago – Il
      • University of Illinois, Chicago – Il
      • Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago – Il
      • Evanston High School Jazz Festival, Evanston – Il
      • New Trier High School Jazz Festival, Northfield – Il
      • Mohawk College, Hamilton – Ontario, Canada
      • Uskadar American School, Istanbul – Turkey (high school)
      • Bilkent University, Ankara – Turkey
      • Scuola Comunale di Musica “G. Sarti”, Faenza – Italy
      • Jazzschule Basel: Basel, Switzerland
      • Scuola di Musica Moderna, Ferrara – Italy
      • Kadir Has University, Istanbul – Turkey
      • Istanbul International Community School, Istanbul – Turkey 
      • Robert College, Istanbul – Turkey
      • Shanghai American School, Shanghai – China
      • Berklee College of Music On the Road Program
      • Nuova Academia di Musica Moderna, Milan – Italy
      • Centro Professione Musica, Milan – Italy



    • 2000, Performance Ear Training, Advance Music 
    • 1996-1999, Nine Joe Diorio solo transcriptions, Casa Musicale Tarasconi s.r.l., Milan
    • 1993 – 2000, Contributing author, Guitar Club Magazine, Milan



    • December 2020, (single) It’s Been Good
    • August 2013, We Play When We Play
    • February 2013, İstanbul’un İzleri (Asena Akan): 
    • 2010 Culmination, Cd Baby
    • 2005, The Dance Of Life, DMC Records, Istanbul
    • 1999, Language Of The Emotions, Philology Records
    • 1995, Lee Konitz, Free With Lee, Philology Records
    • 1993, Look Ma, No Hands!, Philology Records


    Special Projects             

    • 2017, YA novel, Ahgottahandleonit. Cinco Puntos Press
    • July 2011, Short story Buona Sera Tutti, Red Orchre Lit
    • 2010 – 2012, YouTube performance videos: channel Dmix22
    • 2003, Artistic Director, “Kas N’ Jazz”, International Jazz Festival, Kas, Turkey
    • 2001, Language Of The Emotions, Multi-media concert, Koc Alliance Auditorium, Istanbul
    • 2019 – present, Performer AACM, Great Black Music Ensemble



    • 1989, National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz Composition 
    • 1988, Original composition, Culmination performed by the Boston Orchestra and Chorale


    Foreign Languages

    • Italian – fluent
    • Turkish – Functional

    professor years
    happy students
    success stories


    What My Students and Colleagues Say

    “It really works! The course is incredible in that now I’m able to hear the relationships between notes, chords, and keys – where I am in a key center. I imagine in an improvisational context, can map out what others are doing and respond deliberately.”

    Katia Mestrovic
    Classical Harpist

    “As a drummer, I’ve always envied the ability to instantly recognize harmonies, melodies, tension… If it weren’t for Mr. Mixon’s course, harmony would be like math class since I don’t play other instruments. His system helps me hear the harmonic concepts we worked on in the class.”

    Emre Yenson

    “I recommend this method to the serious student who wants to move from point “A” to point “B” in a logical progression of activities for the development of “hearing” on the instrument.”

    Greg Badolato
    Former Department Chair
    Berklee College of Music
    This class has improved my literacy with jazz and music in general. It has really helped me to listen a lot better.
    Dan Evans
    Dan Evanslifelong amateur classical/jazz guitarist
    As for the P.E.T .: it changed my life !!! I was able to sharpen my ear, improve my approach to the instrument, tackle harmonic turns without knowing the songs. Thanks Don for all this !!!
    Massimiliano Macs-Sacs Cobianchi
    Massimiliano Macs-Sacs CobianchiProfessional saxophonist, Ferrara, Italy
    It really sharpened my hearing and understanding of pitch relationships – pitch in general. I find myself much better able to direct my students to harmonic patterns and get them thinking about the underlying chord structures of what they are playing. What you get out of it is ‘refinement’
    Natalia Mann
    Natalia MannClassical and jazz harpist and teacher
    I recommend Donovan Mixon’s Performance Ear Training to all professional drummers. It works! Our most important duty is supporting the band and the key to that is “listening”. Performance Ear Training taught me the importance of that
    Ferit Odman
    Ferit OdmanJazz Drummer & Media star
    Performance Ear Training offers a trustworthy and elegant self study map.(It) has my unequivocal endorsement
    Bill Lowe
    Bill LoweProf.. African American Music and Jazz Studies Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

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