Jason Heath

Contrabass Conversations - double bass life on the low end of the spectrum with Jason Heath

Explore double bass and life on the low end of the spectrum with podcast host and double bass blogger Jason Heath!
Contrabass Conversations - double bass life on the low end of the spectrum with Jason Heath

Description

Contrabass Conversations features double bass blogger and podcast host Jason Heath conducting weekly interviews and presenting musical performances with top double bassists from around the globe, plus current news and events for today's working bass player. Professionals, students, and folks with a hankering for the low end of the spectrum should check out this podcast! This show is produced in Chicago, Illinois, and is affiliated with doublebassblog.com.

Link: contrabassconversations.com

Episodes

304: Weekly Update for 1/23/17 - Double Bass News

Jan 23, 2017 05:28

Description:

Here’s the latest Weekly Update episode!  Check out all past episodes at contrabassconversations.com/news, and send me any stories you’d like shared at feedback@contrabassconversations.com.

Stories Covered: Quote of the Week Hans Sturm Link of the Week Annotated Chamber Music List from Jeremy-Kurtz-Harris list includes recommendations from Kurt Muroki, Scott Pingel, Volkan Orhon, and Jeff Weisner Events (calendar link) Virginia Dixon Suzuki Bass Camps - see calendar College Bass Ensemble Showcase at ISB 2017 Scor! - string camps for adult amateurs Cuba summer concert tour Book Recommendation Tao of Bass by Marcos Machado Recent Podcast Guests Galicia Graves preview David Heyes interviews Jason

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Enter our latest string giveaway for Helicore strings at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

303: David Heyes interviews Jason Heath

Jan 19, 2017 47:30

Description:

Today's episode features a "turn-the-tables" interview with David Heyes of recitalmusic.net.  We dig into topics like:

Jason's career trajectory teaching bass making a life in music through multiple projects the evolution of double bass over the decades why Jason started the podcast continuing to learn as we get older

Thank you so much to David for doing this!

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Enter the D'Addario string giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners and win a chance at a set of Orchestral, Pizzicato, or Hybrid sets!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

302: Galicia Graves International Festival and Competition Preview

Jan 17, 2017 07:00

Description:

The Galicia Graves International Festival and Competition will take place February 17-19, 2017.  Jason chats with Simón García, Diego Zecharies, and Gabriele Ragghianti about the upcoming event.  

Check out the YouTube version of this conversation here.

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

301: Weekly Update for 1/16/17 - Double Bass News

Jan 16, 2017 10:12

Description:

Here’s the latest Weekly Update episode!  Check out all past episodes at contrabassconversations.com/news, and send me any stories you’d like shared at feedback@contrabassconversations.com.

Stories Covered: Quote of the Week Ira Gold Link of the Week per service podcast (website) per service podcast (iTunes link) Events (calendar link) P. Kellach Waddle Trio Debut - January 22 Waddle conducting Orchestra Enigmatic - January 27 & 29 Las Vegas Bass Workshop - January 28 University of Minnesota Duluth Double Bass Festival - February 3-4 San Francisco Winter Bass Bash - February 26 South Texas Bass Club hosted Claus Freudenstein my interview with Claus Freudenstein my interview with George Amorim Bradetich 2nd International Double Bass Competition - video update Book Recommendation Make It by Emilio Guarino my interview with Emilio Recent Podcast Guests Brandino Dan Styffe

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

300: Dan Styffe on solo projects, life in Norway, and the importance of sound

Jan 13, 2017 33:57

Description:

Dan Styffe is a man in constant motion.  It's astonishing the number of musical projects that he has going on:

a new solo album coming this spring (his eighth album in 11 years!) appearances at events like BASS2016, RCM International Festival, and ISB 2017 serving as Co-Principal Bass of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra teaching at The Norwegian Academy of Music and Barratt Due's Institute of Music

New music for the bass is a major area of interest for Dan.  He works regularly with composers like Rolf Martinsson, Teppo Hauta-Aho, Bernard Salles, and Simón García.

We dig into all kinds of topics today: growing up deep in the woods of Sweden how starting to play on his beautiful Gasparo da Saló bass changed his technique life in the Oslo Philharmonic what Dan finds exciting about the modern double bass scene tips for finding practice time in a busy schedule why Dan places the greatest importance on sound

It was such a pleasure to spend time with Dan at BASS2016 in Prague, and I can't wait to see him again in person!

Links to check out: Dan's website Octophonia (Dan's most resent release) documentary of Dan premiering Rolf Martinsson's Bass Concerto (YouTube)

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

 

299: Brandino on winning seven Grammys and being a jack of all trades

Jan 12, 2017 30:02

Description:

Kevin "Brandino" Brandon is a seven-time Grammy and three-time Emmy award winner.  He has performed with an incredible array of artists, including:

Aretha Franklin OutKast (won Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album of the Year) Justin Timberlake (won Grammy for Best R&B Song) Mary J. Blige (won Grammy for Best R&B Album of the Year)

The list of artists he has worked with is incredible.

Brandino has achieved considerable success as a solo artist as well, and his recent album The Many Faces of Brandino 2 has received enthusiastic critical acclaim.

We dig into all sorts of topics today: what it's like playing with artists like Aretha Franklin, will.i.am, Justin Timberlake, and OutKast the steps that go into applying for the Grammys the rise of synth bass being a five-string bass pioneer building a studio and getting into record production

...and much more!

Links to Check Out: Brandino's website The Many Faces of Brandino 2 (Brandino's new album) Brandino's Cello Bass by Eastman Music (using D'Addario Kaplans)

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

298: 2nd International Bradetich Double Bass Solo Competition Preview

Jan 11, 2017 09:13

Description:

Today's episode is a short conversation between Jason and Jeff Bradetich about the upcoming 2nd International Double Bass Solo Competition taking place September 1-5, 2017.  The application deadline is February 1, and all details can be found here.

Contrabass Conversations will be live on location at the event in September, so expect great coverage of this event in the fall!

Check out Jeff's previous podcast appearances here.

About the Competition:

The Bradetich Foundation is proud to announce the 2nd International Double Bass Solo Competition, September 1-5, 2017, hosted by the University of North Texas College of Music, in Denton, Texas, USA. The finest solo performers in the world are invited to compete for the most generous awards in double bass history with a first prize valued at more than $30,000 US. The Competition is open to anyone under the age of 35 as of the first day of the competition September 1, 2017, and who has not given a formal New York City debut recital.

The Bradetich Foundation International Double Bass Solo Competition endeavors to identify emerging international artists to provide career advancement and leadership opportunities. A maximum of twenty performers will be invited to participate in the competition including automatic bids to winners of the 2015 ISB, 2016 Sperger and 2016 Koussevitzky Competitions.

About the Bradetich Foundation:

The Bradetich Foundation was established in 2008 with the sole purpose of advancing the performing, teaching and knowledge of the double bass. It represents the vision of founder Jeff Bradetich and the culmination of his 35 years of service to the profession.

The Foundation is dedicated to identifying the top performers in the world and helping to develop their careers through major competitions, debut concerts in New York and London, CD recordings and concert tours.

The educational outreach of the Foundation is a cornerstone of its work. Through instructional and performance DVD’s, concerts for children and older adults, and the promotion of the instrument through traditional and non-traditional media, the Foundation will work to raise the standard of the double bass and improve its standing in the general public.

The Bradetich Foundation will continue to establish and promote workshops and conferences throughout the world, bringing together the top minds in the field to share their artistry, philosophies and experience to the next generation of bass players.

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

297: Weekly Update for 1/9/17 - Double Bass News

Jan 9, 2017 11:21

Description:

Here’s the latest Weekly Update episode!  Check out all past episodes at contrabassconversations.com/news, and send me any stories you’d like shared at feedback@contrabassconversations.com.

Stories Covered: Festivals and Competitions Fredonia 2017 BassFest - February 11, 2017 Galicia Graves Festival and Competition - February 17-19, 2017 Chicago Bass Festival - March 5, 2017 International Society of Bassists 2017 Convention - June 5-10, 2017 Rufus Reid video (YouTube) Rufus Reid on Contrabass Conversations Bradetich 2nd International Solo Competition - September 1-5, 2017 documentary of 2010 competition Events NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA - January 19-22, 2017 Svetozar Vujic world premiere of Concierto No. 3 for Double Bass and Orchestra by Mauricio Annunziata - February 17, 2017 Eric Steffens Nino Rota Concerto with Philharmonie Südwestfalen - March 17, 2017 Link of the Week - DoubleBassScore (YouTube) (Facebook) Recent Podcast Guests Adam Booker Best of 2016 10th Anniversary Show

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

296: Adam Booker on strings, Milt Hinton, and jazz mythology

Jan 5, 2017 53:18

Description:

Ever wonder what it's like to be transplanted from balmy Texas and Louisiana to the coldest city in the continental United States?

Ask Adam Booker. Here's a recent weather report from Duluth in case you're curious.

How did he go from the gigging life in Texas to the US Navy and finally into a life in academia?

We talk about this and much more, including: traditional jazz bass lines and what notes were really being played confessions from a former string neurotic what surprised Adam the most about academia Stefon Harris and his description of scales as a collection of emotions hanging up on Milt Hinton... and then watching Jeopardy with him not just creating great bassists, but creating great people

I had a great time hanging out with Adam at BASS2016 in Prague, and it was a real pleasure to sit down with him and do an interview! Here's a shot of Adam, Geoff Chalmers, and me in Prague.

Links to check out: Adam's website gear reviews from Adam Unraveled Rival (Adam's album) on iTunes Adam's University of Minnesota Duluth faculty page

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

295: Weekly Update for 1/2/17 - Double Bass News

Jan 2, 2017 04:37

Description:

Here's the latest Weekly Update episode!  Check out all past episodes at contrabassconversations.com/news, and send me any stories you'd like shared at feedback@contrabassconversations.com.

Stories Covered: Giovanni Bottesini Double Bass Competition - April 18-24, 2017 Chautauqua Institution is accepting applications - deadline is 2/1/17 Brevard is accepting applications - deadline is 2/17/17 30-Day Music Studio Refresh from Nicola Cantan 24th Annual Richard Davis Foundation Bass Conference - April 14-15, 2017 How to Advance at an Orchestra Audition 101

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

294: 10th Anniversary Show!

Jan 1, 2017 01:04:53

Description:

Thank you.

Really, I don't know what else to say.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have taken your precious time these past ten years to listen to these episodes.  You've written in.  You've suggested guests.  You've shared your passion and energy with me and with the wider community.

Thank you to the hundreds of guests who have lent their valuable time to this crazy project.  Through the gift of your time, energy, and experience, you've helped thousands of people across the globe.

Thank you to John Grillo, who co-hosted this and so many other episodes with me.  John, Win Hinkle, Jonathan Stefaniak, Kells Nollenberger, other folks have guest interviewed people for the podcast, for which I am so grateful.

Thank you to D'Addario Strings, Bass Capos, Discover Double Bass, Upton Bass, The String Emporium, Riccardi's Violin Shop, Classic Contrabass, and Douglas Mapp Music for their support as sponsors over this past decade.  I am grateful to each and every one of you for your support with keeping this juggernaut going.

And finally, thank you to Lloyd Goldstein, Mitch Moehring, Szymon Marciniak, Tracy Friedlander, Jay Stark, Adam Booker, and Justin Locke for calling in and contributing to this 10th anniversary episode!

Here's to another 10 exciting years!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

293: Crushing Classical with Tracy Friedlander

Dec 30, 2016 45:05

Description:

I had a blast reconnecting with my old friend Tracy Friedlander!

Tracy is the host of Crushing Classical, a new podcast about creating a career you love as a classical musician in today's world. I was fortunate to be one of her first guests!

Tracy also writes regularly on her Crushing Classical Facebook page, and she’s in the process of writing a book as well.

Tracy and I used to play together in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago nearly 20 years ago, and it has been a lot of fun reconnecting with her through the podcasting world.

We talk about her motivation for launching this podcast and her vision for the show going forward. She’s had some wonderful guests on so far, and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.

Be sure to subscribe to her show in iTunes and follow her Facebook page!

Links to Check Out: Crushing Classical on Facebook Crushing Classical on iTunes Jason on Crushing Classical podcast

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

 

292: podcasting talk with James Newcomb of MusicPreneur

Dec 28, 2016 59:27

Description:

This is an inside baseball episode for sure.

I love talking podcasting, whether its talking interview techniques or my biggest podcasting mistakes.  I also love talking with other podcasters about the nitty-gritty details concerning their craft.

That's today's conversation with James Newcomb: a no-holds-barred geek-out on all things podcasting.

James is the host of the MusicPreneur and Trumpet Dynamics podcasts.  Like me, he has made podcasting the core of his business, and he's doing it in really interesting ways.

We talk about: providing value to listeners coming up with new ideas figuring out the "next step" as a solo entrepreneur why he chose to podcast his experiences working with EOFire host John Lee Dumas where he sees his MusicPreneur podcast heading

This was a super-fun conversation, and if you want a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of podcasting, this is the perfect episode for you!

Links to Check Out: Trumpet Dynamics podcast MusicPreneur podcast Jason on Trumpet Dynamics podcast

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support 

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

291: The Best of 2016

Dec 28, 2016 01:23:00

Description:

What a year 2016 has been!  

This past year is when I kicked the podcast into overdrive, and the stats bear this out:

125 total podcasts released 907,231 podcasts downloaded this year average of 2.4 shows released per week average daily listens: 2,486

This episode takes a look back at the guests featured this year and features a short quote from my conversation with them.

Here's the "guest list" along with a link to their interview: Paul Ellison - http://contrabassconversations.com/paul Lauren Pierce and Geoff Chalmers - http://contrabassconversations.com/laurenpierce  Marc Ramirez - http://contrabassconversations.com/marcramirez  Ju-Fang Liu - http://contrabassconversations.com/jufangliu  Andrew Raciti - http://contrabassconversations.com/andrewraciti  Bruce Bransby - http://contrabassconversations.com/brucebransby  Douglas Mapp - http://contrabassconversations.com/douglasmapp  Ian Hallas - http://contrabassconversations.com/ianhallas  Carlos Henriquez - http://contrabassconversations.com/carloshenriquez  Brent Edmondson - http://contrabassconversations.com/brentedmondson  Susan Lipkins - http://contrabassconversations.com/susanlipkins  Nick Lloyd - http://contrabassconversations.com/nicklloyd  George Martin - http://contrabassconversations.com/georgemartin  Ron Carter - http://contrabassconversations.com/roncarter  Barry Green and Jeff Bradetich - http://contrabassconversations.com/barrygreen  David Murray - http://contrabassconversations.com/davidmurray  Michael Klinghoffer - http://contrabassconversations.com/michaelklinghoffer  Inez Wyrick - http://contrabassconversations.com/inezwyrick  Gaelen McCormick - http://contrabassconversations.com/gaelenmccormick  Andres Martin - http://contrabassconversations.com/andresmartin  Bert Turetzky - http://contrabassconversations.com/turetzky  Ira Gold - http://contrabassconversations.com/iragold  Chuck Israels - http://contrabassconversations.com/chuckisraels  Adam Ben Ezra - http://contrabassconversations.com/adambenezra  Peter Tambroni - http://contrabassconversations.com/petertambroni  Trevor Jones - http://contrabassconversations.com/trevorjones  Claus Freudenstein - http://contrabassconversations.com/clausfreudenstein  Guy Tuneh - http://contrabassconversations.com/guytuneh  Joe Conyers - http://contrabassconversations.com/joeconyers  Madeleine Crouch - http://contrabassconversations.com/madeleinecrouch  Justin Locke - http://contrabassconversations.com/justinlocke  Leon Bosch - http://contrabassconversations.com/leonbosch  Robin Kesselman - http://contrabassconversations.com/robinkesselman  Jerry Fuller - http://contrabassconversations.com/jerryfuller  Arnold Schnitzer - http://contrabassconversations.com/arnoldschnitzer  Gjorgji Cincievski - http://contrabassconversations.com/gjorgjicincievski Gabe Katz - http://contrabassconversations.com/gabekatz  Brandon McLean - http://contrabassconversations.com/brandonmclean  Katie Ernst - http://contrabassconversations.com/katieernst  Nicholas Walker - http://contrabassconversations.com/nicholaswalker  Lloyd Goldstein - http://contrabassconversations.com/lloydgoldstein  David White - http://contrabassconversations.com/davidwhite  Jory Herman - http://contrabassconversations.com/joryherman  Matthew McDonald - http://contrabassconversations.com/matthewmcdonald  Thomas Martin - http://contrabassconversations.com/thomasmartin  Thierry Barbe - http://contrabassconversations.com/thierrybarbe  Sam Suggs - http://contrabassconversations.com/samsuggs  Pablo Aslan - http://contrabassconversations.com/pabloaslan  Christine Hoock - http://contrabassconversations.com/christinehoock  Emilio Guarino - http://contrabassconversations.com/emilioguarino  Danny Ziemann - http://contrabassconversations.com/dannyziemann  Peter Seymour - http://contrabassconversations.com/peterseymour  Hugh Sung - http://contrabassconversations.com/hughsung  Diana Gannett - http://contrabassconversations.com/dianagannett  Hans Sturm - http://contrabassconversations.com/hanssturm  Nina DeCesare - http://contrabassconversations.com/ninadecesare  Corey Brown - http://contrabassconversations.com/coreybrown  Craig Butterfield - http://contrabassconversations.com/craigbutterfield  Frank Proto - http://contrabassconversations.com/frankproto  Shinji Eshima - http://contrabassconversations.com/shinjieshima  Sandor Ostlund - http://contrabassconversations.com/sandorostlund  Trevor Davis - http://contrabassconversations.com/trevordavis  Seth Hanes - http://contrabassconversations.com/sethhanes  Rob Knopper - http://contrabassconversations.com/robknopper  Allan Santos - http://contrabassconversations.com/allansantos  Jonathan Haskell - http://contrabassconversations.com/jonathanhaskell  David Heyes - http://contrabassconversations.com/davidheyes  Szymon Marciniak - http://contrabassconversations.com/szymonmarciniak  Garrett Hope - http://contrabassconversations.com/garretthope  Johnny Hamil - http://contrabassconversations.com/johnnyhamil  Cornelia Watkins - http://contrabassconversations.com/corneliawatkins  Dennis Bergevin - http://contrabassconversations.com/dennisbergevin  Alex Ritter - http://contrabassconversations.com/alexritter  George Amorim - http://contrabassconversations.com/georgeamorim  Reuben Rogers - http://contrabassconversations.com/reubenrogers  Yung-Chiao Wei - http://contrabassconversations.com/yungchiaowei  Petia Bagovska - http://contrabassconversations.com/petiabagovska  Florian Pertzborn - http://contrabassconversations.com/florianpertzborn  Rob Anzellotti - http://contrabassconversations.com/robanzellotti David Allen Moore - http://contrabassconversations.com/davidallenmoore  Dave Swift - http://contrabassconversations.com/daveswift  Scott Devine - http://contrabassconversations.com/scottdevine  Ben Allison - http://contrabassconversations.com/benallison  Bill Merchant - http://contrabassconversations.com/billmerchant  Chris Hanulik - http://contrabassconversations.com/chrishanulik  Caleb Quillen - http://contrabassconversations.com/calebquillen  James Newcomb - http://contrabassconversations.com/jamesnewcomb  Tracy Friedlander - http://contrabassconversations.com/tracyfriedlander  Other fun stats from 2016:

Most downloaded episodes of 2016:

 Gjorgji Cincievski Matthew McDonald Peter Tambroni Lloyd Goldstein Nicholas Walker

Most-viewed interviews on Facebook of 2016:

 Reuben Rogers Johnny Hamil Sandor Ostlund Yung-Chiao Wei Dennis Bergevin

Multiple Appearances:

Lauren Pierce (twice) Peter Tambroni (twice) Justin Locke (twice)

Bass Festival Previews:

ISB BASS2016 RCM

Thematic Weeks:

Luthier Week Gary Karr Week A Passion for Teaching Entrepreneur Week Teaching Week Memories from Prague Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.  

290: Audition Winner Caleb Quillen

Dec 23, 2016 30:06

Description:

I love talking with audiiton winners.  

Learning about how they designed and implemented a long-term plan is fascinating.  What went right?  What went wrong?  How did they adjust course?  What did they do to get through the low points?  When did things start to click?

That's what Caleb Quillen and I dig into on this episode.

Caleb is the most recent addition to the bass section of the Kansas City Symphony.  He studied at New England Conservatory and Rice University prior to winning the Kansas City job.

We talk about: Caleb's long-term audiiton plan getting out of the "bass culture" when playing excerpts concept of cognitive shifting and mental replacement how running helped Caleb with auditioning managing frustration and discouragement in audiiton preparation

It was such fun connecting with Caleb and talking auditioning with him.  He and I had actually met years ago at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago when his high school orchestra performed.  Caleb was principal bassist of his orchestra and had a solo in a piece, and I went up to the stage and congratulated him after the performance.  Small world!

More audition-related content: previous audition winner conversations: Robin Kesselman (Houston Symphony) Joe Conyers (Philadelphia Orchestra) Brandon McLean (Pittsburgh Symphony) Ian Hallas (Lyric Opera of Chicago) Winning the Audition (podcast series) Part 1 – Preparing for Audition Success Part 2 – Practicing Techniques for Peak Auditions Part 3 – Preparation Routines That Work Part 4 – Sealing the Deal Winning the Audition (the book!) Orchestra Excerpt Breakdown with John Grillo Opera Excerpt Breakdown with John Grillo

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

 

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

 

289: Chris Hanulik on auditioning, expressiveness, and life in the LA Phil

Dec 21, 2016 36:15

Description:

Chris Hanulik hit the ground running career-wise, landing a position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic after graduating from Juilliard.

"Leaving New York to had out to Southern California... what was that transition like?" I asked.

"I did not have too much trouble adjusting!" Chris said jovially.

Chris and I dig into all kinds of topics like: studying at Juilliard with Homer Mensch the year he spent as principal bassist of the Cleveland Orchestra his favorite studies for the bass how he sees his role as principal bassist of LA Phil audition preparation advice

It was a blast to get to sit down with Chris in person for this interview.  I totally love talking in person and do so whenever possible, so it was super-cool to get together with Chris a few weeks back in LA!

Links to Check Out: Chris on Hulu (L.A. Philharmonic segment from Los Angeles Times) Chris’ LA Phil page Chris’ UCLA page

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

288: Weekly Update for 12/19/16 - Double Bass News

Dec 19, 2016 17:07

Description:

This show covers the latest and greatest in the world of the double bass!  Learn more at http://contrabassconversations.com/news.

