Donald Surtain Jr., who was often called the Jimi Hendrix of the violin by his peers, was born and raised in the 7th ward area of New Orleans.
He started playing violin at the age of 6 years old and taught himself to play the instrument. Donald received his musical knowledge from NOCCA (New Orleans Creative Center for the Arts), he studied classical music, advanced 4 part harmony, and composition with Dr. Stephen Dankner and jazz with the late Ellis Marsalis, and Clyde Kerr Jr. He also studied music at Indiana University and Loyola University.
In his professional musical career, he has toured in 48 states and Europe in various bands and musical genres (latin, southern rock, country, and funk). Other than being an exceptional musician, Donald gained experience as an actor on the big screen. He has performed on HBO’s “Treme” series (Season 4, Episode 3), and was also featured in a movie alongside Chiwetel Ewefor playing the violin in the Grammy award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave.