Kind Words About The Junkman®

Live Performances

The Junkman’s act fit right in with the spirit of the festival and was a tremendous asset to the closing night festivities.

Sundance Film Festival,

Starting with John Cage, there have been quite a few composers who have worked with junk and found objects to create their music. However, nobody does it with quite as much finesse as Donald Knaack.

Dirty Linen,

A mind-blowing experience!

Conan O'Brien, Late Night with Conan O'Brien (NBC)

…a virtuoso percussionist.

The New York Times,

It really cooked!

Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors,

…the legendary percussion virtuoso.

The Village Voice,

This guy is mad and very popular!

In Madrid , Madrid, Spain - Feb '03

The more substantial Surfer at the River Styx is set to a dark, swirling score by Donald Knaack.

The Independent

The Junkman’s music and his instruments are provocative and entirely innovative.

Guia del Gocio, Feb '03, Madrid, Spain

Donald Knaack’s percussive score drives the dancers almost as hard as Tharp’s ferociously imagined choreography…. It is not only the phenomenal performers who earn this moment of release, but also the rest of us , who have been on the edge of our seats throughout this extraordinary work.

The Guardian,

It’s Stomp on acid! Customer,

…virtuoso playing worth hearing.

Down Beat,

Music of tremendous power and wide-ranging temperaments.


The Junkman totally captivated the Kansas City International Jazz Festival audience..

Jazz Ambassadors Magazine,

Surfer at the River Styx is a relentless tour de force of sound and movement set to a score of thunderous intensity and exceptional beauty by composer Donald Knaack.


…unusual, completely independent and wholly cool!

BRAT Magazine,


… a brilliant concept, well executed: percussion as a tool for helping us get in sync with Earth and each other.

Dr. Bryan Duff, St. Johnsbury School, St. Johnsbury, VT, USA

Don creates a variety of activities that relate to the goals of each lesson. His systems approach to teaching is well-structured and fun! Don is a student centered, experienced musician and educator. He brings a wealth of experience to each lesson.

Nash Reddy, Squamscott River Academy, North Hampton, NH, USA

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity for this man to infect your children with awe, wonder, and critical thinking, you should definitely take it. His combination of classical training, ingenuity, craftsmanship, and fun makes him not only a great musician, but a warm and engaging teacher as well.

Lisa Johnson, Bernice A Ray Elementary School, Hanover, NH, USA

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Donald has been one of our finest performers.

Roberta Gasbarre, Director, Discovery Theatre, The Smithsonian, Washington DC

As a library media specialist, I will continue to reach out to Junkman’s talents to work with children of all ages within our school district, and recommend him to other school districts across the United States.

Allyson Hoffman, Molly Stark Elementary, Bennington, VT, USA

The kids enjoyed it and I loved your kind way of answering their questions.

Dorothy Nolan Elementary School, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

This was a fantastic event! Our kids and ourselves were thoroughly entertained and educated. It was an inspiring way to make music!

Dunbar Civic Week, East Lothian, Scotland

We all learned something from this wonderful presentation!

Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden

The Junkman is always a hit!

Arlington County Humanities Project, Arlington, VA, USA

There is simply no one else like him, doing what he is doing.

Sybil Crouch, Head of Cultural Services, Talleisin Arts Centre, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, UK

We were overwhelmed with the feedback we had from the children after your performances and workshops. All of them throughly enjoyed it and it inspired them to make their own instruments out of junk too! The incredible response was wonderful.

White Rock Primary School, Paignton, Devon, UK

The look on the faces of our children during the Junkman’s concert was just one of sheer wonder & amazement and when he started to play… well, the excitement was tangible.

Berry Pomeroy Pariochial Church of England Primary, Berry Pomeroy, Totnes, Devon, UK

The workshops are stimulating and unique. Exposing students to the recycling message that a discarded object can be reborn into a completely new function and using this method to create music is an educational approach that is worthwhile.

Stratton Arts Festival, Stratton, VT, USA

I wanted to thank you for coming to our school and doing such a great job with our kids.  The students had a unique, valuable, and enjoyable experience in your workshop and performance.

Bellport High School, Bellport, NY, USA

Our teachers say it was the best assembly we have ever had!

Michael J. Peterides School, Staten Island, NY, USA

He introduced the students to new and relevant information about percussion, music, acoustics, the environment and construction

Tucumcari Elementary School, Tucumcari, NM, USA

Of all the artists that have done residencies in my tenure in education, The Junkman was the best.  I was extremely impressed with his message and what he was able to accomplish with the students.

Lakeview Elementary School, Greensboro, VT, USA

One of the best assembly concerts we have ever experienced!

Saints Peter and Paul School, Easton, MD, USA

You are a very gifted teacher!

Dorset Elementary School, Dorset, VT, USA

We always book The Junkman whenever he’s in town.

Maret School, Washington DC, USA

Staff members noted this was one of the best residencies ever held at the school.

Craftsbury Schools, Craftsbury, VT, USA

It was really great! People loved how the kids were so responsive and for many the Junkjam was their favorite part. The music felt very powerful when the whole audience was playing together. Thanks for a great show!

Sea Cliff Elementary School,

On a scale of one to ten with ten the highest, we rate The Junkman a ten!

Seabrook Middle School, Seabrook, NH, USA

Donald Knaack is both a talented and capable teacher that enriched the school environment as well as the whole child.

Underhill Central School, Underhill Center, VT, USA


Cockington Court, Torquay, Devon, UK

Thank you for your energy and passion!

The Academy, Charlemont, MA, USA

Children and grown-ups alike were fascinated!

Mark Skinner Library, Manchester, VT

Some people come into our lives and quickly go, but they move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same

Greensboro Wonder and Wisdom, Greensboro, VT

Not only does Knaack bring out the music in an object, he does the same with people. With his friendly support and cooperation, this event was planned by the Cultural Center and Knaack as a Family Day of conservation-related crafts and music workshops. The Junkman’s unpretentious humanitarianism, talents, and simple love for playing percussion provided all at once a great concert, a musically educational experience and a happy day for our Staten Island community.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY


Cockington Court, Torquay, Devon