George Mraz Rally for Recovery George Mraz, a world class bassist with decades of exceptional musical work as both a soloist and alongside others such as Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson and many many more ( www.georgemraz.com). Surviving pancreatic surgery, George now has five months of recovery ahead. With the unexpected complications, bills and very costly medications we are setting a new goal to double the amount of contributors and reach a record 730 donors. https://www.gofundme.com/2ndyn24  DePaul University Scholarships for Undergrads The DePaul University School of Music is now offering high school juniors an opportunity to audition for conditional acceptance and as much as a 50% scholarship if pursuing a degree as a bass or viola performance major. https://music.depaul.edu/admission/auditions/Pages/high-school-junior-auditions.aspx  http://contrabassconversations.com/robkassinger  http://contrabassconversations.com/alexhanna  more details from DePaul: The opportunity to audition for the DePaul School of Music as a high school junior is only open to those students who wish to major in bass or viola performance. Any School of Music admission offer and/or scholarship award is contingent upon being accepted into DePaul University. High school juniors who audition in February of 2017 must then apply to the university through the Common Application in the fall of their senior year. Only after being accepted to DePaul will scholarship offers become valid. A high school junior who auditions in February 2017 and is offered a performance scholarship and is then accepted to DePaul University in the fall/winter of 2017, may choose to audition a second time in February 2018 to be considered for an increase in their scholarship award. A high school junior who auditions in February 2017 and is not accepted to the School of Music, is welcome to audition again in February of their senior year without any adverse consequence. Please email the admissions office with any further questions about this opportunity.
D’Addario Strings http://contrabassconversations.com/daddario1  http://contrabassconversations.com/strings  10th Anniversary for Contrabass Conversations! Call 415-952-5643 and leave a message for my anniversary episode! SoCal Bass Days 2017 January 3-4 free and open to the public featuring special guests David Murray and Claus Freudenstein http://contrabassconversations.com/davidmurray  http://contrabassconversations.com/clausfreudenstein  http://bassforward.info/socal-bass-days-2017  contact Matt Hare for more information: me@matthare.com  http://matthare.com  Galicia Graves International Double Bass Festival & Competition http://www.galiciagraves.com  17, 18 & 19 February 2017 video from Thierry Barbe http://contrabassconversations.com/thierrybarbe  I will be doing a feature on this event with Gabriele Ragghianti two of the faculty members are David Heyes and Michael Klinghoffer, and I’ve featured both of them on the podcast previously http://contrabassconversations.com/davidheyes  http://contrabassconversations.com/michaelklinghoffer  Finland Awakes! March 12, 2017 FINLAND AWAKES! celebrates the centenary of Finland as an independent country. The concert will feature a wealth of Finnish music by alongside music composed for Teppo-Fest 2016 to celebrate the 75th birthday of the amazing and unique Teppo Hauta-aho. The concert is sponsored by Recital Music http://recitalmusic.net music composed by David Heyes (who recently dedicated a composition to me!), Bernard Salles, Teppo Hauta-aho, Simon Garcia, and many others https://www.facebook.com/events/1045165702279535  Hosting Provided by Bass Capos hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos, Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation. Learn more at http://basscapos.com  MIDI Practice File Archive from elbsoundStudio dozens of pieces from Bach, Bottesini, Dittersdorf, Eccles, Vanhal, and others https://elbsound.studio/double-bass-midi-files.php  more links like this at http://doublebassblog.org/links  Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to the Bradetich Foundation 2017 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Bradetich Master Classes in June and holding the long awaited 2nd International Double Bass Solo Competition on Sept. 1st-5th. By donating to the Bradetich Foundation, you are supporting the double bass, music, arts and education. http://bradetichfoundation.org/index.php?page=supportForm&form=intFriends  http://contrabassconversations.com/jeffbradetich  Help Support Contrabass Conversations! http://contrabassconversations.com/support  FEEDBACK

Terrance Fitzgerald, who lives in China and listens to the podcast through the app during practice breaks. He’s interested in hearing interviews with Al Laszlo, Hal Robinson, and Tim Pitts, and I am setting up a time with Tim right now. Hal and I have also talked about doing an interview, so expect that soon as well!

Terrance also suggested interviewing people that have won multiple auditions - how did they balance an orchestra job and other responsibilities with audition preparation?

Several people have also written in, including Kim Parillo, so ask about where to get a copy of David Allen Moore’s book Fractal Fingerings. This isn’t currently formally published, but you can contact David for more information, and be sure to check out my “round 2” with David at http://contrabassconversations.com/davidallenmoore 

Marcio Bolzan also wrote in and said that he loves listening to the podcasts and also that he saw my coverage of Alex Ritter’s double bass festival, which I covered last week on the Weekly Update.

If you’d like to check that episode, or any of the Weekly Update episodes, you can visit http://contrabassconversations.com/news.

Daniel Kimbro also wrote in. Daniel is active in the neo-folk/newgrass/roots music world and listens to the podcast in the car driving between Knoxville and Nashville for recording sessions, flights, and rehearsals.

Daniel also expressed interest in hearing more coverage in this world. Craig Butterfield, one of my recent guests and the bass professor at the University of South Carolina, is a great example of someone active in this world. http://contrabassconversations.com/craigbutterfield.

This is a great idea, and I’m starting by actually talking with Daniel for the podcast. I love exploring different musical sub genres—I recently interviewed David White, who is active in the theatre scene in New York, and I also spoke with Pablo Aslan about tango bass, and I’d love to dig more into all of these sub genres going forward with the show.

http://contrabassconversations.com/davidwhite 
http://contrabassconversations.com/pabloaslan 

Thanks also to Joe McFadden, Mike Gaisbacher, Lori Kaufman, Stephane Bihan, Kevin Feeney, Ted Botsford and all the other people who wrote in this week, and if you’d like to write in you can send me a message at feedback@contrabassconversations.com.

LAST WEEK’S GUESTS http://contrabassconversations.com/benallison http://contrabassconversations.com/billmerchant 

 

287: Bill Merchant luthier chat

Dec 16, 2016 01:07:09

Description:

Bill Merchant just had the mildest winter in his 40 year career.  

For decades, double bassists would come in to get their winter posts set during November.  Now this is happening in January.  

"Global warming is real, people," says Bill.

That was one of probably 50 topics that we covered in our conversation!

Other topics we covered: why most people set sound posts too tightly the difference between aluminum and wood bridge adjusters the effect that an endpin can have on the sound of a bass designing a folding-neck electric upright Bill's preferred measurements for all sorts of set-up work contributing to Chuck Traeger's seminal text on double bass repair and set-up

If you like going deep on the gear side of things, you will love this conversation with Bill!

Links to Check Out: Bill’s website Setup And Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound: A Manual for Players, Makers, And Repairers by Chuck Traeger (Bill contributed to this book) Coda to The Setup & Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound by Chuck Traeger

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

286: Ben Allison on streaming, crowdsourcing, and DIY artist life

Dec 14, 2016 38:49

Description:

Ben Allison is the ultimate DIY jazz artist, blending jazz, rock, folk, and 20th century classical music into sonically compelling tapestries.  

His 11 albums have garnered considerable critical acclaim, and he has toured the world extensively with his groups The Ben Allison Band, Think Free, The Easy Way Trio, Peace Pipe, and Medicine Wheel.

For his latest album with Think Free, Ben decided to try a new approach to funding it: crowdsourcing.  

His campaign ends December 28th, and he is closing in on his funding goal.

We dig into all kinds of topics like: the many ways in which making a living as an independent artist has changed The actual business model of streaming music companies tapping into the base of "super-fans" recording at Maggie's Farm in Pennsylvania how mixing has become an addiction to Ben the potential alienation of technology his role as President of the Board of the New York chapter of the Recording Academy

It was a great conversation--Ben's a great guy and an interesting artist, and I can't wait to see how the album turns out!

Links to Check Out: Ben's website Ben’s YouTube monetization experiment Takedown Notices and Malware Kevin Kelly 1000 True Fans Zen and the Art of Mixing by Eric Sarafin (Mixerman) The Stars Look Very Different Today (Ben’s previous album)

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

285: Weekly Update for 12/12/16 - Double Bass News

Dec 12, 2016 11:45

Description:

Here's the latest in the world of the double bass!  Visit contrabassconversations.com/news for all episodes, and submit your news at feedback@contrabassconversations.com. 

Ben Allison Crowdsourcing New Album Ben on Contrabass Conversations this week http://contrabassconversations.com/benallison  Ben’s website: http://benallison.com  pre-order new album at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/benallison pledge ends December 28th, so pledge now! Adam Booker Gear Reviews University of Minnesota Duluth has started to review gear on YouTube, and the reaction has been tremendous he got hundreds of views on his review for his first review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYxqgRMtTAM http://adambookeronbass.com  Lauren Pierce New Thumb Position Course course is on Geoff Chalmers’ newly revamped discoverdoublebass.com site New course: http://www.doublebasscourses.com/p/double-bass-thumb-position Lauren has been a guest on Entrepreneur Week I had Lauren and Geoff on the podcast almost a year ago Alex Ritter hosts Double Bass Festival at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul he’s doing great things for the double bass in Brazil check out these photos and hear a bit of his performance of Sconcerto by Trovajoli link to Trovajoli: TROVAJOLI – I TEMPO DI BLUES – ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI – II ALLEGRETTO – ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI – III PAVANE – ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI – IV SCHERZO – ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) http://contrabassconversations.com/alexritter  P. Kellach Waddle’s 5th String Quartet (including bass) “A Vonnegut Quintet” nominated as a semifinalist for the American Prize in Chamber Music https://www.facebook.com/pkwaddle http://contrabassconversations.com/pkellachwaddle  University of Michigan School of Music Bass Faculty Position Faculty position for teacher of double bass link for more information http://contrabassconversations.com/dianagannett http://contrabassconversations.com/maxdimoff Congratulations to the Forth Worth Symphony Bassists the strike is over! congrats to: William Clay, Principal Paul Unger, Assistant Principal Jeffrey Hall Julie Vinsant Thanks to Mitch Moehring for the idea Feedback Derek Jones Jerry Ramos Michael Gam Valentina Ciardelli Bob Nieske Win Hinkle Recent Podcast Guests Dave Swift - http://contrabassconversations.com/daveswift  Scott Devine - http://contrabassconversations.com/scottdevine  Upcoming all-music show another “radio hour” Ben Allison Bill Merchant Caleb Quillen Get the App!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

284: Scott Devine is transforming online music education

Dec 9, 2016 48:52

Description:

"What else do you do?" said the neurologist to Scott Devine.

"Because you'll never play bass again."

How would you feel after hearing that news? What would you do?

Scott was making his living as a gigging bassist when he began having problems with his hands.  These problems grew progressively worse, prompting Scott to seek medical advice.

The diagnosis was focal dystonia, a neurological condition that affects a muscle or group of muscles in a specific part of the body, causing involuntary muscular contractions and abnormal postures.  Doctors told Scott that playing bass would not be an option for him anymore.

Fast-forward many years, and Scott is now making his living teaching electric bass (and yes, playing it!) to thousands of people world-wide.

How in the world did Scott overcome this?

We dig into this and much more in today's episode!

Links to check out: scottsbasslessons.com (Scott's website) Scott's Bass Academy (membership site) The Scott's Bass Lessons Podcast Scott's Bass Lessons on YouTube Scott on Facebook Scott's Free Toolkit

I also love this video of Scott interviewing Dave Swift, who was a recent podcast guest of mine!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

 

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

283: Weekly Update for 12/7/16 - Double Bass News and Events

Dec 7, 2016 13:00

Description:

Welcome to the weekly update from Contrabass Conversations! Visit contrabassconversations.com/news for all previous episodes and more information.

News of the Week Giving Tuesday from the International Society of Bassists For your gift of $100 or more today, we’ll send you a very special thank you in return, a copy of Gary Karr’s latest CD, Bass Brothers, Gary's tribute to his sister and harpist, Remembering Arla, or Melodic Pastiche. Make your donation, then email info@ISBworldoffice.com to let them know which CD to send. tag any donations with #GivingTuesday Gary Karr’s YouTube channel DaXun Zhang launches dragonetti.org free online music library of solo and orchestra music video library information about the 3/4 and 7/8 Dragonetti bass models DaXun has begun producing Dragonetti bass in action (video) DaXun on Contrabass Conversations Thanks to D’Addario Strings for sponsoring!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

D’Addario string giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners! Learn more at contrabassconversations.com/strings The Bradetich Foundation International Double Bass Solo Competition September 1-5, 2017 Denton, Texas, USA www.bradetichfoundation.org competition specifics Jeff Bradetich on Contrabass Conversations Do you have news you’d like to share? email me at feedback@contrabassconversations.com send me a message on social media contrabassconversations.com/facebook contrabassconversations.com/twitter contrabassconversations.com plus any other network (snapchat, pinterest, instagram, youtube) Louisiana Bass Fest February 11, 2017 Louisiana State University facebook.com/LouisianaBassFest featured guests: Lawrence Wolfe (Assistant Principal Bass at Boston Symphony Orchestra) Derek Weller (Faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy) Contrabass Conversations interviews with: Yung-Chiao Wei Lawrence Wolfe Second Annual San Diego Bass Fest Step 1: Mark your calendars! June 21-25, 2017 Step 2: Information: www.SanDiegoBassFest.com Step 3: Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/ Featured clinicians include: PJ Cinque Mark Dresser Justin Grinnell Jory Herman Jeremy Kurtz-Harris Andrés Martín Sayuri Yamamoto Contrabass Conversations interviews with: Jory Herman Jeremy Kurtz-Harris Andrés Martín Hosting provided by Bass Capos!

Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation. Learn more at basscapos.com.

Support Contrabass Conversations

Learn about all the various ways you can support Contrabass Conversations (both financial and non-financial) at contrabassconversations.com/support.

Listener Feedback: Kudos for Winning the audition from Bob Hanson, Doug Bistrow, and Adam Booker learn more at winningtheaudition.net send your feedback to feedback@contrabassconversations.com

 

282: Dave Swift on Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, and being an industrial bassist

Dec 6, 2016 01:17:58

Description:

As the bassist for Jools Holland's band for over two decades, Dave Swift is likely the U.K.'s best-known bassist.  He has performed with an astonishing array of artists, including:

Paul Simon Eric Clapton Paul McCartney Chaka Kahn Smokey Robinson

The list goes on and on!

He and I got a chance to sit down over Skype earlier this fall and dig into all sorts of fascinating topics like: how Dave transcribes the songs he performs with Jools why people call Dave an "industrial" bassist learning a tune in front of Amy Winehouse being impressive versus truly moving someone musically life on the road and in the studio crazy gig stories like playing with Smokey Robinson and Eric Clapton without a rehearsal!

Dave is a great guy and is such a fun person to chat with!  He recently redesigned his website, so be sure to dig into everything that he's up to there.

Links to check out: Dave's website Dave's appearance on the Lean Musician Podcast Later… with Jools Holland (YouTube channel) Dave’s bass guitar collection (YouTube) Scott Devine interviewing Dave Swift (YouTube) list of all the artists with which Dave has played (it’s a huge list!)

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

281: Radio Hour - fitness and healthy living

Dec 2, 2016 31:59

Description:

Radio Hour is a new idea that I'm testing out.  

In each episode, I take one topic and explore multiple perspectives from past guests.

Winning the Audition was my first experiment with this type of format format.  I'd love your feedback and ideas you might have for future topics!

Today's topic: Fitness and Healthy Living We hear from the following nine individuals: Alex Hanna (Chicago Symphony and DePaul University) Lloyd Goldstein (Certified Music Practicioner at Moffitt Cancer Center) David Allen Moore (LA Phil and USC Thornton School of Music) Ira Gold (National Symphony and Peabody Conservatory) Paul Ellison (Rice University) Ian Hallas (Lyric Opera of Chicago) Scott Pingel (San Francisco Symphony and Conservatory) Guy Tuneh (soloist and chamber musician) Jory Herman (San Diego Symphony) We cover the following sub-topics: yoga running meditation crossfit musical athletes diet weight loss the importance of a strong back periodicity in exercise and how it might apply to practicing martial arts being "athletes of the small muscles" balancing yourself as a person Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

280: News Hour

Nov 30, 2016 30:21

Description:

News Hour is my new experiment—let me know what you think!

Send me news and feedback at feedback@contrabassconversations.com

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

News: “Round Two” with David Allen Moore - contrabassconversations.com/davidallenmoore new video from Barry Green Chautauqua Audition Season - Application Deadline is February 1, 2017 new podcast from Susan de Weger Feedback: Lars Swanson - I referred him to Danny Ziemann Nate Lerohl - I referred him to orchestraexcerpts.com/doublebass Manuel Rodrigues - wants to know how much hair should be on a bass bow Double Bass Fingering and Timeline Chart - $15 Sienna George Recommendations: Phil Snedecor - Brass Junkies guest (inspiring episode for young musicians) Tim Ferriss Radio Hour

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Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

279: Round Two with David Allen Moore

Nov 28, 2016 01:04:59

Description:

When I got the podcast going again in 2015, I knew that I wanted to do "round two" interviews with past guests. Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist and USC Thornton School of Music professor David Allen Moore was at the top of my list.

I had David on the show back in 2009, which has been one of the most popular interviews from the first-generation podcast episodes (nearly 14,000 downloads at the moment).

A lot has changed for David since we last spoke: He took a sabbatical and, after analyzing Edgar Meyer's technique, developed the concept of fractal fingerings. He wrote a book on Fractal Fingerings. He became an ultra-marathon runner.

Several of my former students have studied with David over the years.  When I asked them who had the biggest impact on them as a musician and as a person, David was the first person they mentioned.

I headed down to Los Angeles and we met up at his USC studio. Here's a shot of us along with bassists Fernando de la Fuente and Dan Carson (another former student of mine!).

We dig into all kinds of topics, including:

building an internal map how bass pedagogy is still catching up to reality analyzing Edgar Meyer's bass playing the concept of framing Rabbath's approach and the German bow how practicing is a creative process how running changed David's approach to various aspects of life fractal fingering peak performance raising your floor as well as your ceiling reveling in your successes

...and much more!

Links to check out: David's previous podcast appearance Videos on Musaic (New World Symphony's great service) Bowing exercises for clear sound and articulation Building a technical and musical foundation Learning a new piece of music Organizing practice habits and learning how to learn Domaine Forget (David teaches there in the summer) David's LA Phil page David's USC page

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

278: Rob Anzellotti on bass capos and extensions

Nov 25, 2016 01:15:44

Description:

Rob Anzellotti and I had been planning on doing an interview.  When we realized that we would both be in Prague for BASS2016, we made plans to meet up and chat about capos, extensions, and other sorts of bass geekery.

Rob and I are joined by Chris Mathers for a freewheeling talk about bass, living in New York, life as an expat, getting into fabrication and how that led to making bass capos.

Did you ever want to know how many pounds of pressure strings exert on a bass?  Are you interested in the nitty-gritty of installing extensions without drilling into the scroll?  How about the angle at which a good capo should close?  If so, this is the episode for you!

It was a blast hanging out with Rob and Chris.  After we got done talking, we wandered down the street for some epically good Czech food and beer.  There's nothing like geeking out on all things bass and following it up with good food and conversation.

Links to check out: D’Addario strings giveaway! Bass Capos (Rob's company) Bass Capos on Facebook Chris Mathers

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox! 

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support 

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

277: Florian Pertzborn on Europoean orchestral experiences

Nov 23, 2016 22:13

Description:

Florian Pertzborn launched the European Orchestra Experience Award for the BASSEUROPE Orchestral Competition this year in Prague.

The recipients were: 1st prize: Luzia Vieira 2nd prize: Zuzana Blahova 3rd prize: Andrea Cocco

Florian and I got a chance to sit down in the beautiful courtyard of the HAMU in Prague to discuss this competition.  We talk about why Florian launched this and what benefits he sees it bringing to young double bassists.  

We also cover:

life as a musician in Porto, Portugal a typical season for Casa da Música (Florian's orchestra) the international makeup of this orchestra.

It was great to chat with Florian!  He's a great guy and is working hard to provide opportunities for young bassists across Europe.

Links to check out: D’Addario strings giveaway! Florian's website www.netbass.eu Casa da Música (Florian's orchestra) my appearance on Crushing Classical podcast my appearance on Trumpet Dynamics podcast

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox! 

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support 

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

 

276: Petia Bagovska on Bulgarian bass traditions

Nov 21, 2016 42:46

Description:

It was such a pleasure to catch up with Petia Bagovska in Prague for BASS2016!  I've known her for years.  We used to play in some orchestras together when we were both living in Chicago.  

When we both realized that we would be in Prague together for the European Bass Congress, we agreed to find a few minutes to catch up and record an interview.

Let's set the scene...

We're sitting in the courtyard of the HAMU in Prague on a beautiful October afternoon.

It's the most perfect weather imaginable. Everyone is outside having a coffee or a beer and a snack, chatting, laughing, trying out basses, and enjoying the experience of being united together as bassists in one of the world’s great cities!

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

We talk about: life as a professional bassist in Bulgaria Petia's experiences studying in Sofia orchestra life in Bulgaria Petia's book Double bass: Traditions and future Links to check out: D’Addario strings giveaway! Petia’s Facebook page Petia performing Czardas (YouTube)

 

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox! 

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support 

Listener feedback and news links: book launch landed Winning the Audition at #1 on Amazon! new ways to support the show - contrabassconversations.com/support find the podcast on all social media networks: itunes, facebook, twitter, snapchat, instagram, pinterest, linkedin, youtube feedback from Matt Gold about My Car Caught Fire and Exploded feedback from Jerry Ramos about Gary Karr and Rabbath interviews Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

275: get your copy of Winning the Audition now!

Nov 17, 2016 35:48

Description:

I’m so thrilled to announce that Winning the Audition is now available! You can get it in paperback, ebook, and Kindle formats, and links to all of this are available at winningtheaudition.net.  More formats (including audiobook) coming soon!

Today's episode covers: what people are saying about the book Ira Gold's complete foreword to Winning the Audition (it's great!) highlights from all four episodes of the Winning the Audition podcast series What people are saying about Winning the Audition:

"Professor Larry Hurst likes to say 'orchestras are the largest employers of musicians in the world,' As a result, auditions consume the lives of so many aspiring classical musicians. We have all obsessed over them to the point of auditions becoming mystical events with their own lore and urban legend. That somehow they are won with some kind of secret handshake, studying at the right school, playing like a machine, selling your soul to the devil, etc.

Jason Heath's new book Winning The Audition goes a long way to demystifying this frequently misunderstood and intimidating process. His book is the most thorough and exhaustive book on orchestra auditions that I have come across for any instrument. Through his book and his podcast, Jason has created one of the most invaluable educational resources available for classical bassists."

Owen Lee
Principal Bass, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati CCM
Principal Bass and Faculty, Chautauqua Institution

 

"Jason Heath has compiled relevant tidbits from interviews with top-notch players and major audition winners, interspersing them with his own approaches and experience. Part practical, part anecdotal, and part inspirational, this compilation is something that any musician on the audition trail can learn from.

What I particularly like about Jason’s approach is the idea that there is not “One Way To Do Things”; rather, he amalgamates multiple approaches with a wonderfully open mind."

Lisa Chisholm
Preparation and Performance Coach
www.masterperforming.com

 

“Jason has done amazing work. What started as a double bass blog has grown into a treasure trove of ideas, techniques, high level concepts, and history of not just the double bass but music in general. In fact, the ideas he's collected and assembled cross disciplines and transcend music. There are useful ideas in here for everyone. Thank you, Jason!”

Andrew Raciti
Northwestern University
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

 

“Jason has included an immense amount of value in this book about auditions. I can’t imagine a more detailed approach. In this book you have a wealth of information from not only Jason's own experience as a successful musician and auditioner, but from all of the many renowned bass players he has interviewed on his podcast.

This is an insider’s look at how to nail an audition with a wealth of tools to use to perfect your audition approach. I would say that any musician, bass player or otherwise, will benefit greatly from reading this book and employing the techniques.”

Tracy Friedlander
Crushing Classical
Horn Wise

“Jason has put together an essential resource for any musician wanting to gain the edge and to win their audition!”

Geoff Chalmers
DiscoverDoubleBass.com Founder

"Thank you Jason for putting this book together! Finally someone has compiled best practices in the realm of audition taking and Jason has gotten together some of the best minds in the music world. I'm sure anyone can gain insight into their own audition preparation from this book.”

Harish Kumar
Oulu Sinfonia, Helsinki

"I wish I had this text 25 years ago! Jason has gathered decades of bassists experience and distilled them into this impressive resource. The advice, tips and strategies are detailed and proven successful. Highly recommended!”

Peter Tambroni
mostlybass.com founder and music educator

“I love how all these wonderful resources are in one easy to read tool. Thank you, Jason, for continuing to harness the uniqueness of the double bass community!”

Dennis Bergevin
music educator, Grand Rapids

Get your copy today! Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

274: Yung-chiao Wei on overcoming challenges, Carnegie Hall recitals, and living through music

Nov 14, 2016 01:04:00

Description:

I had the good fortune to meet Yung-chiao Wei back in 2000 at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.  She was wrapping up her time with the New World Symphony and was just about to start new new position at Louisiana State University.

The rich double bass culture she has created the past decade-and-a-half is remarkable.  

