Donovan Raitt

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist

An emerging new voice in the world of modern fingerstyle guitar, acoustic guitarist Donovan Raitt incorporates percussive techniques, strong melodic hooks, influences ranging from Jazz to Rock and Classical music, and innovative performance techniques to create a unique sound all his own. Based in Orange County, CA, Donovan has released two albums of solo acoustic guitar music, his latest album, 2014's "Pursuing the Horizon" was produced by fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Antoine Dufour.

An Irvine, California native, Donovan Raitt started his musical career with the piano at the age of 5. At the age of 11, Donovan fell in love with the electric guitar and started taking private lessons. Unaware of his family's history with the electric guitar (Donovan's cousin is Grammy winning blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt), Donovan's love for the guitar grew as he started to perform regularly in a wide variety of styles. By the age of 18, Donovan had performed in many rock, blues, and top 40 bands and was a featured soloist with the University High school Jazz ensemble, performing at the Anaheim convention center, The Irvine Jazz Festival and Disneyland.

In 2001 Donovan was admitted to the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in the Studio/Jazz guitar program, and was the recipient of the Paul LaRose memorial scholarship for guitar. While at USC, Donovan studied jazz and contemporary guitar styles with Steve Trovato, Richard Smith, Frank Potenza, and Pat Kelley, as well as classical, flamenco and fingerstyle guitar with David Oakes and James Smith. Donovan graduated from the studio guitar program with honors from USC in 2005. In 2010, Donovan completed a master's degree in Guitar Performance (Jazz Studies) from California State University, Long Beach under the direction of Ron Eschete. While at CSULB, Donovan wrote his master's thesis on fingerstyle guitarist Michael Hedges.

At the age of 18, Donovan started to teach private lessons in performance and composition in a wide variety of styles to aspiring guitarists of all ages. Donovan continues to further his love for teaching by holding teaching studios in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Donovan is an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University in Irvine, specializing in contemporary Christian music for the guitar. Donovan is also on the music faculty at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, where he teaches online courses and lessons in guitar and worship arts.

Church music has been a central focus of Donovan Raitt's career. In addition to teaching music, Donovan is the director of music at Aliso Creek Presbyterian Church in Laguna Niguel for the past two years, and has performed and worked at several churches in California, Including Mariners Church, Irvine Presbyterian Church, Salem Lutheran Church, Corpus Christi Church, and Knox Presbyterian Church. 

Donovan has also written, edited and published several online guitar lessons for, and Donovan has also written his first guitar instruction book, "The Practical Guitar Method" which is available for purchase. 

Donovan works regularly as a performing guitarist in both solo performance as well as with several groups and ensembles.  Donovan is currently endorsed by Strum-N-Comfort thumb picks as well as Line 6 guitars and effects and continues to perform regularly in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Donovan is currently working on a cd of original music for solo guitar, which he hopes to finish by the end of the year.