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Don Was & The Pan Detroit Ensemble

  • Don Was & The Pan Detroit Ensemble

Music has always loomed large in the life of DON WAS. Born in Detroit in 1952, he has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a musician, record producer, music director, film composer, documentary filmmaker, and radio host.

For his work as a record producer, he has won six Grammy Awards – including Album of the Year in 1989 for Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time and Producer of the Year in 1994. Records that Don has produced have sold close to 100 million albums for a wide array of artists like The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Ringo Starr, Wayne Shorter, The B52s, and Charles Lloyd. In 1995, he produced and directed a documentary about the life of Brian Wilson, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, that won the San Francisco Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award. As a film composer, Don won the 1994 British Academy Award (BAFTA) for Best Original Score in recognition of his work on the film Backbeat. He also won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction for his work on the CBS television special, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America. In 2018, Don was invited to join Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir to form the Wolf Brothers. They continue to consistently tour the US.