In addition to creating the Louisiana Bass Fest, Yung-chio has propelled her students into all sorts of "next steps" like:

winning auditions such as tenured Principal Bassist and Assistant Principal Bassist in the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Acadiana Symphony Assistant Principal Bassist of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra going to prestigious music schools with full scholarships at the Juilliard School, Yale University, Eastman School of Music and Cincinnati Conservatory teaching at at the Cincinnati Conservatory and Southeastern Louisiana University founding the Brava Orchestra, an youth orchestra in Brazil, with a mission to bring music to the poor becoming the Executive Director at New York Baroque Incorporated Talk about having an impact on future generations of musicians!

Yung-chiao and I dig into all kinds of topics, like:

how playing Brahms makes her feel alive the Tai-chi horse stance and how it applies to bass playing overcoming some of her physical limitations over-practicing and how to avoid it her solo recordings the value of creating a bass festival

...and much more!

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Links to check out: D'Addario strings giveaway! Yung-chiao's website Yung-chio's YouTube channel Yung-chiao's faculty page at LSU Yung-chiao Wei Plays Brahms, Elgar, Yen and Tommasini (her latest CD) Yung-chiao’s first CD Yung-chiao on Facebook Tai Chi horse stance (YouTube) Links from news and listener feedback: winningtheaudition.net (my new book!) my appearance on TEM podcast notablevalues.com (Susan Weger's site on musical entrepreneurship) video featuring Normand Guilbeault from Montreal Dan Pink and why you should write a failure resume (from Jerry Fuller) Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Contrabass Conversations!

The 10th anniversary of Contrabass Conversations will happen on January 1, 2017!  Call into our special voicemail line at (415) 952-5643 and leave a message telling me a thing or two about yourself like:

your name where you live how long you’ve played bass where you play when you discovered the podcast your favorite episode(s) Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

273: My New Book!

Nov 10, 2016 13:07

Description:

I'm thrilled to announce that my new book Winning the Audition will launch on Thursday, November 17th.  This book expands on the content provided in the Winning the Audition podcast series.

You'll learn: Why thinking of your audition preparation as a scientific experiment unlocks your potential. How charting your audition progress keeps you from making the same mistakes repeatedly. How you can take your auditioning to the next level through changes in mindset. Why auditioning is a skill that can be mastered.

Visit winningtheaudition.net to pre-order your copy.  You can also sign up for bonus content from the book like my Four Methods of Slow Practice worksheet!

Here's what people are saying about Winning the Audition:

"Professor Larry Hurst likes to say 'orchestras are the largest employers of musicians in the world,' As a result, auditions consume the lives of so many aspiring classical musicians. We have all obsessed over them to the point of auditions becoming mystical events with their own lore and urban legend. That somehow they are won with some kind of secret handshake, studying at the right school, playing like a machine, selling your soul to the devil, etc.

Jason Heath's new book Winning The Audition goes a long way to demystifying this frequently misunderstood and intimidating process. His book is the most thorough and exhaustive book on orchestra auditions that I have come across for any instrument. Through his book and his podcast, Jason has created one of the most invaluable educational resources available for classical bassists."

Owen Lee
Principal Bass, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati CCM
Principal Bass and Faculty, Chautauqua Institution

“Jason has put together an essential resource for any musician wanting to gain the edge and to win their audition!”

Geoff Chalmers
Discover Double Bass Founder

"Thank you Jason for putting this book together! Finally someone has compiled best practices in the realm of audition taking and Jason has gotten together some of the best minds in the music world. I'm sure anyone can gain insight into their own audition preparation from this book.”

Harish Kumar
Oulu Sinfonia, Helsinki

“I love how all these wonderful resources are in one easy to read tool. Thank you, Jason, for continuing to harness the uniqueness of the double bass community!”

Dennis Bergevin
music educator, Grand Rapids

Learn more at winningtheaudition.net!

More links to check out:

D'Addario string giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners Road Warrior Without an Expense Account (my first book) Winning the Audition podcast series contrabassconversations.com/donate (new donation option)

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

The 10th anniversary of Contrabass Conversations will happen on January 1, 2017!  Call into our special voicemail line at (415) 952-5643 and leave a message telling me a thing or two about yourself like:

your name where you live how long you’ve played bass where you play when you discovered the podcast your favorite episode(s) Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

272: Reuben Rogers is a "Super-Sideman"

Nov 7, 2016 01:34:29

Description:

Reuben Rogers and I got connected through our mutual friend Allan Santos.

I wasn't even sure where to begin with a player like Reuben.  

I mean, he has played with Charles Lloyd, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, and a long list of jazz luminaries.  He's played on some of the best jazz albums of the past 20 years.

Where to even start?

So I reached out to Allan, and he told me:

"You've got to ask Reuben about the time he fell asleep on the bandstand during a set."

That's how we kicked it off.  It was the first of many stories like that.  In fact, I was sore from laughing so hard after we finished talking!

We dig into:

how to get work done at 3 am on the road Reuben’s first blizzard experience living in Boston and how it nearly drove him back to the Virgin Islands how Reuben’s high school music teacher Georgia Francis helped him repeatedly during his younger years mistakes that derail the careers of many young musicians

...and much more!

This was a super fun conversation.  Reuben is an awesome guy, and you'll have a great time and learn a lot from this conversation!

Links to check out: Reuben's website (click the bass trunk for a surprise!) The Things I Am (Reuben's solo album)

Reuben even has a set of bass loops available from the Loop Loft! Here's a clip featuring these groovy tracks.

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

271: George Amorim on building a double bass empire

Nov 4, 2016 51:37

Description:

What happens if you get hired to teach double bass... and there are zero students?

That's what George Amorim faced when he joined the faculty of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Where do you even begin?

But George wasn't deterred.  First, he visited high schools in the area.  Lots of bass players, but lots of work to be done.  

More high school visits from George.  People took notice.  Slowly, things began to grow.

Then George started ¡Viva el Bajo!  The response was immediate, and it grew bigger over time.  Students got better.  Word began to spread.

Fast-forward to the present.  

George has created a double bass powerhouse in South Texas.  His bass quartet featuring himself and his students Andres Vela, Daniel Morehead, and Gabriel Preusse played a stellar recital.

Piece #1 on the program: an arrangement of Peter and the Wolf by UTRGV faculty member Justin Writer.  Justin also narrated!

Piece #2 on the program: an original composition by Gabriel Preusse called Afro Sambas.

By the way, Gabriel's quartet is published and available! Contact him to learn more.

How did George enact this long-term plan to transform a double bass vacuum into one of the most vibrant bass scenes in the country?  What can others do to build their own double bass scene, no matter where they live?

That's what we dig into in this interview.

Learn more about my coverage of music teaching at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

270: Alexandre Ritter on method books, new works, and Brazilian double bass

Nov 3, 2016 50:09

Description:

Alexandre Ritter has become a champion of Armando Trovajoli's work Sconcerto.

Once you hear this amazing piece, you'll understand why.  

Written for Franco Petracchi, this work has been largely unplayed until Alex got his hands on it.

The process was complex, but Alex worked it out to record the entire piece and publish it on YouTube.  This piece is destined to become one of the major concert works for orchestra.  It's jazzy, colorful, mysterious, and magical. 

But that's not all Alex is doing these days.

We dig deep into Bille, how Alex uses it in his teaching, and we get into the debate of using the 3rd finger in the lower positions like what’s printed in Bille—Alex makes a compelling case for it.

While we were talking, he actually grabbed the bass and played through several examples for me!

Alex and I also talk about the experience of leaving Brazil to study in Georgia, how philosophy has influenced his thinking, job prospects in Brazil, and much more!

Learn more about my coverage of music teaching at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.

 

Links to check out: Alex's website TROVAJOLI - I TEMPO DI BLUES - ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI - II ALLEGRETTO - ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI - III PAVANE - ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) TROVAJOLI - IV SCHERZO - ALEXANDRE RITTER 2016 (YouTube) Joel Quarrington’s Method Book (here’s a link to my Joel Quarrington interview) Alex’s dissertation about the Rota Divertimento (in the ISB’s Online Journal of Bass Research)

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

269: Dennis Bergevin on public school teaching, professional development, and advising

Nov 2, 2016 32:57

Description:

Dennis Bergevin and I have a lot in common.

He's a bass player.  Me too.

He taught public school orchestra.  So did I.

His career has taken an unexpected turn.

I totally identify with that.

For Dennis, it was the interactions with the students that he found most valuable.  Not that the music wasn't important, but helping young people to find their path in life was what really mattered to him.

I agree 100%.

By the way, Dennis is a rockin' bass player. Check out this video of him playing Bach.

So Dennis has transitioned out of that orchestra director role and is now training to work in guidance at the college level. It’s amazing the opportunities that exist at the university level outside of being a professor, and how critical the people in roles like what Dennis is doing are to shaping the direction of student’s lives.

I also like this photo of Dennis and Edgar Meyer!

Learn more about my coverage of music teaching at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.

 

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Other episodes where we talk about teaching orchestra: Peter Tambroni Gabe Katz Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

268: Cornelia Watkins on private lesson teaching and Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance

Nov 1, 2016 50:45

Description:

I first learned about Cornelia (Corky) Watkins through my friend Jeremy Little.  Jeremy and I used to teach together in Illinois.  He is a proponent of a style of music teaching called Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP).

Teaching music through this model is interesting.  CMP teaches the complete musician.  The intent is to provide music students with deeper understanding and more meaningful experiences with the music they play.

I went to a workshop on CMP.  It was cool.  I learned a lot.  Here's a YouTube video with my friend Jeremy that gives a brief CMP overview.

But most of what we talked about revolved around teaching in a classroom.  Could this be applied to a private lesson setting?  How would that work?

That's when Jeremy told me to get in touch with Corky.

Corky is a pro at this.  She served as the national chairperson of American String Teacher Association’s Committee on Studio Instruction, and also served for six years as the Private Teacher Representative on the board of TexASTA.

So I emailed her.  We set up a time to talk.  I read her book Rosindust.  It was great!

Here's the thing that I was interested in...

Most of the young people that I teach don't want a career in music.  That's a good thing!  I want people to have amazing experiences with music while they're young and continue to have it be a meaningful part of their life when they're older.

The point isn't to create a bunch of performance majors.  The point is to bring the gift of music into these young people's lives.

Are we doing these young people a disservice by focusing only on technique and the music on the stand?  How do we teach beyond that without turning the private lesson into a music appreciation class?

That's what Corky and I dig into!

Learn more about my coverage of music teaching at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.

Links to check out: Corky's Rice University page Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (main page) Rosindust: Teaching, Learning and Life from a Cellist's Perspective by Cornelia Watkins From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers - co-authored by Cornelia Shaping Sound Musicians by Patricia O’ Toole - the foundational resource for CMP

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

267: Johnny Hamil on student motivation and building bass events

Oct 31, 2016 57:22

Description:

Johnny Hamil has dedicated his life to teaching bass. Starting out as a music education student, Johnny met George Vance at an International Society of Bassists Convention, and his life has never been the same since.

After years of prodding from George, Johnny started the Kansas City Bass Workshop.  This event has grown into one of the most vibrant double bass events in the country.

But Johnny's not worried that others are going to take students away from him by starting their own events.  

In fact, he's convinced that every city should have their own bass event.  And after listening to this conversation, I'll bet you'll agree!

Johnny’s book Jamming On The Bass is an improvisational accompaniment to Vance’s Progressive Repertoire series.  Check it out!  It'll add some great variety to your teaching.  

Here's a video describing Johnny's teaching philosophy.  This will give you some background on why Johnny was inspired to write his book.

Learn more about the materials Johnny uses and what hundreds of other leaders in the double bass field use at contrabassconversations.com/teaching.

More links to check out:

Feature on Johnny and the KC Bass Camp from KCUR Johnny Hamil Bass Studio (FB page) Rabbath - Bass Ball (vinyl!)

Be sure to subscribe to Contrabass Conversations to get these episodes delivered automatically to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

266: Garrett Hope on portfolio careers

Oct 27, 2016 01:45:28

Description:

I love episodes like this.

Garrett Hope of The Portfolio Composer and I wanted to feature each other on our podcasts.

But we couldn't figure out the best way to do it.

So we chucked the script, flipped on the mic, and riffed for an hour on the subjects that interest us the most.  

We're both bass players.  We're both podcasters.  We're both building our careers around this crazy podcast model.

Already, we have a lot in common.

But that's only the beginning.

We're both constantly thinking about what it really means to build a career in music.  

How does that even work these days?   How do income streams for musicians work?   Where are things headed?   What can today's musician do? We dig into all this and much more!

By the way, if you don't subscribe to Garrett's podcast, stop reading this right now and go subscribe.  And get on his email list while you're at it.  Garrett has figured a lot of things out on the career front, and he has tremendous value to offer all of us.

I love listening to Garrett's podcast.  It's one of the shows that I immediately click on when I see a new episode.  You'll love it too.

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

 

265: Szymon Marciniak on DVDs, travel, and freelance life

Oct 25, 2016 01:02:48

Description:

Szymon Marciniak played a killer recital in Prague for BASS2016. Here's a great photo from that standing-room-only event.

The centerpiece of this recital was Frank Proto's compelling new Sonata No. 3.  Frank wrote this piece expressly for Szymon, and it is--to say the least--epic in scope.

Along with pianist Evan Mitchell, Szymon recorded a CD and DVD called New Music for Double Bass for Liben Music.  

This new release includes Proto's Sonata No. 3 along with the 2009 Sonata by Richard Dubugnon, Lu Shang's Fantasy Higgs Boson, and  Chiel Meijering's The Ultimate Workout (Part 1).

We talk about:

this feature-packed new release (check it out!) Szymon's decision to leave his principal bass position with The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra and embark on a freelance career strings, endpins, balance, sound, and much more!

Check out this YouTube video with the complete first movement of the Proto Sonata No. 3.  This will give you a feel for the incredibly musicianship and high production quality on this CD/DVD release.

Links to Check Out:

Szymon’s YouTube channel Szymon plays Proto Sonata No. 3 mvt 1 (complete movement from DVD) Omega - Hungarian rock band we talk about New Music for Double Bass (CD/DVD) Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

264: David Heyes on leaving a legacy

Oct 24, 2016 01:07:55

Description:

David Heyes needs no introduction.

Since founding Recital Music over 20 years ago, David has brought the music of composers like Tony Osborne, Teppo Hauta-aho, and Simón García to countless bass players.  

David has also commissioned over 500 double bass compositions.  Talk about an impact on the bass world!

In recent years, David has become a prolific composer.  

In only three years, his compositions have been performed in eight different countries.  He is constantly thinking of new ideas for pieces.  In fact, he's even writing a piece for me!

It was such a pleasure to meet David in person in Prague for BASS2016. Here's a favorite photo of us meeting in the airport--talk about a warm welcome to the Czech Republic!

David is also a prolific writer.  In addition to writing for publications like The Strad, David has created A History of the Double Bass in 100 Pieces and BASS NOTES.  He is constantly finding new ways to synthesize double bass knowledge and provide value to the community.

By the way, his recital in Prague was awesome. Here's a bit of it on YouTube.  Check it out, and enjoy this interview with Davide Heyes!

Links to check out:

BASS Notes A History of the Bass in 100 Pieces Recital Music Wells Cathedral School David’s Prague recital (YouTube) A Tribute to Teppo (GoFundMe)

Listener Feedback Link:

Crafting a Music Career

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

263: the intriguing Jonathan Haskell

Oct 21, 2016 58:19

Description:

Jonathan Haskell may very well be the world’s most interesting man.

He’s a bassist. In a great orchestra: L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande in Switzerland.

Also, he’s the president of the musician’s union. An accomplished conductor. Fluent in multiple languages.

He is also the author of three murder mysteries centered around the orchestra.

Here's a link to the first five chapters of On the beat, a murder mystery involving an orchestra, a sadistic, villainous, and diabolical conductor, an undercover cop in the percussion section, and a Pirastro Flexocor E string as a murder weapon!

Set in Chicago and downstate Illinois, this book vividly brings back memories of my "old life" Road Warrioring it around Chicagoland.

Interested in reading more? Send Jonathan an email and let him know!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your mobile device!

Resources we covered in this interview:

On the beat by Jonathan Haskell (PDF - 5 chapter preview)

L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande (website)

L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande (YouTube)

Jonathan Haskell on Discogs

The Compleat Conductor by Gunther Schuller

Twin Cities Bass Camp (from listener feedback)

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

262: Allan Santos on finding your purpose

Oct 19, 2016 01:16:11

Description:

Allan Santos and I met 15 years ago at the Britt Festival in Oregon. I vividly recall drinking beer with him at the bar while Dave Anderson shot pool in the corner.

After studying with players like Shinji Eshima and John Hood, Allan had landed an orchestra gig in the Toledo Symphony.

The goal had been reached.

But Allan felt like things were at an 8 in his life. Not a 10.

What would a 10 look like?

Fast forward to the present, and Allan is on a totally different path. Allan left the Toledo Symphony several years ago. He became the #7 ranked yoga competitor in the nation (yes, we talk about this!).

He has now moved into Life Coaching. After reading my manifesto about my new direction in life, he reached out to me and we started talking.

He was tremendously helpful in helping me gain clarity about the next steps in my life. I’d never had conversations like this. He gave me strategies to obtain clarity and focus on what’s actually important in any given moment.

The is a deep conversation for sure. I’ve never really put anything like this out on the podcast. My conversation with Trevor Jones might be the closest thing. But I know you’ll enjoy it!

Resources we covered in this interview:

Allan Santos (Facebook)

Allan’s email: allan@allanjaysantos.com

Documentary on Marshal Hawkins (Allan’s first bass teacher)

Allan’s yoga competition video

Martha Beck Institute (where Allan studied as a Life Coach)

Unemployment Never Sounded So Sweet (the post I wrote that put us back in touch)

Two book recommendations from Allan:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron The Big Leap by Hendricks Gay

leave a review for Contrabass Conversations in iTunes!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your mobile device!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

261: rob knopper is the auditionhacker

Oct 17, 2016 54:04

Description:

it would be sacrilege to use capital letters when writing about auditionhacker founder rob knopper.

rob plays percussion in the metropolitan opera orchestra. which is quite cool.

but rob also started auditionhacker, a site devoted to mastering the systems and processes required to win an audition.

we talk about: rob’s own auditioning experiences his super-cool practice journal system how to advance at an orchestra audition 101 (rob’s free mini-course) the audiitonhacker formula (8 module course)

this was a great conversation!  you’ll walk away loaded with new strategies for your next audition!

Subscribe to the podcast and get these interviews delivered to your mobile device!

From listener feedback:

10 Preparation Strategies I’ve Learned from Audition Winners (My AuditionCafe.org post)

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

260: Break into the Scene with Seth Hanes

Oct 14, 2016 01:27:35

Description:

Seth Hanes is a horn player, digital marketing consultant, and the author of the new book, Break into the Scene: A Musician's Guide to Making Connections, Creating Opportunities, and Launching a Career, which is available now on Amazon. If you want to check out some free email templates that will help you pick up gigs and some other bonuses, visit breakintothescene.com.

We talk:

how to get more gigs working with contractors how to market and self-promote working for free as a tactic

Break into the Scene hit #1 in Amazon's music business category within days of its launch.  Check it out--it's a great read and full of actionable advice!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

259: Trevor Davis on his luthier path

Oct 13, 2016 01:10:57

Description:

Spread and focus.

That’s what Trevor Davis thinks about as he makes his basses.

It’s all in the arching. That’s what makes an instrument sound great.

But Trevor didn’t just magically know this from the start.

His tale is one of persistence and grit.

Carving scrolls during the night shift at 7-Eleven. Dragging his half-made first double bass back and forth across country. Making violins during the day and sleeping on the floor by his workbench at night.

But then...

Winning a certificate of workmanship at the 2013 International Society of Bassists Convention.

Getting hired at a luthier at Robertson & Sons Violin Shop.

How did he get from the night shift at 7-Eleven to making award-winning basses and working at one of the world’s great instrument shops?

Listen and find out!

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

258: RCM International Double Bass Festival Preview

Oct 12, 2016 12:51

Description:

The first Royal College of Music International Double Bass Festival will be taking place on October 16, 2016.  Gabriele Ragghianti, Dan Styffe, and Alberto Bocini discuss this exciting new event on today's episode.

This event is free and requires no tickets, so be sure to check it out if you can!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

257: Sandor Ostlund on musical influences, practicing, and career possibilities

Oct 10, 2016 42:07

Description:

Our teachers shape us more than we realize. Having the right teacher is critical for achieving our goals.

Sandor Ostlund has had a staggering set of quality teachers throughout his life journey.

First, he studied with Hans Sturm. Then he worked with Richard Davis. From there, he found his way to Paris to study with François Rabbath. In Paris, he met Paul Ellison, with whom Sandor would study with for his DMA. In fact, Sandor was the first student to every receive his DMA with Paul at Rice University.

Talk about a great set of musical role models!

Sandor has gone on to have a major impact in the world of the double bass. He teaches bass at Baylor University, works as a clinician across the United States, and has released a fantastic solo album of new works for the double bass.

We dig into all kinds of topics:

how Sandor continues to find inspiration lessons Sandor learned from Paul, François, Richard, and Hans what to do if you only have an hour to practice finding your path in the music world

…and much more!

Links:

Sandor’s website

Leap of Faith (album)

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

256: Shinji Eshima on pit experiences, David Walter, and composing for the ballet

Oct 6, 2016 01:03:22

Description:

Most musicians don’t have a day dedicated to them in their hometown.

Shinji Eshima does. In 2011, the city of Berkeley, California named the day December 6th Shinji Eshima Day, in his honor for his contributions to the arts.

Even fewer musicians play an instrument featured in a Degas painting.

But Shinji Eshima does. His Plumerel bass is the very same instrument painted by Degas in L’Orchestre de l’Opera.

Shinji’s impact on the double bass world has been tremendous. He has performed with the San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera Orchestras for decades.

He teaches at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His students have gone on to perform with the San Francisco Symphony, Utah Symphony, London Philharmonia, Montreal Symphony and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam

But Shinji is also a composer… and what a composer!

In 2011, the San Francisco Ballet commissioned him to write a ballet. RAkU was the result, and it has been performed across the globe by the San Francisco Ballet. RAkU has also joined the repertoire of The Joffrey Ballet. Swimmer, his third ballet for the San Francisco Ballet, premiered in 2015.

We talk about Shinji’s early years on the instrument, studying with David Walter, performing in the pit, getting into composing, and much more!

Links to check out

If It’s Tuesday it Must be Up-Bow from Soliloquy album (performed by Patrick Neher)

San Francisco Ballet in RAkU (YouTube)

RAkU: A Conversation with Shinji Eshima (YouTube)

Swimmer - ballet composed by Shinji Eshima (YouTube)

Shinji’s 1843 Plumerl double bass as portrayed by Degas in Orchestra of the Opera

Listener feedback links:

Ray Parker - bassist Ira Gold’s new project on mockauditions.com Jason's appearance on The Entrepreneurial Musician Jason's appearance on A Musical Life

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

255: Frank Proto on jazz influences, bebop violin, and deadlines

Oct 3, 2016 01:03:15

Description:

Jazz is Frank Proto's native language.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Frank spent his days studying with Fred Zimmermann and his nights hanging out at Birdland.

I love hearing Frank describe what it was like studying with Fred. In fact, Frank's lesson slot was right after Charles Mingus.

Talk about being a part of jazz history!

Frank's journey from the jazz clubs of New York City to the Cincinnati Symphony is remarkable...and that's putting it mildly!

Here are just a few of his many career highlights:

Bassist and composer-in-residence for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Over 20 large-scale works premiered by CSO Countless shorter works and arrangements premiered by CSO Over 400 performances of Carmen Fantasy for Trumpet and Orchestra Over 500 performances of Casey at the Bat Composed music for Dave Brubeck, Eddie Daniels, Duke Ellington, Cleo Laine, Benjamin Luxon, Sherill Milnes, Gerry Mulligan, Roberta Peters, François Rabbath, Ruggerio Ricci, Doc Severinsen, Richard Stoltzman and Lucero Tena

I could go on and on.

Frank has impacted the world of the double bass immensely.

