Don Alder plays a Kanile`a

Don Alder plays with a passion rarely seen. He is one of those acoustic guitar magicians with a signature style that leaves you wondering “How is he making that wall of sound?” Ray Danials, manager of Rush, says “Alder is one of those guitarists that should be famous around the world”. Guitar Player Magazine senior editor Michael Molenda says “Alder is a Guitar Star in the making and can hold an audience with the best of the seasoned pros”.

What Sets Don Alder Apart?

Alder is currently the only guitarist on the planet to have won all the top modern guitar competitions and his long list of accolades puts him alongside the top players in the acoustic genre. Lee Ritenour, 18 time grammy jazz guitarist says, “Alder is one of the most original guitarists I’ve ever seen.” Alder has been featured in numerous guitar magazines, has millions of youtube views, performed duets with Grammy Winners, Angelique Kidjo and John Parr and has been in shows and festivals that included artists such as Steve Vai, Lee Ritnour, David Foster, Victor Wooten, Sarah Mclauglin, Andy Mckee, Tommy Emmanuel and Billy Sheehan (Mr.Big).

It was at one of these shows that Lee Ritenour hand picked Alder to be on the advisory judge panel for the highly touted International Six String Theory Contest. His music also speaks for itself as his current CD Armed & Dangerous had him nominated at the 2016 WCMAs for Instrumental Artist of the Year. His previous CD titled Not a Planet received two industry nominations for instrumental CD of the year.

His music combines deeply textured melody and rhythm, soulful singing with haunting lyrics and his guitar fireworks and fabulous storytelling makes his shows highly entertaining and talked about for days. And, Don’s heart is as big as his talent. In 1985 he put his music career on hold for 2.5 years to help his lifelong friend go around the world in a wheelchair, an amazing journey with a story that has become part of Canadian History. In 2006, Director Michael French produced a feature film about the story, which includes Don as one of the main characters portrayed by actor Andrew Lee Potts. Alder continues to perform around the world entertaining audiences and inspiring people and guitarists wherever he goes.

Performances /Accolades (partial list)

2021 BC Entertainment Hall of Fame Star Meritus
2017 “Artist of the Year” VIMA (Vancouver Island Music Awards)
2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee
2016 Western Canadian Music Awards “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee 2015 Domenic Troiano Award (multi-genre category)
2013 International Brand Laureate Recipient (Malaysia)
2016 CFMA “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee
2016 WCMA “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee
1st 2011 Worldwide Guitar Idol, UK
1st 2010 Guitar Superstar Champion, North America
2009 CFMA “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee
2009 WCMA “Instrumental Artist of the Year” Nominee
1st 2007 International Fingerstyle Champion (Winfield)
2nd 2007 Canadian Guitar Festival Champion
2nd 2006 International Fingerstyle Champion (Winfield)
1st 2006 Winfield Song Showcase Best Instrumental
1st 2005 Winfield Song Showcase Best Instrumental
1st 2004 Winfield Song Showcase Best Instrumental
1st 2005 Best 30-second Guitar Solo Contest –
1st 2004 Vancouver Folk Slam
1st 2004 Winfield Intl. Fingerstyle Championships Best Instrumental Semi-Finalist Canada’s Got Talent
2015 – Duet with Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield
2012 – Duet with Shayne Koyczan at PNE Coliseum
2012 – Duet with Angelique Kidjo at Rogers Arena
2012 – Taped Performance for Canada’s Got Talent
2010 Performed at the Vancouver Olympics (Olympic Village)
2009 Not A Planet receives two nominations in Canada for Instrumental CD of the year at WCMA and Canadian Folk Awards
2006 Alder’s character portrayed in movie Andrew Lee Potts played Don’s character


Armed & Dangerous 2015
Not A Planet 2008
Cool Tunes Compilation 2009
Acoustic Matters 2007
Take the Train Eh! 2005
The Acoustiholic 2003

For more on this incredible artist, visit


Custom GL6 (guitarlele) Natural