don's Bio
don's Bio

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Bridges To Bliss

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don bridges

An innovative songwriter and energetic musical performer for audiences of all ages, don bridges started writing songs in 1976 and continues to study or share the stage with many of the nation's finest songwriters and musicians. In May 2001, don made the career change from part-time to full-time musician.  He performed a total of 472 times in 2004 and appeared at 634 performances in 2005, then surpassed that with an amazing 718 shows in 2006, an astounding 753 performances in 2007, another 654 gigs in 2008, 577 live performances in 2009, 444 shows in 2010, 497 gigs in 2011, and 523 live appearances in 2012.  Through his special passion for childrens music, mister don has emerged as one of the mid-Atlantic region's best-loved family entertainers and music teachers for young children.  He received the Washington Area Music Assocation Wammie award for Childrens Vocalist for both 2004 and 2005 and the Children's Artist Wammie award for 2006.  Overall, don has been honored with 21 Wammie nominations.  During his nineteen years as a member of the Songwriters Assocation of Washington, don served on the SAW Board for eight years, including three as President of the organization.


Year: 2006.  Title: Shooka-la-la!  Artist: mister don.  Description: Children's music.  Format: CD.  Includes: 6 songs.  Recognition: Childrens Artist Wammie award.

Year: 2004.  Title: An Ardmore Afternoon.  Artist: don bridges.  Description: Contemporary Folk.  Format: CD.  Includes: 13 original songs.  Recognition: Wammie nomination.

Year: 2003.  Title: Alive & Kickin with mister don.  Artist: don bridges.  Description: Children's music.  Format: VHS.  Includes: 17 songs.  Recognition: Wammie nomination.

Year: 2001.  Title: mister don.  Artist: don bridges.  Description: Children's music.  Format: CD.  Includes: 25 songs.  Recognition: Released too late for consideration for 2001 Wammies.

Year: 1997.  Title: Totally for Kids.  Artist: Bridges To Bliss.  Description: Children's music.  Format: Cassette.  Includes: 13 songs.  Recognition: No Childrens Recording category in 1997 Wammies.

Year: 1996.  Title: Kids' Songs!  Artist: Bridges To Bliss.  Description: Children's music.  Format: Cassette.  Includes: 10 songs.  Recognition: Wammie nomination.

Year: 1995.  Title: How'm I Gonna Get a Drink of Water?  Artist: don bridges.  Description: Children's music.  Format: Cassette.  Includes: 2 songs.  Recognition: Wammie nomination.

Performance Venues

don has performed all over the Washington, D.C. Metro area, Delmarva, and beyond:

Alexandria:  Art on the Avenue, Arts Safari, Ben Brenman Park, Burke Library, Cameron Perks, Carlyle House, Chinquapin Recreation Center, Christmas in April Picnic, Del Ray Coffeehouse, Del Ray Street Festival, Family Fall Festival, First Night Alexandria, Generous George's, George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Laughing Lizard Lounge, Lunch Bunch Concerts, Music at Twilight Concerts, Old Town Arts & Crafts Fair, Paul Spring Retirement Community, Red Cross Waterfront Festival, Saint Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church, Saint Martin de Porres Elderly Services, Saint Michael's Episcopal Church, Scottish Christmas Walk, and St. Elmo's Coffee Pub.

Arlington:  Aladdin's Lamp Children's Bookstore, Brighton Gardens, Cassatts Cafe, Cowboy Cafe, Emeritus at Arlington, Lebanese Taverna, Luna Park Grille, Molly Malone's, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Upton Hill Regional Park, Westover Village Halloween Toddler Parade, and Whitlow's on Wilson.

Berlin:  Beary Best Child Care Center, Berlin Coffee House, Berlin Library, Carmella's Kids Learning Center, Friends Forever Learning Center, Little Bears and Sunflowers Learning Center, Ocean Pines Community Center, SonRise Church, and Stephen Decatur Park.

Bowie:  Center for the Performing Arts, Folk Art Studio Cafe, and Year of the Rabbit Coffee Pub.

Centreville:  Austin Grill, Border Cafe, Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville Day, Dunkin Donuts, E.C. Lawrence Park, Fioras Ristorante, Jamies General Bean, New Life Christian Church, and Red Rocks Cafe.

Clifton:  Clifton Day, Ickology Month, Northern Virginia Summer KidFest, Noodles & Noggins, Pink Pantry, Town Meeting Hall, and Train Day.

D.C.:  Adams-Morgan Day Festival, Art-o-matic, Foster Brothers' Coffee House, Hard Rock Cafe, House of the Temple, Lisner Auditorium, Mayflower Hotel, National Child Research Center, Potter's House, Washington Folk Festival, and Washington Harbour.

Fairfax:  Chick-fil-A, Fair Oaks Mall, Fall Festival, Firehouse Grill, Silver Diner, Sweet Life Cafe & Van Dyck Park.

Falls Church:  Bangkok Blues, Broad Street Grill, First Fridays, Marks Pub, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Stacy's Coffee Parlor, Taste of Falls Church, Two Sisters Coffee, and Unity Club.