But he has gone way beyond that.

Best of all, he hasn't slowed down. In fact, he is continuing to explore new ideas and unexpected collaborations.

I can't wait to see what he does next.

Links to check out:

Frank Proto on Wikipedia

Liben Music (Frank’s publishing company)

Brandeis Jazz Festival - Fred Zimmermann, Charles Mingus, Gunther Schuller, George Russell

Brandeis Jazz Festival (YouTube)

All About Rosie (YouTube)

Harry Lookofsky: Stringsville

‘Round Midnight - Harry Lakoofsky performance (YouTube)

Music featured in this episode (all written by Frank)

Sonata No. 2 - with Catalin Rotaru Sonata No. 3 - with Szymon Marciniak Sketches of Gershwin - with Eddie Daniels String Quartet No. 1 Duo for Viola and Double Bass My Name is Citizen Soldier Variations on Dixie Ghost in Machine Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

254: Craig Butterfield on careers, ProTools, and American roots music

Sep 29, 2016 57:13

Description:

Craig Butterfield loved Edgar Meyer's bass playing ever since discovering it.

Lately, he has been following in Edger's footsteps. Performing American roots music with mandolinist Jesse Jones is now a key creative outlet.

Craig also teaches at the University of South Carolina. He shows young bassists how to hone their technique to explore creative new paths.

But that’s not it.

Craig also loves recording. He mixes and masters his own recordings in ProTools. His popular YouTube overdub videos have gotten tens of thousands of views.

We talk about:

his time studying with Jeff Bradetich at the University of North Texas touring with Maynard Ferguson career opportunities for musicians

...and much more!

Links to check out:

Craig’s website

Craig’s YouTube Channel

Pisces (new album with Jesse Jones)

Stickerfoot (album with Jesse Jones)

253: Corey Brown on No Treble, Jaco Pastorius, and the opportunity of being first

Sep 26, 2016 52:06

Description:

Corey Brown started out on the "traditional" music school path.

Starting out at the University of North Texas, Corey left and became a graphic designer. He began developing on the web in the early 1990s.

Fast forward a few years, and he created Squidoo with bestselling author Seth Godin. Squidoo became one of the most-visited websites ever with over 85 million monthly visits.

Corey fused his passion for the bass with his passion for the web in unexpected and impactful ways.

First, he created and ran the official Jaco Pastorius web site, working on it from 2002 to 2007 and again in 2014.

Next, worked on the Portrait of Jaco… the Early Years box set. He designined and produced the packaging for the release in 2003.

But Corey wasn't done with innovating for the bass.

In 2008, he founded no treble, which turned into the most popular online bass magazine on the web.

With over a dozen regular contributors and hundreds of thousands of monthly visits, no treble has re shaped the way bassists worldwide connect with and learn from each other.

Learn about Corey's fascinating career fusion of music and design in this interview!

Links to check out:

no treble

Corey’s blog

Corey’s web consulting

Corey on Facebook

Corey on Twitter

Corey on LinkedIn

252: Nina DeCesare on injuries, auditioning, and George Vance

Sep 22, 2016 38:57

Description:

Nina DeCesare's creative musical quest is inspiring.

First, she won the 14 and under International Society of Bassists solo competition. Then she won it again for the 15-18 division.

She studied at Rice University, Tanglewood, and Domaine Forget. Also, she won a scholarship to study with François Rabbath in Paris. Nina ended her time at Rice by winning a position with the Oregon Symphony.

She has done more in her brief career than many do in their entire life.

But it hasn't always been easy for her.

In fact, she went through a serious playing injury during her time at Rice University.

Her bass playing ground to a halt for months.

But through careful analysis, she changed her approach to the bass. She problem-solved her way out of the injury and changed her approach to the bass in the process.

We talk about what it was like studying with George Vance and Paul Ellison, playing in Portland bars, thoughts on training as a soloist versus as an orchestra player, and much more!

Links to check out:

Nina’s Website

Nina’s YouTube Channel

How an Injury Saved my Playing (blog post by Nina)

Too many young double bassists prioritise solo technique over orchestral expertise (by Chi-Chi Nwanoku - from The Strad)

251: Hans Sturm on motion capture, François Rabbath, and A Day in Paris

Sep 15, 2016 56:56

Description:

Hans Sturm isn’t afraid to reinvent himself.

Everything changed for Hans when he first met François Rabbath. Before he knew it, he was in Paris soaking up these new concepts.

Fast forward many years, and we find Hans playing the second Rabbath Concerto with Sylvan Rabbath on piano. If you look at the music for this concerto, you’ll see that François dedicated this piece to Hans.

But that’s not it. Hans also realized that not everybody could hop on a flight to Paris to study with François. So he began to think...

How could he get these teachings to a wider audience? What could he to do take these concepts beyond the printed page?

Here’s the answer:

Art of the Bow Art of the Left Hand

Hans has reinvented himself in many ways throughout his career.

He shaped the digital plan for the International Society of Bassists during his time as president.

He explored creative uses of DVD technology in the Art of the Bow and Art of the Left Hand.

He even left the stability of a tenured position for new adventures in a different part of the country.

Through these journeys, he has brought tremendous value to the bass community. His commitment to education and to furthering his own education throughout these chapters of his life.

Learn more about his time working with Richard Davis, Jeff Bradetich, and François Rabbath, practice techniques, and the genesis of this most recent album A Day in Paris!

Links to check out:

Hans’ website

A Day in Paris (new album)

Art of the Bow

Art of the Left Hand

Our Rabbath Technique video series (you’ll love the cats in the background)

250: Diana Gannett on her musical journey

Sep 12, 2016 44:55

Description:

Diana Gannett might be the most thoughtful double bass teacher I’ve ever encountered.

Her approach to teaching is comprehensive and nuanced. She incorporates everything from group warm-ups to Aikido principles on her website. Every bassist out there should have this site bookmarked!

But she’s not just a great teacher—she’s a jaw-droppingly talented performer.

You have to hear her sound to believe it. She energizes every note she plays with this magnificent and distinctive tone.

We go deep into her approach to teaching and feature excerpts from her wonderful solo album Lady Bass. I know you’ll enjoy this episode!

Links to check out:

Diana’s website

Lady Bass (solo album)

Diana’s Practice Room resources (bookmark these!):

Study Sheet Practice Modes Toys Bass Class Exercises Phase Warm-Ups

249: Hugh Sung on Musical Entrepreneurship

Sep 9, 2016 55:42

Description:

Hugh Sung is the ultimate musical entrepreneur.

After years spent teaching at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hugh co-founded AirTurn, a company that produces pedals designed to turn pages on a tablet device.

Hugh is also an author.  In fact, he wrote From Paper to Pixels as a result of using tablet devices for reading music.

Now Hugh has moved into the world of podcasting with his show A Musical Life, getting a quarter of a million downloads in only a few months.

In addition, he recently launched A Musical Life Mastermind, a membership site devoted to helping musicians explore opportunities to grown their career.

Learn how he does all of this and much more in this interview!

Links to check out:

Hugh’s website

A Musical Life (podcast)

A Musical Life Mastermind

AirTurn

248: Peter Seymour on Hard Work

Sep 8, 2016 46:33

Description:

Teaching improvisation is like Fight Club.

The first rule of teaching improvisation is you don’t talk about improvisation!

That’s Project Trio’s approach, and it’s totally compelling.

10 years ago, Peter took all the energy and drive he had for the audition circuit and poured into getting Project Trio off the ground. We talked about it back then.

Fast-forward to the present, and the results of this hard work have paid dividends.

Learn about what Peter did and the results he got in this interview!

Links to check out:

Project Trio website

YouTube channel

247: Danny Ziemann on Jazz Bass Lines

Sep 7, 2016 37:15

Description:

Danny Ziemann couldn’t find a book on bass lines that worked for him.

So he created The Low Down.

Now he’s released his second volume, and he’s looking to expand way beyond that.

Danny is committed to teaching the fundamentals in a clear, step-by-step process. It’s a fresh approach to jazz bass pedagogy from the mind of a committed music educator.

Learn more about this dynamic young musician in this interview!

Links to check out:

Danny’s website

The Low Down Vol. 1 and 2

246: Lauren Pierce on YouTube fame

Sep 6, 2016 55:25

Description:

Lauren Pierce started out on the typical music school path.

But something happened along the way.

In the midst of grad school, Lauren decided to quit. She struck out on her own and asked herself a critical question:

What if?

Instead of grad school, Lauren decided to:

- put dozens of videos on YouTube
- learn how to write code
- build up a worldwide social media following
- start a membership site
- create video courses
- teach Skype lessons

Learn how taking the road less traveled helped Lauren launch her career in this interview!

Check out these links:

Lauren’s website

Lauren’s YouTube channel

Lauren’s teaching site

Bowing course on Discover Double Bass

Codeacademy

245: Emilio Guarino on Making It

Sep 5, 2016 01:30:02

Description:

This is Emilio Guarino. He plays bass.

But that’s not all he does. He makes music with computers. He also teaches and performs in many musical styles.

He’s even written a book to help musicians figure out how to find a foothold.

On his blog and Youtube channel, Emilio asks questions like:

Are you the type of person you’d hire for a gig? Are auditions a problem-solving activity or a chance to beat up on yourself? When does the real world actually start?

We dig into these topics and much more in this interview!

Check out these sites:

Emilio’s website

Make It (book)

Emilio’s YouTube channel

Book recommendations:

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

James Clear (writer)

Mark Manson (writer)

244: Christine Hoock on DJs, egoless playing, and patience

Sep 1, 2016 43:59

Description:

Christine Hoock is a tossed salad of musical genres.

Maybe she’s playing Phillip Glass.  Perhaps she’s performing Arvo Pärt.  She could even be playing tangos or jamming with a DJ.  

But regardless of what she’s playing, it’s with her beautiful, compelling sound.

Günter Klaus and Franco Petracchi taught her, and she has taken the double bass a new level.

She has total command of the bass and is a compelling world-class artist.

Learn how she does it in this interview!

Resources we covered in this interview:

Christine’s website

Christine on YouTube

Christine on the Vanhal Concerto (Strad Magazine)

Contrabajisimo  (album)

other albums by Christine

243: Pablo Aslan on tango bass life

Aug 28, 2016 43:27

Description:

Pablo Aslan breaks bow hairs.

A lot of bow hairs.

In fact, he rivals the guys in the Met for most-frequent rehair at his NYC bow shop.

He also makes killer bass lines.  He’s truly the Ray Brown of bowed marcato bass lines.

Learn how he does it in this interview!

Resources we covered in this interview:

Pablo’s website

AvantangoMedia (Pablo’s YouTube channel)

Piazzolla in Brooklyn (album)

Tango Grill (album)

242: Sam Suggs on Music Cognition, Jamming in Bars, and the Elements of Execution

Aug 25, 2016 01:01:42

Description:

Sam Suggs calls himself an omnivorous musician.

I love this tagline.

I feel like I’m eating at a fantastic fusion restaurant when I hear Sam’s music.  I'm not expecting these flavors to work, but they are so good together.

First, he takes a little 1750s galant style.

Next, he adds a dash of Verdi.

He finally tops it off with—I kid you not—Skrillex and Daft Punk.

Then he marches over to a bar and gives it a battle test in front of the patrons.

Best of all, he does this without a looping pedal in sight.

Learn more about how he works his magic in this interview.

Sam is also kicking off the upcoming International Society of Bassists convention.  We dig into what he’s planning in our chat, and I know you’ll love what he’s got in the works.

  Resources we covered in this interview:

Sam’s website

Sam’s YouTube channel

Study with Sam at James Madison University

Music in the Galant Style by Robert Gjerdingen (book recommendation)

241: My Biggest Podcasting Screw-Ups

Aug 22, 2016 32:29

Description:

On both the blog and the podcast, I’ve always taken the stance of making things as good as I can and then putting them out in the world without any apologies.  Nothing drives me crazy more than listening to a podcast and heading the host apologize for a few minutes about this or that.

I resolved never to do this.  I would make the best product I could and then just present it without and excuses or “aw shucks” commentary.

Today, I’m letting loose. This is all the stuff that I have struggled with behind the scenes over the years.  All the times I slapped my head in frustration at my missteps.

Check out the accompanying blog post, (featuring similar but not identical content) and enjoy these tales of podcasting gone wrong!  You can also check out the three-part series I wrote for ArtsHacker about podcasting for more nuts & bolts information about the technology behind making a podcast.

240: Thierry Barbé on expressive music, German bow, and French basses

Aug 18, 2016 28:02

Description:

Thierry Barbé is a man in constant motion. 

When he’s not performing as principal bass of the Paris National Opera or teaching at the Paris Conservatory, Thierry can be found in all corners of the globe, performing lesser-known gems from the bass repertoire and giving clinics along the way.

He is a technical synthesizer, pulling from many different schools of playing, even incorporating German bow into his bag of techniques.

Thierry is a pioneer in uniting the European double bass community.  He organized the first European Bass Conference in 2008 and started the European Society of Bassists shortly after that.

He also has a new CD/DVD, which are must-haves for any bassist.  It’s available from the Triton label and as an MP3 download on Amazon.

Best of all, Thierry is a warm and caring person who brightens the day of anyone he runs into.  I had the good fortune to work with him on the International Society of Bassists board a few years ago, and he brought a marvelous energy to the organization. 

Check out the full interview using the audio player, and subscribe to the podcast to get interviews delivered to your inbox or device automatically!

Resources we covered in this interview:

Thierry’s website

Thierry’s YouTube channel

French Impressions on Amazon (MP3 download)

French Impressions - CD/DVD on Triton

Take Our Listener Survey!

Aug 17, 2016 30

Description:

It's time for our 2016 listener survey!

This survey will only take a minute or so to fill out, and it's incredibly helpful for me.

Why?

First off, I love hearing from you!

Also, it shows me what you find most compelling about what I put out for the podcast.

But most of all, it helps me to create podcast content that helps you.

If you can find the time to take the survey, I'd really appreciate it!

239: Seven Lessons I’ve Learned About Interviewing

Aug 15, 2016 22:49

Description:

I wrote a three-part series for Drew McManus’ site ArtsHacker earlier this year, and this got my brain going: what if I also put out some “pulling back the curtain” podcasts about how I do all of this and what I’ve learned in the process?  So that’s what today’s episode is.  I’m breaking this into two parts: today I'm covering “the art of the interview” and seven lessons I’ve learned about interviewing.  Next time we’ll go deep into the tech behind recording, editing, and putting these episodes out.

Podcasters like me end up having this strange skill set where they’re half Jay Leno and half IT guy.  While some of the bigger podcasters split these duties into various team members, the vast majority of podcasters (myself included) fill both of these roles.

Early Days: Discovering Podcasts

I discovered podcasts not too long after getting my first iPod Video in 2005.  My first podcast was This Week in Tech with Leo Laporte (who I’ve actually seen live! my wife and I went to the TWiT studio in Petaluma last year to see a live taping of This Week in Tech).  I was hooked from the get go, and it wasn’t took long before I thought, “What if I did my own podcast?"

I filed that thought away for a year.  My blog was starting to grow, and I was having a good time riding that wave.  But the more I got into blogging, the more I thought about how cool it would be to have a podcast. I was loving listening to interview shows, and I had broadened my listening to include about 20 podcasts at that point.  It was basically all that I listened to outside of some music.  It had totally supplanted any other form of talk radio or television.

As 2006 progressed, I resolved to start my own show, and the last few months of that year were spent purchasing gear, setting up a website, getting hosting for my new podcast, and learning how to use my gear to record and edit.  I did some unreleased test episodes at the end of 2006 and put out my first podcast on January 1st of 2007.

Getting My Sea Legs

Recording yourself makes most people self-conscious, and listening back to yourself as a host can be particularly awkward.  Like most people, I hated how I sounded on the mic, and I didn’t really know how to use any of the gear that I had that well, so it was trial by fire for sure.  I had this questionable Acer laptop at the time, with caused all sorts of problems early on, but I’ll save those details for the tech episode next time.

I put out what I thought was a pretty decent first episode, just stating the purpose of the show and what I hope to do.  The funny thing is that I have done pretty much exactly what I said on that first episode!  I went back not too long ago and listened to that episode, expecting some truly cringe-worthy material, but to my surprise it was actually pretty tight.

My first three episodes had no guests—they were just me rambling into the microphone, and it’s amazing to hear how stiff and stilted my delivery was.  It was all new to me, and that’s the first big lesson I have for this episode: no matter how well-versed you may be in public speaking, it takes time to find your own rhythm and your own voice in front of the microphone for a podcast.  Imitating someone else may work at first, but ultimately you have to find your own style.  It’s tough!

My First Guests

I finally got a guest on episode 4—Andy Anderson from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and I am eternally thankful to him for being willing to take a chance on something like this.  Andy is an incredibly open guy, which was amazing for a first guest. He made it so easy for me.  I can think of a lot of other people I interviewed after that which would have been much more challenging interviews, but Andy was amazing and was really helpful for building my confidence.  I mean, I really didn’t know what I was doing. 

I had listened to podcasts for a while at that point and had taken in a lot of interviews, but doing your own interview is not the thing entirely.  It can feel kind of formal and weird—I actually think that it’s one of those deceptively difficult skills that seems easy when done well but is in reality incredibly challenging to do at a high level.

Lesson #1 - Starting an Interview

I hear moments of quality interviewing even in those first episodes, but I cringe as I hear what I call extended resume-type questions: then you went to this school, then this school, then you auditioned for x, y, or z, etc.

I still start basically all interviews with some talk about the musician’s early years, but I no longer expect to talk about each minute detail of their progression through school, training, and employment.  It’s not necessarily that interesting… I mean, sometimes it is, and if so that’s cool, but what I do now is listen intently to what they are saying and listen for any sort of interesting twist in their path or any extra passion in their voice about a particular aspect of their upbringing.

A tip I picked up from Tim Ferriss that I pretty much always use these days: talk with a person for at least 10 minutes (especially if you haven’t met in the past) before starting the interview.  This makes for a way less stilted conversation.  The concern that most people have is that you’ll “blow” all the good content in the pre-interview and it will be stale when you’re actually recording, and while this can be kind of true, the benefits of chatting for a while far outweigh the disadvantages.

I have also stopped being so formal with the beginnings of interviews.  It just feels more natural to me.  If you’ve listened to the podcast for the long haul, you’ll notice that, at a certain point, I quit “welcoming my guest to Contrabass Conversations.”  It just seemed too stilted and didn’t really add anything to the podcast.  If anything, it hurt the podcast because it made people clamp up a little bit.  

Lesson #2 - Coaxing Out Good Content

My philosophy is that people I’m interviewing have a story to tell, and if I can’t get that out of them then it’s my fault as an interviewer. I have to ride the wave of discussion and pick out what is most interesting.

That can be easy or stupidly challenging depending on the guest.  Fortunately, I’ve picked up a few techniques from some of my favorite interviewers (most notably Tim Ferriss, Chris Hardwick, and Marc Maron).  Questions like “tell me the story of….”  or even something as simple as “what was that like?” work really well.  Questions that can be answered yes/no are also a little dangerous because there’s not a clear call for the guest to elaborate.  Some will, others won’t.

Also, some people are just more reflective/verbal than others.  With time, you start to pick up within minutes (and that’s why you don’t want to just dive into the interview immediately--get to know them and make the environment relaxed) what sort of guest they’ll probably be.  Regardless, I feel like it’s my job to suss out the interesting content from them.

So… how to figure out what is going to be interesting from a particular person?

That’s where research comes into play. 

Lesson #3 - Researching Strategies

For me, researching is key to doing a good interview.  I start the process with a new note in Evernote for the upcoming guest.  I then devour anything and everything that I can find online about that individual.  My Evernote document quickly becomes filled with biographical information, YouTube links, photos, audio examples, and the like.  As I read, watch, and listen, questions start to formulate in my mind.  Through this process, I’m looking for the key things that make that person’s story unique.  

Lesson #4 - Formulating Good Questions

I used to send every interview guest the same set of stock questions.  This led to the same kind of interview formula for everyone.  Over time, I quit using that list, approaching each new interview with a totally blank slate.  Even though guests will have certain commonalities (education background, career path, musical genre, etc.), I find that I get a better interview if I start from scratch every time.  I think that things got a lot better in terms of content when I quit trying to shoehorn everybody through the same ringer of questions.

Lesson #5 - Plan Like Crazy, but Improvise in the Moment

I write a lot of potential questions for a guest before an interview.  I will sometimes share these if requested by a guest or if I feel that it will enhance the interview.  If a guest doesn’t request them, I’ll typically not send them unless I find something a little off-the-beaten-path in my research that I think would be interesting to dig into.  I never want to surprise a guest with something way out of left field, but I’m also trying to balance preparation and spontaneity, and I don’t want things to be overly scripted.  It’s a balancing act that is a little different for every guest.

In the interview itself, I almost never look at those questions.  I try to go with the flow and will only look if i feel like we’re grinding to a halt.  At the very end, I do look just to make sure that we didn’t skip any key topics, and I try to remember to ask my guest if there was anything we didn’t talk about that they wanted to cover.  This has been a super helpful thing to ask!

Lesson #6 - Give Your Guest “Final Edit"

The intent of my podcast is never for it to be a “gotcha” kind of show.  The intent is to make my guests look good and learn their unique story.  With that in mind, I let them know that I edit, so anything that they want to restate can be easily changed.  Also, they can listen to the interview before it goes out and suggest any changes.  They have final edit on anything I put out. 

That knowledge takes pressure off of the guest to phrase everything perfectly, and it also allows us the luxury of exploring tangents and taking chances.  If these tangents don’t lead to interesting content, they can always be chopped out in the editing process.

Lesson #7 - Talk About Myself

Talk about myself?  How egotistical.

Actually, this is a wicked technique when used correctly because it encourages the guest to be more open.  If I start by relating something that I’ve struggled with, if make it more likely that my guest will feel comfortable sharing in similar fashion.  This leads to a more open and honest conversation and much better content.

I try to use it with discretion lest the podcast turn into the “Jason Heath Show,” but it works wonders with making a human connection and encouraging honesty.  Tim Ferriss is a master of this technique and articulated this lesson eloquently on his podcast.  Though I’ve done this subconsciously to a certain extent throughout the life of the podcast, I’ve practiced this lesson more consciously in recent months.

Final Thoughts

For me, interviewing is like any other skill, requiring practice and repetition.  I find it both satisfying and  quite challenging.  One cool side benefit of the whole interview preparation and execution process is that it requires me to formulate questions, which helps me ask better questions of myself.  It’s a self-education process as much as anything, and I’ve grown to appreciate the whole process more over time.

Next Time

I’ll be digging into all the dirty details about the technology behind podcasting and sharing some humorous missteps that I’ve made along the way.

238: Thomas Martin on Bottesini, gut strings, and the bass revolution

Aug 11, 2016 42:43

Description:

Today’s episode features Thomas Martin.  Tom has worn many hats throughout his career, working as an orchestra principal bass, soloist, champion of Bottesini’s music, luthier, teacher, and conductor.  We cover a wide variety of topics, including Tom's early years, playing in the Army Orchestra, studying with Roger Scott, the process of uncovering the music of Bottesini and reconstructing how Bottesini approached the instrument, making basses, and the bass revolution that’s currently taking place.  Enjoy!

Links:

Tom’s website Tom’s Bottesini recordings: Bottesini Collection Vol. 1 Bottesini Collection Vol. 2 Bottesini Collection Vol. 3 Bottesini Collection Vol. 4 Bottesini Collection Vol. 5

Listener feedback links:

Cassie LaMarche’s GoFundMe for BASS2016 Music Podcasts I’ve been Enjoying: The Entrepreneurial Musician Divergent Paths Clarineat A Musical Life

Winning the Audition 4: Sealing the Deal

Aug 8, 2016 35:48

Description:

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of Winning the Audition, a special series from Contrabass Conversations featuring advice from leaders in the field about preparing and executing auditions successfully.  This series is drawn from interviews conducted with dozens of bassists from orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Houston Symphony, plus some of the most influential pedagogues in the field.

