McDonald was one of the founding members of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band in 1971. Ten years later, in 1981, he founded the Blue Horizon Jazz Band. He is considered one of the best players in the Sidney Bechet tradition.
He made numerous recordings with the New Black Eagles. In 1973 the recording "On the River," was nominated for an Emmy Award.
McDonald was listed as one of the top five soprano saxophone players in the world in a 1985 Mississippi Rag poll. He has played with the likes of Ralph Sutton, Tommy Benford, Buzzy Drootin, Ross Petot, Sammy Price, Benny Waters, Doc Cheatham, Dick Wetmore, Marty Grosz and Scott Hamilton.
In 2010, McDonald was the subject of a three-part series entitled Visiting Stan McDonald on Dave Radlauer's award-winning Jazz Rhythm radio series. The program won a Gabriel Award in 2011.
Blue Horizon Jazz Band Discography:
- A Real Love Strong
- I Remember When
- Inside Track
- Dawn of the Blue Horizon Jazz Band
- Banned in Boston
- Classic Jazz Variations
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