Frederick:  Braddock Inn, Festival of the Arts, Frederick Regional Library, Market Street Cafe, and WestSide Cafe.

Gainesville: Chick-fil-A, Daily Grind, Deja Brew, and Prince William Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Greenbelt:  Earth Day, Festival of the Song, Labor Day Festival, New Deal Cafe, and New Year Festival.

Manassas:  Annaburg Manor, Brady's Irish Pub, Buckeye Steakhouse, Bull Run Regional Library, Central Library, Chick-fil-A, City Square Cafe, Cramer Center, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, Java Jack's, Jesspresso Coffee & Manassas Mall.

Ocean City:  Atlantic Club, CrossWay Church, Ocean City Library, and Wonderland Day Care Center.

Salisbury:  Bundles of Joy Learning Centers I and II, CoCo's Funhouse, and Kids' Kingdom Childcare Center.

Other Venues:  Austin Grill, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Beans in the Belfry, Berlin Coffee House, Berwyn Cafe, Borders Books & Music, Cabin John Mall, Caribou Coffee, Chick-fil-A, City of Gaithersburg, College Perk, Country Roads Folk Festival, Cozy Critters Child Care Center, Daily Grind, Deja Brew, Fairfax County Parks, First Night Montgomery, Folk Club of Reston-Herndon, Great Falls National Park, Herndon Festival, Hyattsville Day, Inn Zone, Jammin Java, Java Mamma, Joe's Movement Emporium, Luna C. Grille, Mad City Coffee, Marios House of Steak & Cheese, Mayorga Coffee Factory, McMahon's Irish Pub, Moe's Southwest Grill, Montgomery County Parks, Montpelier Spring Festival, Moorenko's Ice Cream Cafe, Mountain Stage NewSong Festival, Next Step Learning Center, Nottoway Park, Occoquan Coffeehouse, Peaberry's Coffeehouse, the Pour House, Prince William County Libraries, Riverdale Farmer's Market, Reston Festival, Reston Town Center, Sangha, Silver Diner, Songcamp in the Mountains, Springfield Days, Springfield Mall, Starbucks Coffee, Summer Intensive Songcamp, Sunrise Assisted Living, Susquehanna Music & Arts FestivalTakoma Park Folk Festival, Taliano's, Totally 4 Kids, Tysons Corner Mall, Virginia Wine Festival, Westfield Shoppingtowne, and many other libraries, schools, parks, childrens centers, churches, and senior centers. Whether his audience includes children, adults, seniors or families, don makes sure that everyone joins in the fun.

Awards and Affiliations

mister don received the 2006 Childrens Artist Wammie award from his musical peers in the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA).  don has been honored eleven times with Wammie nominations for Childrens Vocalist or Childrens Artist, and received the Childrens Vocalist award for both 2004 and 2005.  don's singer-songwriter CD, An Ardmore Afternoon, received the 2004 Wammie nomination for Contemporary Folk Recording.  His childrens music also has received three Wammie nominations for Childrens Recording. Articles on dons local appearances and recordings have been featured in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Northern Virginia magazine, the Centreville Times, the Frederick News-Post, the Greenbelt News Review, the Bowie Blade-News, the Gazette newspapers, SAW Notes, WAMA News, The Folk Club News, Quirks, and the Bayside Gazette, and his music has been played on both commercial and internet radio and commercial and cable television. His trio Bridges To Bliss, comprised of don, vocalist Bobbi Bliss, and the late keyboard player David M. Scales (an Army Colonel who lost his life in the 9-11-01 terrorist attack on the Pentagon), received thirteen Wammie nominations in the Childrens Music Category in the late 1990s.  don has participated in a number of groups over the years but now performs primarily solo as a children's music teacher, children's entertainer, children's worship leader, and singer-songwriter.

As a songwriter, dons diverse styles include adult contemporary, bluegrass, blues, childrens, country, folk, gospel, novelty, pop, and rock. dons original and collaborative works have been honored with more than a dozen songwriting awards, including five Finalists (top five) and four Honorable Mention awards (top 15) in five different categories of the highly-respected Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, plus special recognition by the online songwriting contest site Pat Pattison, Professor of Lyric Writing and Poetry at Berklee College of Music in Boston and author of three books on songwriting, has excerpts from an article written by don posted prominently on his web page. Including three consecutive terms as President of the Songwriters Association of Washington (Jan. 2003-Jan. 2006), don served on the Board of SAW for a total of eight years and remains somewhat active in SAW, WAMA, the Folk Club of Reston-Herndon, Focus Music, the North American Folk Music & Dance Alliance, and ASCAP, 

After almost a decade as a childrens worship leader at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly/Centreville, VA, don assumed responsibilities in September 2007 as the Childrens Worship Leader at the Westmoreland campus of New Life Christian Church in McLean, VA and served in that capacity for nearly two years before joining the regular Sunday School teaching rotation for the following year.  In 2010, Don moved to Berlin, Maryland (near Ocean City).  Since then, mister don has served as the children's worship leader and an elementary Sunday school teacher at SonRise Church in Berlin, Maryland.

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