I’d like to thank Discover Double Bass for sponsoring this series.  They’ve got several in-depth courses available, including the Double Bass Scales Play-Along Collection, Double Bass Bowing Technique, Beginner’s Course, and Creating Walking Bass Lines.  Each of these courses includes hours of HD videos, PDFs of exercises, and access to a members-only study group.  There’s a lot of free content on the site to check out as well, including previews of each of these courses.  Check out these courses and much more at discoverdoublebass.com!

Today’s episode dives into common characteristics and mindsets that distinguish audition winners.  We talk about techniques for battling nerves, adopting a more musical approach to the audition process, and processes for developing a good mental state for auditioning.

236: Matthew McDonald on resonance, bow distribution, and mindset

Aug 4, 2016 41:38

Description:

Today’s episode features Berlin Philharmonic principal bassist Matthew McDonald. Originally from Australia, Matthew joined the Philharmonic in 2008 after spending time in orchestras in Denmark and Germany. We cover bow distribution, resonance, the performers mindset, practicing, advice for students, and several other topics.

We also feature excerpts of Matthew performing pieces by Hindemith, Bruch, Bottesini, and Koussevitzky.  Check out these complete recordings and more on Matthew's YouTube channel.  Enjoy!

Tracks featured:

Hindemith Sonata Bruch Kol Nidrei Bottesini Grande Allegro alla Mendelssohn Koussevitzky Valse Miniature

Winning the Audition 3: Preparation Routines That Work

Aug 1, 2016 42:14

Description:

Welcome to the third installment of Winning the Audition, a special series from Contrabass Conversations featuring advice from leaders in the field about preparing and executing auditions successfully.  This series is drawn from interviews conducted with dozens of bassists from orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Houston Symphony, plus some of the most influential pedagogues in the field.

This episode is sponsored by Discover Double Bass, and they have a play-along scale package written by founder Geoff Chalmers that covers 17 different scale types in all 12 keys.  The package includes slow and fast MP3 backing tracks and drones, plus PDFs with fingerings and advice for specific types of scales.  Check this out and much more at discoverdoublebass.com

Today's episode follows along with the preparation routines used by several bassists holding high-profile positions, including Cleveland Orchestra principal bassist Max Dimoff, Houston Symphony principal bassist Robin Kesselman, and Chicago Symphony principal bassist Alex Hanna.

Book discussed: Toughness Training for Sports by James Loehr

234: Justin Locke returns!

Jul 28, 2016 01:04:13

Description:

Today’s episode is a “round two” with Justin Locke. After playing double bass for many years with the Boston Pops, Justin is now a management coach, speaker, author, and playwright.

We talk about many concepts, including the Toyota Lean Manufacturing system and how it relates to the Simandl technique, crazy stories from the Boston Pops, arts education, lessons from the music world that can be applied to the corporate world, workflow and timing, the "Mozart in the Jungle" effect that Justin has experienced, and his latest book that explores the physics of emotional energy. 

Check out the original interview from nearly a decade ago here.

Books mentioned:

Justin’s books Real Men Don’t Rehearse Principles of Applied Stupidity Getting in Touch with Your Inner Rich Kid Time Light Love Mozart in the Jungle The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Winning the Audition 2: Practicing Techniques for Peak Auditions

Jul 25, 2016 24:26

Description:

Welcome to Winning the Audition - a special series from Contrabass Conversations featuring advice from leaders in the field about preparing and executing auditions successfully.  This series is drawn from interviews conducted with dozens of bassists from orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Houston Symphony, plus some of the most influential pedagogues in the field.

This episode is sponsored by Discover Double Bass, and they have a course on bowing technique with Lauren Pierce that I highly recommend checking out. This course is divided into 37 HD lessons, and Lauren gives a short video overview of the three categories that these videos cover: the basics, bow control, and real world techniques. There’s also a free preview lesson on phrasing with the bow. Check out over 70 free lessons and much more at discoverdoublebass.com!

About Winning the Audition

This series provides actionable advice that you can use to take your auditioning to the next level, and while we’re speaking with bassists for these episodes, the advice can certainly be applied to other instruments and disciplines as well.  

This series is divided into four episodes: Preparing for Audition Success, Practicing Techniques for Peak Auditions, Preparation Routines That Work, and Sealing the Deal.  Special thanks goes to John Grillo, who was my co-host for many of these interviews.

Today's episode includes advice from dozens of major figures in the bass world, including Lawrence Hurst, Michael Hovnanian, Ranaan Meyer, Ian Hallas, Brandon Mclean, Robin Kesselman, Ira Gold, Max Dimoff, Jack Budrow, Andrew Anderson, Rob Kassinger, Peter Tambroni, Greg Sarchet, Andrew Raciti, Marc Ramírez, Gaelen McCormick, Joseph Conyers, Colin Corner, Ju-Fang Liu, Jeffrey Turner, Owen Lee, Brad Opland, Alex Hanna, and Ed Barker.

232: Jory Herman on community engagement, balance, and resonant churches

Jul 21, 2016 01:08:57

Description:

Today’s episode features Jory Herman, who is a member of the San Diego Symphony bass section and has just released his second solo album titled Life.  In addition to playing in the San Diego Symphony, Jory is actively involved in community engagement in the San Diego area.  He has recently become Director of Community Engagement with Art of Elan and is an active teacher and clinician.

We talk about his early years in music, studying bass with Paul Ellison at Rice University, and his time playing in the New World Symphony, where he got bitten by the community engagement bug.  We also discuss the recording of both his previous album of Bach Cello Suites and his most recent album, as well as what it’s like to continue to develop as a player and a person after landing an orchestra job.  Enjoy!

Links:

joryherman.com Art of Elan Bach album Life album

Interview Highlights

Early years piano first instrument, started cello in 5th grade and switched to bass a few months later First bass teachers were Becky Merritt and Dennis Whittaker, then Andy Moritz and Paul Ellison studied with Paul Ellison at Rice - 5 year honors program - BM and MM the student experience at Rice Early professional experiences New World Symphony getting the “community engagement bug” while in this program Spent a year playing in the National Symphony before joining San Diego Symphony in 2010 Continuing to set goals and develop as a musician “after the audition" lessons learned from Paul Ellison 1) Things you know  2) Things you know you don't know 3) Things you don't know you don't know. finding inspiration in the dynamically changing double bass community continuing to develop as a person feeding your soul as well as the technical aspects of your playing Jory’s educational and community engagement work Art of Elan - Jory has just been named the Director of Community Engagement  San Diego Youth Symphony Jory’s Book of Warm-Ups learning to to present what you do - lessons from the world of science Bach album and Life album recording venues Brahms arrangement Work-Life Balance

Listener Feedback links:

bass for sale from Eric Windmeier

Winning the Audition: Preparing for Audition Success

Jul 18, 2016 30:31

Description:

Welcome to Winning the Audition - a special series from Contrabass Conversations featuring advice from leaders in the field about preparing and executing auditions successfully.  This series is drawn from interviews conducted with dozens of bassists from orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Houston Symphony, plus some of the most influential pedagogues in the field.

Our sponsor for this episode is Discover Double Bass. This site is run by Geoff Chalmers and provides lessons and step-by-step courses on a variety of double bass areas of study. They’ve got free articles, string reviews and a show called Ask Geoff and Lauren where they answer questions from the double bass community. Geoff does great work and has built this into a tremendous resource for bassists everywhere. Check out over 70 free lessons and much more at discoverdoublebass.com!

About Winning the Audition

This series provides actionable advice that you can use to take your auditioning to the next level, and while we’re speaking with bassists for these episodes, the advice can certainly be applied to other instruments and disciplines as well.  

This series is divided into four episodes: Preparing for Audition Success, Practicing Techniques for Peak Auditions, Preparation Routines That Work, and Sealing the Deal.  Special thanks goes to John Grillo, who was my co-host for many of these interviews.

Today's episode includes advice from dozens of major figures in the bass world, including Lawrence Hurst, Michael Hovnanian, Ranaan Meyer, Ian Hallas, Brandon Mclean, Robin Kesselman, Ira Gold, Max Dimoff, Jack Budrow, Andrew Anderson, Rob Kassinger, Peter Tambroni, Greg Sarchet, Andrew Raciti, Marc Ramírez, Gaelen McCormick, Joseph Conyers, Colin Corner, Ju-Fang Liu, Jeffrey Turner, Owen Lee, Brad Opland, Alex Hanna,

Links from the episode: Performance Success Audition Success Fight Your Fear and Win Flow

230: Taking the Podcast to the Next Level

Jul 14, 2016 10:54

Description:

Jason reveals his "top secret" plans for the podcast!

229: BASS2016 Prague European Biennial Double Bass Congress Preview

Jul 11, 2016 18:33

Description:

Today’s episode features a conversation with Ursula Dieterich-Pedersen, who is organizing the 5th European Biennial Double Bass Congress, which will be taking place in Prague this September 20-25. Ursula and I got a chance to talk recently about some of the details for the event. You can find all the details for this event at bass2016.eu.

228: David White on Broadway, New York City, and Networking

Jul 7, 2016 50:13

Description:

Today’s episode features David White, who works as an upright and electric bassist in the world of musical theatre.  David is based in New York City and is currently on tour with the Bridges of Madison County.  We talk about his time at the Berklee College of Music and working as a bassist for Royal Caribbean, moving to New York City and getting involved with the theatre scene, a week in the life of a theatre musician, developing networking skills, and much more.  Enjoy!

Links:

David’s website Shirtwaist Sisters

Interview Highlights

Early Years

mom choir teacher, dad lighting designer started playing drums, then started bass in 6th grade attended Berklee College of Music for two years

Working for Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of The Seas for 9 months

weekly schedule varies depending on the length of the cruise production shows made by Royal Caribbean that are played for every cruise three of these productions for David’s ship tango show rock song medley Broadway medley fly-ons or guest artists people that would come in and just do their one show for that cruise big band set / jazz set depending on the show generally no days off

Getting into the theatre scene in New York

David moved to New York with the intention of getting into the theatre scene joined the union (802), got the union book and started contacting bassists networking principles how subbing for a show works

The Zen mindset of playing the same music every night

Typical weekly schedules for a show

Mondays typically travel day Tuesday is opening night for the show morning is free load-in during the afternoon - unpack instrument, get it plugged in, cords taped down, etc. soundcheck at 5 or 5:30 - cast is also getting a walkthrough in the theater (weird entrances for that particular theater, etc.) you get an hour before the show to eat and change Wednesday, Thursday, Friday have evening shows (mornings and afternoons are off) doubles on Saturday and Sunday close the show Sunday, pack up gear and head back to hotel

Gear: what David uses for shows

upright electric amp accessories

Developing networking skills

227: Lloyd Goldstein on Yoga, Habits and Entrainment

Jul 4, 2016 01:07:28

Description:

Today’s episode features Lloyd Goldstein, who has transitioned from playing in the Florida Orchestra to his current role working as a certified music practitioner at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  It’s so exciting to speak with someone who has continued to evolve so dramatically in his craft and career throughout his life.  Lloyd’s path is unconventional and inspirational.  

We get into all sorts details about Lloyd’s life like his “burning bush” moment that propelled him into a career on the bass, his circuitous path to the Florida Orchestra, discovering François Rabbath, the multiple benefits he has experienced from his practice of yoga, and how he came to find himself in his current role as a certified music practitioner.  

Links:

Lloyd’s website PBS program featuring Lloyd’s work at Moffitt Music for Healing and Transition Program Albums and book

Interview Highlights

Early Years

bass first musical instrument no bass lessons outside of 1/2 hour weekly public school lessons graduated high school early, started college at 16 decided at 20 that he wanted to study bass had a “burning bush” moment propelling him to the bass during a table saw injury began to study bass through several Florida schools, eventually began to study with Lucas Drew practicing 5+ hours a day got a job in the Florida Gulf Coast Orchestra, eventually became the Florida Orchestra stayed there for 21 years

Discovering François Rabbath

10 years into his time at the Florida Orchestra, Lloyd felt like he had hit a wall in his bass playing went to George Vance workshop in Washington D.C. area where Rabbath was teaching that was “the” moment for him started making yearly trips to Paris to study with François would practice all day and walk around Paris at night learning the "first bow stroke” - the son premier on which all other bow strokes are based the forearm is the conductor and the wrist and fingers are relatively passive François says that we never unlearn anything - you don’t get rid of bad habits - you add new skills

The Power of Practicing Yoga - 700 pieces of writing emanated from Lloyd’s first two years of practicing yoga and 400 drawings - eventually compiled into Lloyd’s book Inside Yoga

Finding balance between organized practice goals and “obsessing” on something

Working in a hospital environment

Lloyd had started to compose simple melodies from which pieces emerged through yoga practice, kept getting this inner self message to do volunteer work began to volunteer at Moffitt Cancer Center learned about certified music practitioners through contact at Moffitt became certified and began to work in the Moffitt Arts In Medicine program took a year’s leave from the Florida Orchestra to try out this new career and loved it got hired as an artist-in-residence at Moffitt 8 years ago performing versus giving a gift of music details about the experience of performing in this setting the idea of entrainment and meeting patients where they are entrainment has two aspects to it: physical psychological/emotional

226: ISB 2017 Convention Preview

Jun 28, 2016 15:43

Description:

This is a special episode featuring International Society of Bassists 2017 Convention Chair and Artistic Director Nicholas Walker discussing plans for the upcoming convention.  This 50th anniversary convention looks like it will be outstanding, with several new developments unique to this event.  Enjoy!

International Society of Bassists 2017 Convention 
June 5-10 at Ithaca College, New York

Other ISB-related interviews you may enjoy include:

Douglas Mapp - current president of the ISB Madeleine Crouch - general manager of the ISB Tentative Convention Details Headliners Confirmed: Sébastien Dubé Etienne LaFrance Christian McBride Gary Karr (keynote speech) Tentative: Edgar Meyer Renaud Garcia-Fons 2015 Competition Winner Recitals Mike Forfia Sam Suggs 2017 Competitions will take place Sunday and Monday (6/4 and 6/5) Competition Chair - Sandor Ostlund Opening Night Celebration on June 5 June 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 - convention days Young Bassists Program organized by Gaelen McCormick Adult Learner Double Bass Program organized by Elizabeth Steves Tentative plans with Chicago Symphony principal bass Alex Hanna for a daily hourlong "orchestra repertoire throwdown" Joel Quarrington - Friday night recital a time each day where we all work out on the bass together - led by David Allen Moore dozens of presenters call for presentations will go out soon philosophical approach to the 50th anniversary convention great talk with Gary Karr about the ISB 50 years ago compared to today what connects us is that we all love and play the bass coming into contact with the instrument is one of the themes Nicholas would like to dwell on for this convention make sure that there’s something at the convention for everyone opportunity to geek out on very specific topics get the luminaries of our bass world there - we covered this topic in our Douglas Mapp interview probably have a session where people can sit down and talk with Gary Karr about his life and career the halls are fantastic - great acoustics for bass Grammy-winning sound recording technology specialist Brian Dozoretz will be recording events at the convention Brian has recorded numerous luminaries in the bass world the convention will take place mostly in one building - vendors, sessions, etc. spaces for impromptu jams after hours event on campus at the pub Ithaca is within driving distance of most of the major Northeast population centers: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, etc. bass rental/borrowing for those traveling from far away—like Zipcar for basses

225: Nicholas Walker on musical influences, performing, and Domaine Forget

Jun 27, 2016 42:20

Description:

Today's episode features Ithaca College professor and International Society of Bassists president Nicholas Walker.  In addition to teaching at Ithaca College, Nicholas performs between 170 and 180 concerts a years in a wide variety of musical genres, he is a prolific composer, and he has taught for many years along with Paul Ellison and François Rabbath at Domaine Forget in Quebec.  Nicholas will be hosting the 2017 ISB Convention at Ithaca College next June 5-10.

We talk about his early musical influences, his experiences working with Paul Ellison and François Rabbath, balancing performing with other activities, and the Ithaca double bass experience.  We also go into great detail about a day in the life of a student at Domain Forget, which is a topic that we talked about with David Allen Moore back on episode 162 of the podcast.

We also feature several musical excerpts from Nicholas, starting with excerpt of a tune with singer songwriter Tenzin Chopak called "Just Don't Go.”  We’ll also play a few excerpts of some of Nicholas’ solo bass compositions, and you can find complete recordings on his YouTube channel.  Enjoy!

Musical Excerpts:

"Just Don’t Go" with singer songwriter Tenzin Chopak Chorale - solo bass Watermark - with cellist Elizabeth Simkin

Interview Highlights

Background and Early Years

started on piano, picked up bass in 4th grade, playing jazz early on and music with friends in addition to the public school started taking lessons with Duane Rosengard, who was a student at Eastman at the time played in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra studying with Mark Foley with many of the people surrounding Nicholas, there wasn’t a big distinction between jazz and classical playing - it was all part of musical life for him

Working with Paul Ellison

moving to Houston and meeting Paul Ellison Paul’s teaching style the Domaine Forget double bass experience Buddhist philosophy - any student who shows up has earned the right to learn Paul’s comfort moving from student to teacher role

Working with François Rabbath

the right time to hear something from a teacher how, exactly, can he help each particular person  his first experience meeting François

A Day in the Life at Domaine Forget

put the bass players in a barn and let them work get up early 8:30 am - all meet together - 25 students plus the two teachers bodywork and 90 minute workout together Stretching Yoga Feldenkrais Method Alexander Technique Pilates bass workout together - all done by ear and by rote - no music stands - working together in a big circle shifting exercises bowing exercises specific left hand techniques hand frames drop thumb expansion pivoting hammer on / pull off fingering patterns etudes at the end of the two weeks, they have a 90 minute routine that they do together without stopping - one exercise after another all this material comes from meeting with all the students the first night and asking them their goals for the camp 10 am - break followed by two hours of lessons lunch 1:30 pm - back in the barn for another 90 minute class with the senior faculty member Paul does a lot of stroke work and body awareness opportunity to introduce concepts like balance, arm weight, anything that came up in prior master classes everything from the simplest open string playing to more complex bow bouncing, forward/reverse curve 3:00 pm - master class evening - concerts with notable visiting artists, bass recital, public master classes

The Double Bass Program at Ithaca

largely modeled on the way Domaine Forget operates one of the nation’s oldest conservatories - Sevcik and Rachmaninoff were both on faculty group classes for technique, orchestra rep, studio class in addition to lessons alternative lesson approaches in addition to traditional one-on-one lessons

Performing, Teaching, and Composing

finding balance (or not finding balance) being at peace with the choices you make 170-180 concerts a year the concerts and individual practice are where the "important stuff" happens

224: Peter Tambroni on Student-Centered Teaching and Life Planning

Jun 23, 2016 01:19:11

Description:

Today's podcast features an in-depth conversation with Peter Tambroni.  This is a "round two" conversation that builds upon the topics that we covered in our previous talk on episode 204.  Today we dig into fallacies surrounding public school teaching, instrument setup, life planning, instrument insurance, practicing ideas, teaching philosophies, and much more.  This episode is a gold mine for anyone interested in taking their teaching game to the next level!

Pete is the author of An Introduction to Bass Playing, which is now in its seventh edition, and is an active bass performer, teacher, and author.  You can learn more about Pete on his website petertambroni.com.

Interview Highlights   Fallacies Surrounding Public School Teaching you don’t want to get too well-educated or you won’t be hired Pete has never found that to be true in the various districts in which he has worked everyone wants the best person for the position most districts will do what they can to give you credit for your past experience the right person for the job is the right person or the department philosophy-wise and personality-wise people tend to focus too much on the nitty-gritty skills - it’s more about fit than anything you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you replacing people that are: good and well-liked good and not well-liked not good and well-liked not good and not well-liked Skills are easy to teach - personality and philosophy are not people tend to not ask enough questions in job interviews Pete always want to be somewhere where the administration supported fine arts performers practicing their craft - this was a question he posed in his interviews look at the distribution of music teacher positions - are people full-time orchestra, part orchestra and part general music, etc? what degree does fundraising play in the school?  this can turn into a nightmare learning the other instruments as a music teacher Pete took two extra semesters of violin and viola music ed programs are not all requiring bass for music ed majors   Instrument Setup the condition that many school basses are in - so easy to totally neglect them a bass with action that is too high is a catastrophically worse situation for a young player than a violin with action too high setup considerations for school instruments  fingerboard bridge shaping the need for a proper luthier the extreme difficulty created for younger bass students by basses that are poorly set up the advances that D’Addario has made in strings recently for students   Life Planning investing vs. saving index funds Apps and programs Betterment Wealthfront Robin Hood IRAs Roth IRAs 403b investment programs for educators   Instrument Insurance get a separate policy apart from your homeowners or renters insurance - these may not cover your instrument at a paying gig Clairon Merz-Huber   Practicing Ideas teaching replacement fingerings the challenge for bass players of heterogeneous string teaching (starting in D major, for example) nothing beats Simandl for mapping out the fingerboard Thomas Gale’s book Practical Studies for Double Bass is great for younger students starts in 1st and 4th positions - allows for physical anchor point of thumb against the neck block  helps eliminate the “old-school bass vertigo" teaching shifting finding the goal note should not be a fishing expedition! Mathias Wexler article about shifting in American String Teacher journal: “Throwing The Dart and Other Reflections on Intonation” from the November 2004 issue of American String Teacher. this is a link to the shifting exercise Pete describes shifting practice play stop evaluate play correct note if not in tune repeat above procedure until shift lands right on   General Teaching Philosophies try to teach for 10 years down the road try to teach for the student’s next teacher set people up so that things don’t need to be fixed in the future having students nail a simpler piece versus struggle through a more difficult piece empathizing with your students don’t ask questions to “put students in their place" it’s never strings versus band versus choir - though there are doubles, there are “string kids,” “choir kids," and “band kids” - offering all programs brings music to a larger portion of the student body we remember the emotion of experiences - emotion drives attention drives learning   How Gigging Helps You to be a Better Teacher helps with empathy opportunity to observe other players opportunity to observe conductors being respectful of the student’s time   Listener Feedback Links: Pablo Aslan - tango bassist lloydgoldstein.com

223: Katie Ernst on Singing, Jazz Bass, and Creativity

Jun 20, 2016 44:47

Description:

Today’s episode features jazz bassist and vocalist Katie Ernst.  Katie was recently featured in the Chicago Reader, and Jason Moran describes her as “a great bassist, composer, and lyricist, she has an uncanny ability to mix traditions... following her voice is like reading a great novel."  She is one of Chicago’s most active young bassists, with two recent album releases: her solo project Little Words and her trio album Twin Talk.

We talk about Katie’s years growing up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, her “yearly check-ins” at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center with Jeff Campbell, studying at Eastman with Jeff Campbell and James VanDemark, and her educational work at the Jazz Institute of Chicago.  We also cover the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, her job directing the big band at the Wheaton Conservatory, differences between the New York City and Chicago jazz scenes, and much more!

