I got my inkling of bass through tuba in 8th grade for the junior high jazz band. I was a fine tubist and on my way to achieving great fame. However, in 9th grade our jazz band needed a bass player. My band director kindly borrowed a bass from a local music store along with an amp and I was set to go. It was a wonderful Peavey P-Bass with a turquoise finish. Yeah, I wasn t really sold on the color, but it was free to use. That year I learned and became a decent sight-reader on tunes like Opus One, Birdland, and In The Mood which were nicely watered down for us young ones.
Unfortunately, there wasn t a jazz band happening at the high school, so 3 years passed that provided no bass outlet. I focused my attention to tuba and progressed there.
College comes around and I get several scholarships to be in the band, be a music major, play bass and tuba in a variety of ensembles. It was here at
that both of my instruments of choice grew greatly. I became aware of bass players and some absolutely solid basslines; specifically, Ray Brown, Kim Stone and Rocco Prestia. These guys jump started my engine for bass playing. It was during the first two years of college that I acquired my first two basses: Hohner 5 string and a Peavey Foundation 4-string fretless. On the tuba side, Roger Bobo and Harvey Phillips were introduced to me through vinyl records. Awesome performances and have been my motivation to this day.
I transferred schools after my sophomore year to the University of North Texas
. Prior to my attending, my friend, Mike Blanco said, if you re going to make a lab band, buy an upright bass. I did this and made the 9 o clock the second semester there. Considering there are only 16 bass spots (~40 auditioned), I was proud to be part of this legacy as a non-jazz major. I did some outside-of-school playing but not too much due to an unruly schedule and a lot of tuba practice time (give or take 2-3 hours a day). I did make time to be a good bassist and gigs started to come my way. Performing in local church orchestras helped considerably as well. Its opportunities for mild practice and a lot of sight-reading helped me significantly.
After graduation, I settled in with a fully instrumented big band, The Celebration Orchestra, directed by the late Thane Tolle. I was with them for 6 years until I moved. I also freelanced and worked mostly as a sub to bass friends which could actually keep you as busy as being any bands regular bassist. As a band director, I didn t really have much free time to do rehearsals and regular gigs, but it was a challenging and rewarding experience to play with so many great musicians over the years. I have changed careers and have found more time and opportunity to play out. I am now in Austin and seeking productive work in rock, Americana, country, jazz/latin, pop, etc.
Let me know how I can offer music to you.
Thanks for stopping by!