Katie’s recent projects:

Little Words - solo project set to the poetry of Dorothy Parker  Twin Talk - trio album

Listener Feedback Links:

Noah Yanicki - The Mountain and the Moon - new release - excerpt of Jackrabbit played David White - The Bridges of Madison County

Interview Highlights:

Early Years

grew up in Naperville, product of Naperville public school system piano starting in 1st grade - sang in church and in choir took bass lessons with Jeremy Attanaseo in preparation for Eastman audition  Studied with Jeff Campbell and James VanDemark - worked on Romberg, Simandl, vibrato, other fundamentals with VanDemark lots of summer camps in high school, fiddle camp, other camps - eventually found Birch Creek Music Center right before 9th grade - used Birch Creek as her “yearly check-in” Jeff Campbell - focused on deep fundamentals  - applied lessons she learned during the summer throughout the following year becoming a jazz vocalist while in high school - singing with the jazz band, etc. the experience of playing the foundation and singing the melody simultaneously - interesting way to experience tunes Katie encourages her bass students to sing as well - incredibly helpful for young improvisors  Katie got a bachelor of musical arts degrees at Eastman as well—kind of like a “doctorate lite’ - she studied linguistic analysis tools in jazz scat singing Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program in Washington, D.C. - where she met Jason Moran

What drew Katie back to Chicago

didn’t want to go directly to a masters program Eastman had a postgraduate internship program where they pay a stipend for you to work for a nonprofit Katie called the Jazz Institute of Chicago and proposed that she be an intern moved into Chicago itself - became connected with the community of creative music in Chicago differences between New York City and Chicago jazz scenes

Current Projects

Twin Talk interactive group - focus on exploring ideas together - elements of freedom and original compositions - groovy, melodic, experimental  Little Words project under Katie’s name - Dorothy Parker poems set to music powerful poems that have a singable quality to them - cultivated  Lessons learned serving as Big Band Director at Wheaton Conservatory listening to the whole band thinking programmatically when selecting music how to articulate to a group of musicians how to “get” a certain style Jazz Institute of Chicago - education program director takes students to see performances monthly meetings opportunities to be an opening act for Jazz Institute concerts

Finding time for creativity

222: Lucy and the Count: Love Dreams from Transylvania

Jun 16, 2016 20:54

Description:

Today’s episode is a live performance of Jon Deak’s quirky quintet Lucy and the Count: Love Dreams from Transylvania.  Written in 1981, this is a theater piece divided into three scenes featuring the solo bass in a dramatic, virtuoso role.  In the first scene, you can hear the creaking of the ship morph into a dramatic first theme.  The second scene is a dinner party and features each instrument “talking” during a dinner party.  The words that the instrumentalists are intended to imitate are written in the parts along with the contours of the speech, making for some crazy sonic effects.  The third scene portrays a ruined chapel with a coffin containing the Count.  The Count turns into a bat and visits Lucy in a particularly twisted finale.

This performance was recorded live at the Midsummer’s Music Festival for their Big Top Door County 25th Anniversary concert.  I’ve had the pleasure of playing with this fine ensemble for the past decade, and it was a real treat to get to perform this soloistic work with them!

Lucy and the Count: Love Dreams from Transylvania

Live Performance: July 12, 2015
David Perry and Stephanie Preucil, violins
Allyson Fleck, viola
Walter Preucil, cello
Jason Heath, bass
Alan Kopischke, narrator

Purchase parts through J.W. Pepper
Recording by Steve Lewis

221: Brandon McLean on audition strategies

Jun 13, 2016 24:15

Description:

Today’s show features Brandon McLean, who just won the associate principal bass position for the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Brandon has most recently served as principal bass of the Colorado Symphony, and prior to that he held positions in the Vancouver Symphony and the Florida Orchestra.  Originally from Seattle, Brandon did his undergrad at the University of North Texas, his masters at the Boston Conservatory, and studied at Carnegie Mellon after that with Pittsburgh Symphony principal bassist Jeff Turner.  He played in the New World Symphony before landing his first gig with the Florida Orchestra.

We dig into the details of the audition process, like how Brandon starts preparing long-term for the audition and how that preparation changes as the audition approaches, Brandon’s technique routine, which he keeps up throughout the audition process, the benefits of getting to practice in a large space like a concert hall, and routines in the days prior to the audition.  We also feature excerpts of Brandon performing the Dave Anderson Duets with Brendan Kane.  

Books mentioned:

Audition Success by Don Greene Performance Success by Don Greene

Interview Highlights

Audition Preparation Strategies

the process starts right after finding out what the list is looks at what are the more problematic excerpts for him and begins by spending time on those about 5 weeks out, he starts to get more disciplined  for a long time did the system of ranking what the more difficult excerpts are and spending the most time on those, but he found that then the audition would come up and they’d ask for the excerpts that he didn’t spend as much time on breaks up practice session into 10 minute increments; practices for an hour or an hour-and-a-half in a couple of different segments in the day keeps himself disciplined to no more than 10 minutes on a specific excerpt breaks up the last as many ways as possible: top to bottom bottom to top skip and do every 3rd excerpt 2-3 weeks out, he shortens that 10 minutes per excerpt to 3-4 minutes per except so that he’s hitting everything briefly just about every day Brandon generally runs things at 75% tempo most of the time he can generally play this under tempo—it’s getting them up to tempo that’s the real issue there’s some point between that 75% and 100% tempo that he can usually solve most of the technical problems problems associated with fast excerpts were dealt with away from those excerpts - dealing with technical studies that helped  during audition prep, Brandon still spends at least 30-45 minutes still doing scales and technical exercises he cuts that down when getting really close to the audition

Brandon’s Technique Routine

pick a scale slow bow practice (whole notes) using Intonia software then does a different scale with half notes, quarter notes, etc - gets himself playing pretty quickly do something similar with arpeggios after that right hand practice string crossings spiccato exercises to get his right hand moving a little quicker

Playing in a Large Space and Recording

the benefits of getting to practice in a large space (concert hall) - he didn’t get this until later in life getting over the idea that he doesn’t really know what he sounds like objectively (similar to getting over the way your voice sounds when you play back a recording) the angle that you play the bass - no one else will ever hear your bass playing from that angle—it’s such a specific thing things started to turn on the audition front for Brandon when he started to get really serious about recording himself Brandon had a pretty steady path of progress in auditioning - not advancing, then getting to semis, then making finals, then runner-up for a bunch of auditions Brandon realized at a certain point that he just wasn’t a very natural audition taker had to start treat audition taking as his job dealing with the mental discipline of audition taking was something that took him a while to get a grasp of Don Greene books helpful in terms of centering, etc. Brandon has gotten away from thinking that he just needed to have a really good day to win an audition after teaching students and observing them nervous and not nervous, he has concluded that there isn’t nearly as much difference in the two states as the students think When he wasn’t doing well in auditions, he had actually lost those auditions months in advance

Routines as the Audition Approaches

usually flies in the day before - flying in too early usually psyched him out it’s amazing what tiny things can seep into your mind during an audition  when he goes, he generally doesn’t talk to people at the audition running is helpful doesn’t try to change anything lifestyle-wise coming up to the audition - changes only cause problems

Links from Listener Feedback:

Summer Camps for Bassists The Low Down by Danny Ziemann Paul Ellison Interview Todd Coolman Interview I Found a Dead Body

220: Gabe Katz on switching from music performance to education

Jun 9, 2016 40:57

Description:

It is my pleasure to present this interview with Gabe Katz.  Gabe and I have had so many commonalities in our career trajectory, and we have both ended up finding a really satisfying musical niche in the world of secondary school orchestral conducting.  Now, by the time you’re listening to this, I will have moved on from this career, but of the past seven years this is what I did, and this is what Gabe has also started doing these last couple of years.

Prior to his current job teaching orchestra at the high school level in suburban Houston, Gabe held two overseas jobs: one in Durbin, South Africa, and one in Guangzhou Orchestra in China.  He also worked in Singapore and in Macao.  He ended up meeting up with Hal Robinson while in China and ultimately moving back to the US to study in Hal’s private studio and take auditions.  

We cover the thought process that took him from the performance world into the education world, going back to school at Duquesne in Pittsburgh and his experience taking music education courses at an older age, and the unexpected joys and satisfactions of teaching in the public schools. 

Interview Highlights

started college at Oberlin with Scott Haigh transferred in undergrad to SUNY Purchase and studied with Tim Cobb MM Carnegie Mellon with Jeff Turner Summer Festivals: principal bass of NRO Music Academy of the West others Manhattan School of Music for Performers Diploma - worked with Tim Cobb again driving all over the place doing freelance gigs, making it to semi-finals for some auditions, but started scouring the Internet for overseas opportunities got an orchestra job in Durbin, South Africa got a job as principal bass of the Guangzhou Orchestra in China also worked in Singapore and Macao meeting up with Hal Robinson while in China and ultimately coming back to the United States to study privately with him was thinking about going back to school - deciding between doctorate or getting certified to teach - postbox programs ended up doing a post baccalaureate program at Duquesne with Steve Benham, who is President-Elect of the American String Teachers Association Gabe’s goal was to get a high school orchestra teaching job Gabe ended up getting a high school orchestra director job in suburban Houston - a plum gig for sure! the high level of high school students in this area - comparable to an undergrad population at many music schools getting into conducting - the high level of satisfaction that results from studying scores, planning rehearsals, picking repertoire  Gabe knows that he’s changing lives every day in this new gig - there’s a positivity and excitement to it which he’s feeling that you’ll pick up on as you listen his 20-year-old self would have thought that he was a “sellout”  Orin O’Brein: “You’re never done learning.” - music is a journey, a lifelong learning path conducting is a culmination of everything you’ve ever learned (Gabe says this and I totally feel that as well!) how Duquesne keeps its music education program elite The University of Michigan string teaching legacy - Steve Culver, Bob Gillespie, Bob Phillips, Steve Benham most Bachelors of Music programs train you to: A: Work at Starbucks B: Win an orchestra job Hal: “You’re offering yourself as a product."

219: Gjorgji Cincievski on arranging, multi-meter, and life in paradise

Jun 6, 2016 46:25

Description:

Today we’re chatting with Gjorgji Cincievski, who is the principal bass of the Malta Philharmonic and has been putting out some very cool arrangements for Hoffmeister, including an arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for violin, viola, and double bass.  You’ll be hearing excerpts from this piece on Gjorgji’s new recording throughout the episode, and we have a link in the show notes where you can get a copy of the recording and of the sheet music, as well as several other arrangements by Gjorgji.

Gjorgji will also be hosting the Malta Double Bass Summer Camp from August 22 - 28.  Check out more details about this camp here.

Interview Highlights

growing up in Macedonia the polyrhythms that are a part of folksongs in this country life in Malta publications for Hoffmeister trio arrangement of the Goldberg Variations, for violin, viola, and double bass many other arrangement projects on the horizon for Hoffmeister

218: Arnold Schnitzer on dirty jobs, ergonomic basses, and maker competitions

Jun 2, 2016 01:04:46

Description:

Today we feature double bass luthier Arnold Schnitzer.  Arnold has had an interesting career path, from gigging around the East Coast as a youth to entering the corporate world and finally finding his way to the word of instrument repair.  We talk about a wide range of topics, including information versus knowledge, wisdom, and street smarts, and the perils and pitfalls of the information age.

We also dig into Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs (there’s a great interview with him on the Tim Ferriss podcast) - this all starts about 20 minutes into the actual interview - and training people for the jobs that actually exist, and the “in-between” jobs.  This is quite a conversation—be sure to check this out.  There’s a lot of food for thought here.

We also get deep into instrument construction, setup, maker competitions, wolf tones, and the Oberlin Bass Workshop, which Arnold serves on the faculty for and which sounds like a very cool event.  I know that you’re really going to enjoy this conversation with the always interesting Arnold Schnitzer!

Interview Highlights

Early Years

born in Miami Beach (South Beach), FL moved up to Far Rockaway, NJ when he was young - dad was in construction dad got them a boat but Arnold and siblings had to figure out money for gas and fix it up his story of getting this Bohemian bass in his late 30s while working corporate recruiting gig and making good money but hating the job and basically just figuring out on his own (consulting people along the way) how to take this old beater bass apart and totally reconstruct it

Information versus Knowledge

we talk about information vs. knowledge/wisdom/street smarts - this is an illuminating discussion Arnold is a jazz musician from way back, and he sees instrument repair as a constant improvisation we talk about Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs (there’s a great interview with him on the Tim Ferriss podcast) - this all starts about 20 minutes into the actual interview alternate paths to going to college for x, y, z - people getting trained for the jobs that actually exist  traditional jobs are disappearing the in-between jobs are the ones that aren’t going away - electrician, plumber, instrument repair, air conditioning service - and these can pay really well! training people for jobs that have gone out of vogue being a luthier does involve working with your hands, but it really involves working with your brain - problem solving with your command center

The Future of Employment 

looking at predictions of jobs in the future and the rise of the worker less economy, think twice about going to college and racking up $100,000 in student loans musicians are the most conservative people on the planet… especially rock & rollers

Double Bass Setup and Construction

ergonomic contrabass - thought it up while on painkillers wolf tones on the bass all basses will have some wolfiness clarity mainly comes from setup rather than construction what brands of strings can help with clarity other adjustments that can be made to help with clarity thoughts on maker competitions - judges are looking at basses through the eyes of the violin world motto of Oberlin Bass Society: “everyone teaches, everyone learns"

217: Jerry Fuller on early music, creativity, and business world lessons

May 30, 2016 58:05

Description:

Today’s episode features double bassist Jerry Fuller.  I’ve known Jerry for well over a decade at this point and have found him to be such an interesting person.  Jerry is best known in the music world for his work in period performance—in fact, he won an award for historically informed performance from the International Society of Bassists in 2015, and he is also a former ISB board member.  

We cover Jerry’s early years in music, attending Northwestern in bass studio of rock stars including Hal Robinson, Curtis Burriss, and Rufus Reid, and his time spent performing in the bass section of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and in Switzerland.  While he was in Lyric, Jerry attended business school at the University of Chicago and has worked for most of his professional life in the world of business while simultaneously keeping up an active musical life, and we talk about his what prompted this decision to attend business school and what his experiences in that world have been like.

We get into details about how period performance differs from modern technique, how players can explore the world of period playing, and the role of the bass player in the continuo.  We also have a great discussion on creativity in music and answer listener questions from Gaelen McCormick and Dan Carson.

Jerry has gotten into traditional jazz recently, and we’ll open up the episode with an excerpt featuring Jerry performing C'est si Bon, and we’ll close with a duet by Bernhard Romberg with Richard Hirschl on cello.  

Links to check out:

Jordi Savall Juilliard Baroque Program Angela Duckworth - Grit ArsAntiguaPresents.com earlybass.com

Interview Highlights

Early Years and Career

grew up in Wisconsin - inspiring encounter with Roger Ruggeri of the Milwaukee Symphony accepted into Northwestern University bass studio with Warren Benfield joined Lyric junior year of college, promoted to assistant principal enrolled in business school at University of Chicago while still playing in Lyric went to work for American Hospital Supply Corporation and found an amazingly creative group of people there joined orchestra in Switzerland

Early Music

physical and mental differences in early and modern playing what instrument really “drives the bus” in continuo playing outlets for learning more about early music performance switching between early and modern setups

Careers and Creative Outlets

personality and temperament play a huge role into us figuring out what we should do in the world career-wise temperament over skill level creativity in music and life

216: Todd Coolman on jazz bass lines, recording projects, and classical foundations

May 26, 2016 36:30

Description:

Today’s podcast features an interview with Todd Coolman, who has just released his latest album Collectibles.  Todd is actually playing a CD release event tonight at Smoke Jazz Club in New York City to celebrate the release of the album, which also features Bill Cunliffe on piano and Dennis Mackrel on drums.  This is the second time Todd has appeared on the podcast—you can hear his interview with Win Hinkle in our archives.

Todd and I cover all sorts of interesting topics in this interview, including his experiences moving from a full-time faculty position down to part-time and the opportunities that opens up for him.  We talk about his classical foundation on the bass and dig into classical and jazz crossover and how lessons learned in one genre are valuable in the other.  We also talk about skills the modern music student needs to be successful and what colleges can do to help facilitate this, and we get into details about recording this new album.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interviews with Carlos Henriquez, Chuck Israels, Larry Gray, Ron Carter, Lynn Seaton, and Rufus Reid!

215: Robin Kesselman on audition strategies, injury recovery, and bow arm practicing

May 23, 2016 53:01

Description:

Today's episode features Houston Symphony principal bassist Robin Kesselman.  Robin studied with David Allen Moore and Paul Ellison at the Coburn School of Music and the University of Southern California, and with Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer at the Curtis Institute of Music.  He has also performed as Guest Principal Bass with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, travelled internationally with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and performed with the National, Atlanta, and Baltimore Symphonies.

During Robin’s time at USC, he sustained a playing injury that took him out of commission for a prolonged period.  We dig into how Robin ultimately recovered from this and how it changed his approach to practicing and performing on the bass, and how he practiced while he was out of commission.  This was a left arm injury, and Robin continued to practice open string and harmonics with the bow, going into his lessons and working on the Bottesini Concerto on open strings.  We also discuss how Robin approaches the audition process: his preparation strategies, his musical goals for an audition, and using visualization techniques.

We also feature excerpts from Krzysztof Penderecki's Duo Concertante with Eunice Kim on violin.  Enjoy!

Interview Highlights

Discoveries During Playing Injury:

sitting in practice room - “this hurts, but it also still sounds bad” - the mistake of pushing through pain this time spent not using his left hand ultimately took his bow game to a new level - he spent large amounts of time just practicing with the right hand - playing solos and excerpts on open strings / harmonics in lessons! “the building blocks with which I was making my shapes were not completely honest” - referring to the bow arm mental practice / visualization - he got into this during this time period learning the difference between an ache and something more serious

Thoughts on Auditioning:

there’s nothing that isn’t practicable timing and pulse mathematical pulse/note division vs. feeling right the fallacy of perfect audition rounds similarities between prepping for an audition and a recital auditions have to be an artistic endeavor and about musical expression if you walk out and your whole goal is to play notes that are even and in tune, the second that one note isn’t exactly the same as another note you officially have nothing left to offer, because your single goal has crumbled if your goal is to make lines and to make shapes and be expressive, it’s ok if one note is a little shorter than the others philosophy from David: as soon as you come in and things are in tune and in time, you are officially at zero

The Audition Process in Detail:

record constantly during this whole process -throughout the whole day first 50% of the interval really hibernate and work things super slow - considerably under 50% tempo move something up 40 clicks over a period of weeks A and B lists that kind of parallel each other (one Mozart Symphony on one and one on the other, for example) doesn’t play for anyone during this time - nothing’s put together - it’s all really cut up at this point next 25% buff out the edges, smooth out the music, give it a shine playing with recordings, getting the flow right last 25% take the show on the road, play for anybody and everybody, start setting up mock auditions and lessons with other (non-bass) instrumentalists the last week go back to “hibernating" stop playing for people - running rounds - 4-5 excerpts in a row hours wise it’s similar through he whole process, but the hours are being used differently all the way until audition time, there was never a day/time when he could not continue to make things better have a specific game plan for those 20 minutes of warm-up once you arrive at the hall bass players don’t hire bassists - committees of other instrumentalists do

214: Terry Plumeri tribute

May 19, 2016 26:08

Description:

Today’s episode is a tribute to bassist, film composer, and conductor Terry Plumeri, who was found murdered in his home in Florida on April 1st of this year.  This episode features comments from former Terry Plumeri student Eric Swanson plus a clip from an early podcast in which I featured the music of Terry.

213: Leon Bosch - the Sherlock Holmes of the double bass

May 16, 2016 51:05

Description:

Leon Bosch is a remarkable figure in the world of the double bass.  From his early years growing up in South Africa to his long tenure with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and his proliferation of solo projects, Leon has approached each challenge with a focus and determination that are incredibly inspiring. This is a “must listen” episode for any musician eager to realize their greatest potential.  

After retiring from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to devote himself fully to solo, chamber, and conducting projects, Leon has been working to bring undiscovered treasures of the repertoire to light and to encourage new works for the double bass from composers. New composition are being written for Leon from South African composer Péter Louis van Dijk, British composer Paul Patterson, and American jazz icon Wynton Marsalis.

This episode is sponsored by Discover Double Bass, and they have a course on bowing technique with Lauren Pierce that I highly recommend checking out.  This course is divided into 37 HD lessons, and Lauren gives a short video overview of the three categories that these videos cover: the basics, bow control, and real world techniques.  There’s also a free preview lesson on phrasing with the bow—check it out!

We feature excerpts from Leon’s latest album throughout the episode.  Check out Leon’s excellent albums (available both as digital downloads and CDs):

Music of Rankl Sprongl & Hindemith (latest album)  British Double Bass Russian Double Bass Catalan Virtuoso Virtuoso Double Bass Vol. 1 - Giovanni Bottesini Virtuoso Double Bass Vol. 2 - Giovanni Bottesini Pedro Valls - Music for Double Bass & Piano  If you’re enjoying these episodes, I’d love it if you’d give us a quick review on iTunes!  These reviews help us with discoverability and they give me great feedback about how I can keep working on the podcast to make it as valuable as possible for you.  Leave a quick star rating and if you could even jot down a sentence or two that would be great.  You can also leave a review for our iOS, Android, and Kindle apps.

212: Real Men Don’t Rehearse with Justin Locke (from the archives)

May 12, 2016 01:15:23

Description:

Today’s episode features an entertaining couple of conversations that I had a few years ago with bassist, author, speaker, and playwright Justin Locke.  These have been some of our all-time most popular and commented upon episodes, and bringing them back into the spotlight seemed like a good idea.

Justin has written several books, including:

Real Men Don’t Rehearse Principles of Applied Stupidity About Justin

Justin Locke came to Boston at age 18 to go to music school, and within a year he found himself playing every freelance gig in town, including the Boston Pops.

His 18-year bass-playing stint with the Pops included the Bicentennial Concert in 1976 with Arthur Fielder, which is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest audience ever at a classical music concert. And of course he also worked with many of the great conductors of that era, including Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, and Henry Mancini.

One day, after playing (and criticizing) a particularly dull children's concert, Justin was challenged to write one himself. The result was Peter VS.the Wolf, a courtroom comedy based on the classic Prokofiev fairy tale.

Justin's work in other facets of "show business" continued to expand. Already a playwright and publisher, he then became a video producer, the "score reader" for live Boston Pops TV broadcasts, and manager of the Bose Philharmonic. His books, including his laugh-out-loud Pops Memoir "Real Men Don't Rehearse," have sold thousands of copies.

Justin is now a management coach and speaker. He shares what the music business taught him about managing people, through his presentations, individual coaching sessions, his blog, and his books.

211: Madeleine Crouch on managing the ISB, organizing conventions, and innovating online

May 9, 2016 44:25

Description:

Today’s episode features Madeleine Crouch, who has served as general manager of the International Society of Bassists for the past 25 years.  Madeleine and I talk about her musical background, the value of a liberal arts education, the growth of the ISB over the years, and new developments for the organization like the ISB/George Vance Online Research LibraryOnline Journal of Bass ResearchISB Connectteacher directory, and luthier directory.  We also give a sneak preview of the 50th anniversary convention which will take place at Ithaca College in upstate New York.  Enjoy!

Summer camps we cover post-interview:

Golden Gate Bass Camp (I’m on faculty for this event!) Kansas City Bass Workshop Peabody Bass Works

Blog post I talk about:

How I’m Doubling My Productivity and Increasing My Happiness

210: Jeremy Attanaseo plays the Prokofiev Quintet

May 5, 2016 21:33

Description:

I’m thrilled to present this complete performance of the Prokofiev Quintet featuring DePaul University faculty member Jeremy Attanaseo on double bass.  This performance was broadcast live in February on the radio in Chicago with the International Chamber Artists.   I’ve known Jeremy for years—we both play in the Elgin Symphony and used to play in a bass quartet along with Michael Hovnanian of the Chicago Symphony.  Jeremy’s a great guy and a great bassist, and I know that you’ll enjoy this performance of one of the greatest pieces in the double bass chamber repertoire!

209: Joe Conyers on Curtis, being yourself, and musical entrepreneurship

May 2, 2016 49:29

Description:

I’m thrilled to bring you this episode featuring Joe Conyers.  Joe is the assistant principal bass for the Philadelphia Orchestra and is the founder of Project 440, a nonprofit organization that brings music to young people in Philadelphia.  We’re joined on this episode by John Grillo, my longtime podcast collaborator.

John and I talk with Joe about topics such as:

growing up in Savannah studying with Hal Robinson at Curtis the audition circuit becoming comfortable with your own playing  the mission of Project 440  conducting Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra

Enjoy!

208: Guy Tuneh on transcriptions, live performance, and musical curiosity

Apr 28, 2016 01:04:45

Description:

Today's episode features soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist Guy Tuneh.  Guy was on the podcast way back in 2007, and a lot has changed for him in the intervening years.  His previous interview was one of our most popular episodes of all time, and in this talk we go even deeper, digging into why Guy makes music, how he approaches every single note he plays, and what motivates him to search out new repertoire and bring it to the double bass.

Guy has been working on several new recording projects, and we feature two of them today.  We are including an excerpt from Beethoven’s Romance in G Major before the interview, and we close out the episode with a complete track of Guy performing Bach's Allemande from the Violin Partita in D minor.

You can learn about Guy’s upcoming solo appearances, recordings, and other details at his website guytuneh.com and on his Facebook page.  We also have a video version of this episode on YouTube.  Enjoy!

207: Claus Freudenstein on heavy metal, minibasses, and arranging

Apr 25, 2016 46:27

Description:

Today we’re featuring Claus Freudenstein, who is pushing the boundaries of the double bass in some really interesting ways.  Claus is innovative on a number of fronts.  He joined the world of the bass later in life than many people, and he came to it through heavy metal and the electric bass.  This resonates greatly with me because this is the exact same way that I arrived at the bass.

Claus has taken this love of heavy metal and channeled it into the Bassmonsters, a bass ensemble that is expanding the repertoire into metal and bringing a whole new audience into the fold.  We feature three clips from their first album Classic Meets Rock: Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns & Roses, Creeping Death by Metallica, and Thriller by Michael Jackson.  You can find this album on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes.

Claus is looking for a new record label to publish the latest Bassmonsters release.  He has some tracks to pass along, so listeners, if you have ideas for a new label for Claus, send him an email and let him know.

Claus has also been quite innovative in the world of teaching with his creation and popularization of the mini-bass.  We discuss Claus' work in education, his approach to repertoire, arranging and composing, and many other topics.  Enjoy!

206: Auditioning for Music Schools

Apr 22, 2016 48:01

Description:

Trevor Jones and I have done joint clinics in the past, but this is the first one since restarting the podcast, and I figured that it would make sense to put it out this week since we just released our conversation a few days ago.

This talk was held at Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall as part of the 2016 Chicago Bass Festival, which is an event put on by the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. Michael Cameron of the University of Illinois and Allan Dennis, former double bass professor at the University of Wisconsin and the MYA executive director, were both in the audience, so you’ll hear us refer to both of them a couple of times during the talk.

I left Curtis off of my list of schools putting out successful auditions, but of course that should be at the top of the list! My mistake.

Some of the questions from the audience are kind of hard to hear, you’ll get the gist of the question as soon as Trevor and I start talking again.

We talk about Don Greene’s excellent books on auditioning—all three are highly recommended:

Audition Success Performance Success: Performing Your Best Under Pressure Fight Your Fear and Win: Seven Skills for Performing Your Best Under Pressure

205: Trevor Jones on musical pit work, scheduling creativity, and finding balance

Apr 20, 2016 01:18:25

Description:

Today's episode features double bassist Trevor Jones. It actually amazes me that this is the first time that Trevor has been on the podcast. Trevor kind of does it all: he studied classical bass with Rob Kassinger at DePaul University but got a music education degree as well He has played for years in the rock band Molehill but also maintains a full-time performing schedule as a theater musician, and he has a salaried double bass teaching job at Illinois Wesleyan University as well.

About Trevor:

Based in Chicago, independent artist Trevor Jones works in a variety of musical settings. He performs with regional orchestras throughout the Midwest including the Elgin Symphony and is a substitute with the Grant Park Orchestra. He has also recorded for Realize Records on Chris Bruni’s album Watch Me Burn and Kate Quinby's album Tribute To Water and has co-written and recorded two albums: Tin God and Equinox with his Chicago-based alternative rock group Molehill.

Trevor is the upright and electric bassist at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL and his credits include Jeff®-Award Winning Musical Hero that was premiered in the Summer of 2012 and reprised in 2014 at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL. For the Glory with music Tony Award® nominee Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Battlecry by Paul Bogaev (Aida, Spiderman). and the World Premiere of October Sky.

While growing up in Gettysburg, PA Trevor studied double bass with Duane Botterbusch of the Harrisburg Symphony, and continued with Andrew Kohn of the Pittsburgh Opera at West Virginia University. In 2009 he completed his Master’s degree at DePaul University where he studied with Rob Kassinger of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While studying at DePaul, Trevor performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Cliff Colnot. Trevor earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at West Virginia University.

Trevor performs with the Chicago-based rock act Molehill. Molehill headlines some of Chicago’s most prominent venues and tours throughout the country. Highlights include appearances at CBS Studio Chicago, Metro (Chicago), Summerfest and SXSW. Their song “The Repeating” charted in the Top 10 of the KKBB Speciality Charts in 2015. Trevor has won an ASCAP+ Award for his songwriting for Molehill.

Trevor is in demand as an educator in the Chicago area and maintains a studio at Midwest Young Artists , the preeminent youth music program in the Midwest. In addition to teaching at MYA, Trevor is also the Instructor of Double Bass at Illinois Wesleyan University at DePaul University where he teaches String Pedagogy.

204: Tips for Teachers with Peter Tambroni

Apr 18, 2016 01:46:05

Description:

Today's podcast featuring a conversation with Peter Tambroni, who was an early guest on the podcast back in 2007 on episode 32.  Pete is the author of An Introduction to Bass Playing, which is now in its seventh edition, and is an active bass performer, teacher, and author.  You can learn more about Pete on his website petertambroni.com.

About Peter:

Peter Tambroni received his Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign and his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Crane School of Music. He has taught elementary, middle school, and high school strings and is a former faculty member of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Peter has been an orchestra director in Mannheim School District 83 since 2001.

From 1998 – 2005 he taught and coached at the Crane School of Music’s summer youth program. In 2006 he was the Mannheim Middle School’s PTA Teacher of the year.

Peter is an active double bassist performing throughout the Chicago area. He has performed with professional orchestras in New York and Illinois and in 2000 appeared on national television with the Bozo Super Sunday Show.

As a writer, he has been published several times in the international journal American String Teacher and on EnergyAddict.com, the website of best-selling author, Jon Gordon. His book, An Introduction to Double Bass Playing, is available at www.lulu.com/tambroni.

He also created and maintains the blogs MostlyBass.com and EvolvingEducator.com

Peter can reached via email at tambroni AT gmail DOT com

203: Adam Ben Ezra on YouTube fame, looping, and percussive techniques

Apr 11, 2016 30:37

Description:

Today we are featuring Adam Ben Ezra, who has exploded onto the double bass scene in recent years with his unique musical voice. Adam combines elements of Arabic music, Latin drumming, American pop, looping, and many other styles to form his own craft. He has become quite popular on YouTube, and his videos are fun and visually compelling. To me, Adam is an example of what I find so exciting about the bass world right now. He’s taking the instrument in fascinating new directions, he's pushing the boundaries of technique, and he’s changing the very perception of the instrument.

I’d also like to welcome back our sponsor Discover Double Bass and let you know about their new double bass scales package. 17 different scale types are covered in all 12 keys, over one and two octaves, along with backing tracks.  Geoff Chalmers does an excellent job with these tools, which are clear, concise, and built to benefit your playing regardless of your current level.  Look for this course to launch in the next week, and check out Geoff's many other offerings at discoverdoublebass.com/store.

We’re featuring excerpts from several of Adam’s songs: Can’t Stop Running Elohima Flamenco ConTraBajo (this video features the woman baking in the background) Dexter Double Bass Projection and Mapping

Adam has become well-known for his drum’n’bass technique, which you will hear through all of these excerpts, and he offers a video lesson series on this technique as well as transcriptions of several of his tunes.  We have links to these in the show notes, and learn more about Adam’s music, tour dates, his upcoming master class project, and much more at adambenezra.com.

202: Chuck Israels on rhythm, amplification and jazz education

Apr 5, 2016 01:02:21

Description:

Today’s guest is jazz bass legend Chuck Israels.  We start by covering more familiar topics like meeting Charlie Mingus, playing with Bill Evans, Bill’s use of rhythm, the importance of having concrete and specific role models, and then go deep into topics like Balinese wood carving (the time it takes to get good) - not creating your own artistic world without the traditions that preceded you, the perils of the “parallel case”, and commonalities among how great artists approach their craft.

  Chuck has just released a new album on Dot Time Records titled Garden of Delights.  We’ll be featuring a few clips from the first three tracks of this album: The Skipping Tune, Garden of Delights, and Mingus.

I’d also like to welcome back our sponsor Discover Double Bass!  Their beginner’s course is arranged into 43 sequential HD video lessons arranged into eight chapters that cover everything from choosing your first instrument to the essentials of technique. You can check out this course as well as many other offerings at discoverdoublebass.com/store.

201: Ira Gold on bow strokes, musical curiosity, and practicing techniques

Mar 31, 2016 01:48:50

Description:

We’re featuring National Symphony bassist and Peabody Institute faculty member Ira Gold on today’s episode.  Ira was one of the very first interview guests for the podcast, and we spread it out over three episodes: 15, 18, and 43.  This “round two” interview was conducted almost a decade after the first conversation, and Ira has been incredibly active with all sorts of new projects.   In this interview, we talk about physical fitness and how it helps with all aspects of life, making the transition to standing full-time, what Ira listens for on an audition committee, wanting to make music with people who share the same musical values, how being a "curious person” opens yourself up to new experiences in playing, practicing techniques, turning practice into puzzle solving, and many other topics.   We also talked about the three summer camps at which he’ll be teaching: DCBass Peabody Bass Works Orchestral Bowing Workshop   You can learn more about Ira and all his activities on his website.  Enjoy!

200: Living a Fulfilling Life

Mar 28, 2016 37:23

Description:

I'm turning 40 today, the podcast just passed a million downloads, I wrote a chunky blog post that resonated with a lot of people, and I just got back from Cuba.  This is a different kind of episode where I share details on where I've been and where I'm headed in many areas of life.

If you haven't read the above referenced post, check it out and you'll find links to a lot of what I talk about in this episode.  More "regular" episodes to come later this week.

199: Federico Marchesano and The Inner Bass

Mar 24, 2016 14:31

Description:

This is an all-music episode of Contrabass Conversations featuring Italian bassist Federico Marchesano and tracks from his recent release on the Solitunes label titled The Inner Bass.   The first track, Piggy, features pedal effects and overdubs.  We then hear Hakazehe, a traditional Burundi song that features the bass being hit by a wooden stick.  We round out the show today with the haunting track Contrabutoh, which becomes true heavy metal at the end.  Enjoy these tracks from Federico, and check him out online at federicomarchesano.com.   Links: Federico’s homepage YouTube example 1 YouTube example 2 Solitunes label Solitunes on Facebook

198: Todd Coolman new release

Mar 21, 2016 17:02

Description:

This is an all-music  of Contrabass Conversations featuring jazz bass legend Todd Coolman with some tracks from his  new album Collectibles.  The Coolman Trifecta is made up of Todd on bass, Bill Cunliffe on piano, and Dennis Mackrel on drums.   We featured Todd as an interview guest on the podcast back on episode 137, and Win Hinkle was our guest host for this interview, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t in the past.    The album will be released May 26th, so this is a sneak preview of what you’ll be hearing from Todd.   Todd is also he author of The Bottom Line: The Ultimate Bass Line Book, and we have a link to this book in the show notes.   We feature three tracks today: New Rhumba Joshua You’re My Everything   Enjoy these new tracks from the great Todd Coolman!

197: Bert Turetzky on forging new paths, compositional language, and commissioning over 300 works

Mar 17, 2016 01:06:49

Description:

Today’s episode features an interview with the great Bert Turetzky. With nearly 60 years spent championing new works for the contrabass, Bert truly is the father of modern bass playing.  Bert has recently released a memoir titled A Different View which chronicles his life spent in music.  It delves into his early years growing up in Connecticut, his dreams of becoming a jazz player, his orchestral experiences, teaching at the Hartt School and the University of California San Diego, and it covers in great detail his work as an advocate for the contrabass.   We also feature clips from a University of California Television broadcast from 2008 titled Bertram Turetzky and Friends: Music for Contrabass.  This program featured solo and chamber works, including four premieres and several pieces that have made Bert famous. The entire program is available on YouTube.  Be sure to check out the YouTube video for Bert’s wonderful descriptions of these works.   Audio used in the podcast: Seven Miscellaneous by Donald Erb Onde (World Premiere) by Salvatore Macchia Inside by Kenneth Gaburo Contrabajissimo (World Premiere) by Astor Piazzolla   Links: Bert Turetzky - video interview about A Different View (43 min) Bertram Turetzky and Friends: Music for Contrabass A Different View - memoir by Bertram Turetzky Bert’s Wikipedia page  

196: Andrés Martín on the creative process, the composer mind, and forging a bass scene

Mar 14, 2016 01:04:41

Description:

Today’s episode features composer, teacher, and bassist Andrés Martín.  Andrés has written works recently that have become quite popular in the bass community these past few years, and I’ve been looking forward to talking with him ever since hearing his music.  Andrés is also the composer of Anna’s Gift and is currently writing the music for Anna’s Promise, the project spearheaded by Barry Green (a former Contrabass Conversations guest) that we featured on episode 189 of the podcast.   We’ll be playing excerpts from Andrés’ music throughout this episode, and we’ll start with an excerpt from the second movement of Andres’ bass concerto.  He’s a distinctive and exciting new voice in the world of the bass and has captured the bass world’s imagination for sure.  Andrés is a great guy and a deep thinker about creativity and the compositional process, and I think that you’ll learn a lot about inspiration and the composer mind from this discussion.   Tracks featured: Bass Concerto No. 1 (excerpts from movements 2 and 3) Suite Para Contrabajo Y Guitarra Española (2009) III. Milongitana 43 by Andrés Martín and Donovan Stokes (excerpts from movement 2 and movement 3) Elegia Para Contrabajo Solo (2011) Andrés Martín solo CD Cera andresmartin.net   About Andrés:   Native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, bassist, arranger, and composer Andrés Martín has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, England, Germany and United States. Since his arrival in Tijuana (Mexico), Andrés has been immersed in teaching as well as performing as a soloist and chamber musician. He is a member of the “Orquesta de Baja California” and “Cuatro para Tango”, a chamber ensemble with whom he has released four recordings. He also organizes and directs “Contrabajos de Baja California A.C. ”, a Double Bass academy who celebrates an international double bass festival and chamber music course held in Tijuana every summer. As a composer and arranger, he works with a wide language which ranges from contemporary techniques to tango and rock. His work has been performed and recorded by very successful orchestras, ensembles, and soloists in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Japan and the United States.

195: Gaelen McCormick on bow strokes, Progressive Repertoire, and the Pomodoro Technique

Mar 10, 2016 01:04:07

Description:

We are featuring double bassist Gaelen McCormick on today’s episode. Gaelen is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic, teaches at Nazareth College and the Eastman Community Music School and is the author of Mastering the Bow, a two-part series for bass. Part one is based on the violin studies of Franz Wohlfahrt, and part two features off-the-strings strokes.

We had a wonderful conversation about her early years in music, studying with Jeff Turner for graduate school (and you can listen to Jeff on the podcast—he was a guest back on episode 26), structuring practice time, the George Vance Progressive Repertoire series, and many other topics.

Before and after the interview, we feature Gaelen and Ed Paulsen performing a couple of Dave Anderson’s wonderful duets, and you can check out our interview with Dave on episode 75 of the podcast.

About Gaelen:

Ms. McCormick has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic’s bass section since 1995. Before joining the RPO, she held positions with regional orchestras such as the Erie (PA) Philharmonic, the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Albany Symphony. Ms. McCormick has performed regularly with other major orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony. She holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School and Carnegie Mellon University.

Teaching the double bass to students of all ages has become a significant part of Gaelen’s life. She joined the faculty of Nazareth College in 2010, and has been the bass instructor for the Eastman Community Music School since 2001. She enjoys working with talented high school aged string players in the summer at Eastman’s Music Horizons program where she teaches chamber music and gives bass lessons. In 2003, she was invited to teach for the year at Duquesne University’s City Music Center, a program for talented, pre-college students.

Gaelen has given masterclasses and recitals at Ithaca College, Williams College, the College of St. Rose, and Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2013, she gave classes on double bass technique at both the International Society of Bassists convention in Rochester and the NYSSMA Winter Conference. “Mastering the Bow”, the first of three books on double bass bow technique, was published by Carl Fischer in 2013, and the second will be published during the 2014 season.

Playing chamber music has been a passion for Ms. McCormick. Before moving to Rochester, she often performed with the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra (Albany, NY) as their sole bassist. During her tenure in Pittsburgh, she became the founding bassist of the Pittsburgh Live Music Chamber Orchestra. She was the founding member of the innovative string quintet “Gibbs and Main”, and recorded a cd of tango standards with them, and commissioned a new work for the ensemble by Judd Greenstein.

In recent summers, she has been performing with the Music in the Mountains chamber orchestra, a festival based in Durango, Colorado. She is frequently invited to play chamber music with musicians from around the country in festivals such as the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival and the Syracuse New Music Ensemble. This summer, Ms. McCormick will make her debut appearance at the Canandaigua Lake Chamber Music Festival.

Gaelen has been involved in volunteering and arts advocacy, and is proud to be the representative for the RPO in the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians. She is honored to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda, groups recognizing and supporting excellence in the humanities and in music specifically. In her spare time, Gaelen enjoys kayaking, Argentine tango and West Coast swing dancing, and spending time with her toddler Clara.

194: Inez Wyrick on 911 bass teaching, creating artists, and teaching the whole fingerboard

Mar 7, 2016 01:09:45

Description:

Inez Wyrick has been a huge name in bass pedagogy for decades. She really is one of those teachers that I think we all aspire to be like—she can take a student at any level and develop their technique while also instilling in them a passion for making music of all sorts.

Today’s conversation with Inez is a journey through the topics of education, inspiration, the development of bass teaching from the “dark ages” to the embarrassment of riches that we have today and the thoughts and perspectives of a truly beautiful human being. You’re going to learn a lot and come away with a bunch of new ideas about teaching, and I’m sure that you’ll feel rejuvenated and inspired by Inez’s passion and energy.

After the interview, we feature listener feedback and some upcoming plans for the podcast, and before we get going with our interview we will feature a clip of Inez conducting the Orchestra of Lady Bassists from the 2013 ISB convention. Kristin Korb was the current president of the ISB when this was recorded, and she makes some introductory remarks (Kristin was also a podcast guest on episode 79), and we have a ink in the show notes to this complete video, which you should definitely check out.

About Inez:

Former International Society of Bassists Board Member Inez Wyrick currently resides in Winchester, Virginia where she is adjunct instructor of bass at Shenandoah Conservatory, maintains a private bass studio She perviously edited the young bass page of Bass World and serves on the board of directors for the Bass Coalition.

Mrs. Wyrick is an internationally acclaimed pedagogue who specializes in pre-college string education and has numerous publications to her credit. An active lecturer, clinician and traveling “911 bass teacher,” she is a regular clinician at the Richard Davis Bass Conference in Madison, WI and the Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco, CA. Previously, she has been on the faculties of Indiana University String Academy, Amarillo College, Odessa College and Texas Tech University Orchestra Camp and was founder of the Amarillo Bass Base, a bass ensemble which held an international reputation. Her students teach and hold professional positions in ensembles and educational institutions worldwide.

Her arrangements and compositions for bass ensemble have been performed worldwide and her CD-ROM of bass ensembles entitled Music for Double Bass Ensemble, Vol. I: 30 Christmas Carols for “Same Level” and “Mixed Level” Double Bass Ensemble was released in 2005. She has over 300 heterogenous bass ensembles for all levels, and varieties of levels. Email for a complete, graded, inventory.

In 2001 she was the honored recipient of the “Young Bassists Ambassador” award from the International Society of Bassists. She is married to fellow bassist Dr. Donovan Stokes.

193: Gary Karr on making recordings, “retired” life, and arranging Baroque music

Mar 4, 2016 01:42:04

Description:

This episode from the archives features an interview that Barry Lieberman did with Gary Karr. In preparation for it, Barry listened to all of Gary Karr’s recordings and picked out his very favorite, and he and Gary listen to these and discuss the context behind them. It’s a fascinating window into this great artist, and it’s well worth a listen. This was originally released in 2008 on episode 89 of the podcast.

There is a video version of this episode as well.

About Gary Karr:

Gary Karr, acclaimed as "the world's leading solo bassist" (Time Magazine), is, in fact, the first solo double bassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. It is a career that adds new lustre to his already lustrous 1611 Amati doublebass which was given to him by the widow of Serge Koussevitzky.

Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962, Karr has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra (Caracas, Venezuela), Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia.
On Italian cable, three Karr doublebass recitals reached 20 million classical music lovers. The numerous CDs that Gary Karr has recorded and released in Japan are "top of the recording charts" favorites in the Far East. The BBC has featured two video films of Karr, one an illumination of his life and music (Amazing Bass) and one a series for children. On his third recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, Karr performed the Concerto for Bass by John Downey. CBS Sunday Morning celebrated Gary Karr's career and the University of Wisconsin has released a video demonstrating his instructional approach to the doublebass (BASSically Karr) in addition to a special video concert for children (Karrtunes).

One of Karr's proudest achievements is the Bronze Medal he received from the Rosa Ponselle Foundation which recognizes him as an outstanding lyrical musician. Gary is the proud holder of the 1997 Artist/Teacher of the Year Award from the American String Teacher's Association (ASTA). He also holds the Distinguished Achievement Award (1995) from the International Society of Bassists (ISB). Gary Karr participated in the Bi-Annual Rainforest Concert in Carnegie Hall with fellow-bassist Sting, Stevie Wonder and others in 1997. In 1999 a new book by Claude Kenneson, entitled Musical Prodigies -- Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives was released by Amadeus Press, which includes a passage describing Karr's early love affair with the doublebass.

In June 2001, Gary Karr played his farewell public concert as part of the International Society of Bassists 2001 Convention in Indianapolis. A large audience that included eight hundred bassists from twenty-seven different countries attended this event. At the close of this recital with his pianist, Harmon Lewis, Karr was given the ISB's Distinguished Teacher Award. He was also presented with a very special gift from more than two hundred of his colleagues and fans…a newly developed rose named in his honor to commemorate his forty years on the international concert stage.

192: Michael Klinghoffer on driving a double bass, how not to hold the bow, and directions in education

Mar 2, 2016 44:18

Description:

Today’s episode features double bassist, author, conductor, and educator Michael Klinghoffer. Michael is a former Gary Karr student and is the author of the unorthodox and compelling book Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?

Michael is one of the most interesting minds in the world of contemporary double bass. In addition to his book, he has a wealth of articles, videos, and resources on is website pertaining to bass, musicianship, education, and numerous other topics.

We talk about his first encounters with Gary Karr, the impetus behind writing his book, how not to hold the bass and bow, and integrating performance, conducting and composition, and where education is going in the near future. This conversation is a deep philosophical dive into technical and mental aspects of musical practice, thought, and development.

We’ll feature two selections from Michael’s album Mostly Transcriptions Vol. 2. We open the episode with an excerpt from the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 1 in Bb Major, and conclude with the final movement of Strauss’ Sonata in F Major. This album, along with Drive a Double Bass and an interesting solfege book titled The Bottesini Project.

Check out the following links from Michael--they contain a wealth of useful content on a variety of topics):

Videos that demonstrate techniques covered in Drive a Double Bass Videos about Innovation Michael’s YouTube channel Article: Excellence in the Age of Ratings other articles from Michael About Michael:

Michael Klinghoffer (Hebrew: מיכאל קלינגהופר), Author of Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?, Dean of Performing Arts and Senior Lecturer of Double Bass at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel.

Michael Klinghoffer, double bass performer, conductor and educator studied under Gary Karr at Yale University, where he received Master of Music and at the Hartt School University of Hartford, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts.

He has been assistant principal bass player in the Israel Symphony Orchestra and in the Israel Sinfonietta.

Currently, he performs solo concerts, recitals and chamber music and conducts master classes in Israel and abroad. His repertoire ranges from contemporary Israel music, (much of it composed for him), to his own arrangements for double bass, which have been published in the U.S. and in Europe and recorded on two compact discs.

He has published articles on Music Education and on Pedagogy in Israel professional periodicals as well as in the U.S. "Music Education in Institutions of Non Formal Education" was published by MATAN in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Education.

Since 1987, he has been on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, conducting orchestras, teaching the double bass and other subjects. He was the Head of the String Department, the Dean of Students and he is currently serving as the Dean of Performing Arts and is the Direcor of the Jerusalem Consevatory Chamber Orchetsra.

Along with his academic commitments and performing engagements, and after being Music Director for seven years at MATAN, (Arts and Culture Project for Youth), Dr. Klinghoffer still devotes much time and energy to working with young musicians from diverse backgrounds all over Israel.

191: David Murray on the Karr sound, bow technique, and the spirit of Koussevitzky

Feb 29, 2016 01:07:59

Description:

Today’s episode features double bassist David Murray. David is on faculty at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has been on the board of the International Society of Bassists for past two decades. The former winner of the ISB solo competition, David is known around the world as a soloist and clinician. He is also a member of the Bad Boyz of Bass, a quartet rounded out by Volkan Orhon, Anthony Stoops (a former Contrabass Conversations guest), and Paul Sharpe. We actually featured the Bad Boyz on episode 71 of the podcast back in 2008, which is well worth a listen if you haven’t checked it out before!

We talk about David’s experiences having Gary Karr as his first bass teacher, where the “Karr sound” came from, focusing on bow technique, the spirit of Koussevitzky, his long relationship with the International Society of Bassists as a former competition winner and longtime board member, traveling with a bass, and several other topics.

We also feature the title track from David’s solo album Vocalise, and we conclude the episode with a recording of David playing the first movement of the Franck Sonata from his Sonatas by Franck and Shostakovich album. Both the Vocalise album and the Sonatas album are available through the ISB Web Store. I’d also encourage you to check out David’s performance of the B.B. Wolf by Jon Deak. It’s a great piece and David knocks it out of the park!

About David:

David Murray has an international reputation as a solo bassist and teacher. He is currently Professor of Bass at Butler University in Indianapolis and Principal Bassist ofthe Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He also plays as Principal Bassist with Sinfonia da Camera in Urbana, Illinois, and at the Bear Valley Music Festival in northern California. Before coming to Indianapolis, David was Instructor of Bass at West Texas A&M University and principal with the Amarillo Symphony.He has been a member of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and also toured twice with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

David’s first private teacher was bass virtuoso Gary Karr, with whom he studied in high-school and at the Hartt Music School, University of Hartford, in Connecticut. Summers were spent at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, where he worked with Stuart Sankey. At Aspen, he won the 1981concerto competition. In Los Angeles in 1988 he won the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Solo Competition, the first prize being a solo debut at Carnegie Hall. David has made solo appearances, both in recital and with orchestra, and given clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States, his native Canada, and in South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal,Denmark, Germany, and Holland. He has performed at several summer chamber music festivals including Scotia Festival, Killington, and Cape May. In June, 2001,David hosted the ISB convention at Butler University for 800 bassists from 27countries and is currently a Past-President of the ISB. He has been published in the ISB journal, Double Bassist magazine, the Suzuki Association of America journal, and American String Teachers journal. He has recorded three solo CD’s(most recently in 2012), a duo CD with bassist Diana Gannett, is a founding member of the bass quartet Bad Boys of Bass with whom he released a CD in 2006,and he released a DVD of theater music in the spring of 2003.

“…to hear David Murray play it, the string bass is a vastly and unjustly neglected instrument. Murray…became a prime spokesman for the instrument.”

Denver Post

“…Murray is a top-notch player.”

IndianapolisStar

190: Czardas with Andy Anderson - the making of an arrangement

Feb 26, 2016 12:23

Description:

I had the opportunity recently to perform my arrangement of the Monti Czardas for double bass and orchestra recently, and I thought that it would make for a cool podcast episode.  I though that Andy Anderson would make for a spectacular soloist, so this recording features me conducting and Andy playing bass with my orchestra.  Andy is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago bass section and teaches bass at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and he has been featured on the podcast several times in the past.

We cover some of the details behind this arrangement, including some rehearsal recordings that Andy sent me to play for my group, and I couldn't resist adding a little bonus audio at the end of the episode featuring a well-known piece for orchestra.  Enjoy!

189: Barry Green and Jeff Bradetich on the Anna's Promise Project

Feb 24, 2016 27:32

Description:

We are diving into a really interesting project today called Anna’s Promise. Anna’s Promise is the third in a series of multimedia works developed by Barry Green (author of The Inner Game of Music and several other works, and also a former Contrabass Conversations guest). Barry is joined by Jeff Bradetich (double bass professor at the University of North Texas and also a former Contrabass Conversations guest) to speak with me about this work.

The first piece, Anna's Way, From Inspiration to Artistry, is a 45-minute musical and visual journey of a young bass prodigy and her rediscovery the joy of music after lessons with a Tai Chi master. Written by Alan Scofield, this story is set to music from China, India, Africa, Brazil, Israel, and America by Tony Osborne, Francois Rabbath, Arvo Pärt, Astor Piazzolla, Emily Brown, Mary Knysh, Larry Dunlap, Johann Birkenstock, Frank Proto, and Andrés Martín (who we recently interviewed for the podcast—stay tuned for this!).

The second piece, Anna's Gift, is a fifty-five minute story about a musician named Anna was written for solo bass, concert band, and narrator, and includes background visuals. The story takes place ten years after Anna was inspired to become an artist from her studies with retired Tai Chi Master Chen. The piece recounts the emotional journey of a gifted concert bassist who is longing for love and fire in her music and her life. Andrés Martín composed the music for this piece.

We delve into Anna's Promise, the third part of this series, today in our conversation with Barry Green and Jeff Bradetich about this project, which is being performed by 34 different soloists all across the world. Andrés Martín is also the composer for this third installment.

Anna's Promise is a worldwide effort to spread this inspirational story. The commissioning fee for Andrés Martín and story writer Alan Scofield, is being raised through industry solicitation directed by Toni Buffa of Lemur Music Inc. Toni@lemurmusic.com. When requested, USA non-profit status for charitable deductible contributions to this project will be possible through the Bradetich Foundation. www.bradetichfoundation.org. Further information from Barry Green barry@innergameofmusic.com.

There is also a gofundme set up for this project, and Kolstein’s has contributed a bass and bow for auction to support Anna’s Promise. Visit the Anna’s Promise website for complete details about this project.

Here’s a line-up of the performers for this project and the country in which each will be performing:

South Africa: Leon Bosch Sweden: Jan Alm Mexico: Andrés Martín Brazil: Marcos Machado Argentina: Juan Pablo Navarro Israel: Michael Klinghoffer Australia: Steve Reeves China: Heran Yang, Tian Yang Liu Germany: Claus Freudenstein Norway: Dan Styffe Switzerland: Enrico Fagone Spain: Diego Zecharies Italy: Giuseppe Ettorre Turkey: Esra Gul France: Theirry Barbe Austria: Christine Hoock Bulgaria: Irina-Kalina Goudeva Hong Kong: Chan Shiu Hang Olive Thailand: Pongsathorn Nowbassist Surapab Japan: Kazuhiro Tanabe Russia: Artem Chirkov United States: Barry Green, Jeff Bradetich Singapore: Gennadi Mouzyka Greece: Vassilis Papavassiliou Poland: Irene Olkiewicz Denmark: Andreas Bennetzen Canada: Ali Kian Yazdanfar United Kingdom: Chi-Chi Nwanoku Rumania: Catalan Rotaru Taiwan: Yi-Jung Su South Korea: Ha Young Jung Serbia: Svetozar Vujic Czech Republic: Jiri Hudec

188: Ron Carter on technical development, an orchestral foundation, and developing the next generation of music lovers

Feb 22, 2016 23:49

Description:

I am thrilled to feature Ron Carter today on the podcast. If is one bassist in the world that truly needs no introduction, it’s Ron. Ron recently received the Guinness World Record title for most recorded jazz bassist in history, with well over 2200 recording credits to his name. From his work with the Miles Davis Quintet in the 1960s to his collaborations with musicians like Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, his numerous projects as a bandleader, and his work outside of the jazz realm with artists like Billy Joel and A Tribe Called Quest, Ron has truly shaped our conception of the sound of the double bass.

Ron has four books available:

Comprehensive Bass Method Finding the Right Notes Building Jazz Bass Lines Ron Carter Collection

Be sure to check out these books, and you can find the video for Ron Carter Live here.  Ron's extensive discography is available through this link.

I'd also like to welcome back our sponsor Discover Double Bass!  They have a 4 hour course on creating walking bass lines, with 55 HD video lessons in a step-by-step order to help you to master the style of walking bass. You can check out this course as well as many other offerings at discoverdoublebass.com/store.

If you’re new to Contrabass Conversations and are a jazz fan, then check out our episodes featuring Carlos Henriquez, Rufus Reid, Larry Gray, and Eric Hochberg for more conversations with great jazz artists.

187: Chris Threlkeld-Wiegand on working at Robertson's, building extensions, and aesthetic wood choices

Feb 19, 2016 27:53

Description:

Friday's episode features another interview from the archives with bass maker Chris Threlkeld-Wiegand, who owns and operates the Heartland String Bass Shop. Chris makes beautiful basses and extensions—I actually have one of Chris’ extensions on my main bass.  Chris' basses are played in major orchestras throughout the United States and are beautiful instruments with great sound.

About Chris:

Chris Threlkeld-Wiegand started playing bass at age nine. He earned a full scholarship to the University of Iowa where he studied under Eldon Obrecht and earned a Bachelor of Music in String Bass Performance. Chris has played with the Quad Cities Youth Symphony, the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra, and the Quad Cities Symphony. He has also performed with many bands during his career, ranging from jazz to blues to folk in communities as far ranging as Nagoya, Japan and Austin, Texas.

Chris has had a life-long interest in the sound and responsiveness of basses. As a player, Chris knows that having a finely tuned instrument is critical, and he recognizes the remarkable difference a slight sound post adjustment or bridge arching can make.

His interest in sound and the influence of craftsmanship and ingenious problem solving led him to world famous Collings Guitars. While working at Collings and living in Austin, his cat (a black one!) knocked over and broke the neck on his bass. At the time, Chris was taking private lessons from Professor David Neubert at the University of Texas. Frustrated with the quality of the repair work on his bass, Chris asked Professor Neubert to recommend a good repair shop. “Albuquerque” was the guiding answer. Robertson & sons Violin shop is one of the world’s finest string instrument repair shops & is located in Albuquerque, NM.

For five years at Robertson & Sons, Chris had the opportunity to learn the craft of bass repair and construction under the tutelage of an acknowledged master, and work on some of the finest basses in the world. From neck grafts to cracks, Chris’s skills were applied to a full range of challenges. But he also developed many original techniques, including installation of custom low C & B extensions that integrate into the scroll rather than cutting the scroll and gluing the extension to the modified scroll.

In 2003 it was time to set up shop in his home state of Iowa, and bring his remarkable set of skills and experiences to musicians in the Midwest. Heartland String Bass Shop is the complete manifestation of a musical life, a commitment to sound, and skills honed under the watchful eye of the finest instrument makers and repairers in the world.

186: Barrie Kolstein on making rosin, lessons learned from his father, and bass trunk technology

Feb 18, 2016 01:55:30

Description:

John Grillo and I recorded this interview with Barrie Kolstein back in 2008, and it has proven to be a very popular episode in the catalog. Barrie runs the Kolstein shop Long Island, and his instruments have been utilized by Jeff Turner of the Pittsburgh Symphony, James Van Demark of the Eastman School of Music, Scott Haigh of the Cleveland Orchestra, and many others.

John Grillo has been frequenting the Kolstein shop for years, and it was great to have John in on the conversation.  This was a great chat about all sorts of bass-related topics.

About Barrie Kolstein:

1967-1971 Kolstein basses
State University of New York at Albany
Obtained a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration and Marketing.
1967-1973
Formally studied the Double Bass under the pedagogues: Frederick Zimmermann, Assistant Principal of the New York Philharmonic; Orin O’Brien, New York Philharmonic; Georges Andre, Metropolitan Opera; Robert Gladstone, Principal Bassist Detroit Symphony; Samuel Hollingsworth, Principal Bassist Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; David Holland, renowned Jazz artist.
1971-1974
Served in formal apprenticeship for instrument and bow restoration, construction and appraisals, under the expert auspices of renowned violin and bow maker, restorer, and appraiser, Samuel Kolstein.
1974-1978
Served as staff instrument and bow restorer as well as making numerous new violin and celli with Samuel Kolstein.
1979
Promoted to head violin master in the shop of Samuel Kolstein.
1981
Assumed full business responsibilities for operating all aspects of Samuel Kolstein & Son, Ltd. and Kolstein Music, Inc.
1981 to present
Head violin maker, restorer, and appraiser with a staff of nine violin makers working under his supervision.
Published numerous technical articles on restoration and appraisals in the International Society of Bassists with feature article published in the Strad, February 1991; presently editor of the “Luthier Corner” in the International Society of Bassists magazine restoration and repair forum; published regularly in the Double Bassist magazine and the Strad magazine, both of London, England, since 1996. These articles have ranged form interviews with makers and performers, technical articles on repair/making, and expert appraisal articles on historic master makers; featured in the violinmaking segment of Robin Lehman’s documentary, Young Peoples Guide to the Orchestra; contacted to appear in the upcoming educational video on “Careers in Music”. On the expert appraisers staff of Art Conservation fine arts adjusters as a String Instrument and Bow Expert.

Barrie Kolstein has completed well over one hundred instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass Violins) utilized by renowned players including Jeffrey Turner, Pittsburgh Symphony; Robert Gladstone, Detroit Symphony; James Van Demark, Professor of Double Bass Eastman School of Music and world famous soloist; Charles Urbont, Metropolitan Opera; James Clute, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra; David Sheets, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Lou Norton, New York Philharmonic; Caitlyn Kamanga, Hong Kong Philharmonic;, Scott Haig, Assistant Principal Bassist, Cleveland Orchestra; Hienrich Joachim, renowned soloist and former member of the New York Philharmonic; Lew Norton, New York Philharmonic; Barbara Yendell, Hong Kong Philharmonic, to name a few! Mr. Kolstein is a member of:

Appraisers Association of America, 1994 to present
International Society of Bassists, 1979 – present
Violin Society of America, 1980 – present
Viola Congress, 1983 – present
Cello Congress, 1982 – present
Listed in The Violin Makers of the United States, by Thomas J. Wenberg, Mount Hood Publishing Company, 1986.

185: George Martin on challenging restorations, the art of varnishing, and riding horses in the English countryside

Feb 17, 2016 27:39

Description:

We are featuring George Martin from Thomas and George Martin Violin Makers. Their shop has been making basses for over 30 years, and they have a wealth of knowledge about the instrument-making and restoration process. George and I dig into these details, talking about some of his most challenging restorations and what goes into making a bass.

Our recent Contrabass Conversations guest Marc Ramirez spoke with me about finding his Cavani bass at the Martin shop (that story starts at the 80 minute mark for that episode).  It was a great story and a great talk in general--be sure to check out Marc's interview if you haven't yet--it was episode 173 of the podcast.

About the Martin Shop:

As many will know, The Thomas and George Martin Workshop is just north of the town of Banbury, England in an ancient hamlet.

It took us several months to turn an ancient open fronted stone barn into a sate of the art workshop to continue the family business of making and restoring fine stringed instruments.

The workshop is a warm and happy place to work with an easy working atmosphere. We have an outstanding team of highly skilled individuals who each play an important part in producing and restoring some of the finest instruments in the world. The workshop operation is cared for and managed on a daily basis by George, while Tom is often called in to give advice and check all the new basses. Please have a look at our meet the team page to get to know everybody better.

The workshop team has now produced a large number of double basses, several fine cello’s, and a few violas and violins. We have also had the privilege to repair and restore some wonderful instruments over the years as well as performing minor adjustment and set up work for players just starting out to the worlds best professionals.

184: Nick Lloyd on the craft of bass making, building flat backs, and traveling to Pakistan

Feb 16, 2016 38:31

Description:

Nick Lloyd has become one of the top double bass makers in the country over the years, with award-winning basses being played worldwide, including talents as diverse as New York Philharmonic principal bassist Tim Cobb and YouTube sensation Adam Ben Ezra.

We talk about Nick’s early years learning the bass, apprenticing with various makers and learning the craft of bass making, the intricacies of making a bass, his standard bass designs, travel necks, his financing options for basses, and playing with the Kentucky Winders in Pakistan!

About Nick:

I was born in central Iowa, and first met the doublebass at age 8. In 1993 I moved to Boston to freelance and attend the Longy School of Music. As my interests developed, a question remained unanswered: how is a doublebass made? Well, Boston luthier & bassist John Styklunas was the first to answer that question.

It’s been over 20 years now, and my teachers also include Michael Shank, Paul Hart, and Daniel Hachez. All of these luthiers have helped me assemble the skills and high standards necessary to make and repair professional-quality double basses. Most importantly, my training has taught me to always respect the client, regardless of what kind of music they play.

Since establishing my Cincinnati shop in 2000, my instruments have received awards for tone and workmanship. In addition, I received the 2007 “Friend Of The Bass” award from the International Society of Bassists for organizing the Katrina Basses project.

In 2015, in conjunction with the State Department and musical group the Kentucky Winders, I became a U.S Cultural Ambassador. This position includes traveling internationally to promote traditional American music as well as performances with ethnic musicians of respective host countries.

183: Susan Lipkins on crafting bows, tonal characteristics of wood, and how to choose a bow

Feb 15, 2016 48:48

Description:

A graduate of Juilliard, Susan Lipkins is one of the most respected bowmaker in the country and has made bows for Hal Robinson, Alex Hanna, Jeff Turner, Max Dimoff, Thomas Martin, and other major bassists worldwide.

We talk about Sue's early years growing up in Queens and studying with Homer Mensch and John Shaffer at Juilliard, her inspiration to become a bowmaker, the multitude of small steps that go into making a bow, tonal characteristics of different strains of pernambuco, and advice on choosing a bow that works for each individual.

About Susan:

I grew up in Queens, New York. I attended the High School of Music and Art, followed by receiving my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Double Bass performance from the Juilliard School of Music. I had long been intrigued by the double bass instruments I and others played and also found the bows fascinating. The professional musician's lifestyle and auditions seemed daunting to me. Instead I sought related areas of the classical music scene in which I might become involved. A position opened for me to work in sales at the bowmaker, William Salchow's shop. Soon a bench opening for rehairing arose and I learned to rehair bows, which suited me well. William Salchow generously agreed to teach me how to make bows in the hours after the shop had closed. Yung Chin, who was then working in the Salchow shop, also gave of his time, guiding my training. Once on my own, Francois Malo of Montreal and David Samuels, now living in Israel, contributed generously to my early training.

As a result of my contact with bass teachers from my music training, I was surrounded by bass players and as a bass player myself, I naturally gravitated towards the making of bass bows. Even early on, as a well trained player, my bows were made from the player's perspective. As my bowmaking skills developed, so grew my understanding of playability. My intuitive sense of bowmaking developed from the player's foundation guided my process and I found myself specializing in the making of bass bows, in both the French and German styles.

I have attended the Oberlin Bowmaking Workshop in summers since 1999, where with my colleagues, there is rich exchange of information, methods, and ideas. In the summer of 2000, I studied with Stephane Thomachot and Mitsu Sasano in Paris, which advanced my foundation in the French style of bowmaking. With this firm grounding in the classical French style, my bows are not only beautiful but real "players' bows".

I make my bows to order, one at at time, striving for the highest quality with each bow. I have since gone on to make bass bows for many of the most prominent players in many major symphony orchestras.

182: Brent Edmondson on developing a satisfying career, subbing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and gaps in music school training

Feb 11, 2016 01:07:03

Description:

One of the most enjoyable things about hosting a show like this is that I have the opportunity to connect with people that I find interesting and that are really exploring different directions in the world of the double bass, and Brent Edmondson is a prime example of a person like this. I’ve been following along with Brent for years as he helped Ranaan Meyer to launch the Next Level Journals and Ranaan Meyer Entertainment. He has created a really interesting role for himself in the world of the double bass, subbing with the Philadelphia Orchestra and playing with other top-tier ensembles, but also administering camps like the Wabass Institute, helping Ira Gold to launch his new Orchestral Bowing Workshop, editing Hal Robinson’s publications, and working in roles like personnel manager and operations director for the Pennsylvania Philharmonic.

About Brent:

Double bassist Brent Edmondson is an active performer in the Philadelphia area. Brent currently serves as the principal double bassist of the Lancaster Symphony and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and is an A-list substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He previously held positions with the Beaumont Symphony, Atlantic Symphony, Mercury Orchestra, and Waltham Philharmonic. During the summer, Brent is the double bass instructor at the New York Summer Music Festival. Brent previously performed with the Endless Mountain Music Festival Orchestra. Recent performances include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philly Pops, Houston Symphony, and other ensembles throughout the country.

Brent received his Masters degree from Boston University with Edwin Barker, principal bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His other teachers include Hal Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eric Larson of the Houston Symphony, Rob Kesselman of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Ranaan Meyer of the trio Time for Three.

Brent works in the arts community as Education Director and Music Librarian of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic. He formerly held the position of Operations and Business Manager for Ranaan Meyer Entertainment. He was the Operations Manager of Wabass Institute and Wabass Workshop from 2011 to 2015.

 

181: Carlos Henriquez on playing with Wynton Marsalis, developing a creative voice, and creating effective Afro-Cuban bass lines

Feb 8, 2016 37:21

Description:

We are featuring Carlos Henriquez on today’s show.  Carlos has been the bassist for the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for nearly 20 years, and he has just released his first solo album The Bronx Pyramid on Blue Engine Records.  You’ll hear clips from the title track before and after the interview, and we have a link to check out the entire album, which I highly recommend, in the show notes.  We talk with Carlos about growing up in the Bronx, meeting Wynton, developing Afro-Cuban bass lines, finding your voice, and much more.  

Be sure to check out our sponsor Discover Double Bass!  Whether you’re looking for lessons on walking bass lines, technical exercises, soloing concepts, or phrasing with the bow, Discover Double Bass has helpful resources to get you to the next level in your craft. You can check out over 70 free lessons and much more at discoverdoublebass.com.

About Carlos:

Carlos Henriquez was born in 1979 in the Bronx, New York. He studied music at a young age, played guitar through junior high school and took up the bass while enrolled in The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program. He entered LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts and was involved with the LaGuardia Concert Jazz Ensemble which went on to win first place in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival in 1996.

In 1998, swiftly after high school, Henriquez joined the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, touring the world and featured on more than 25 albums. Henriquez has performed with artists including Chucho Valdes, Paco De Lucia, Tito Puente, the Marsalis Family, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Marc Anthony, and many others. He has been a member of the music faculty at Northwestern University School of Music since 2008, and was music director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s cultural exchange with the Cuban Institute of Music with Chucho Valdes in 2010.

180: Ian Hallas on winning a Lyric Opera bass section spot, effective excerpt practicing, and routines for audition success

Feb 4, 2016 40:45

Description:

Today's guest is Ian Hallas, the newest member of the double bass section of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  Ian successfully auditioned for Lyric in January of 2016 and joins a section with former Contrabass Conversations guests Greg Sarchet and Andrew Anderson.  Ian studied with Paul Ellison at Rice University and David Allen Moore at the University of Southern California.  Ian also happens to be a former student of mine!

We talk through the audition process for Lyric (number of rounds, the audition list, what he played in particular rounds), his routine in the days, weeks, and months approaching an audition, his previous auditions taken, books that have shaped his audition preparation, and advice for people embarking upon the audition trail.  Enjoy!

179: Douglas Mapp on successful freelancing, life as a jazz bass professor, and ISB insider insight

Feb 1, 2016 40:11

Description:

We are featuring Douglas Mapp on today’s episode. Douglas is the current president of the International Society of Bassists and is also on faculty at Rowan University, where he is professor of jazz studies and teaches double bass. He is also extremely active as a performer, serving as principal bassist of the Reading Symphony and Assistant Principal of the Delaware Symphony and he performs regularly with some of the regions premiere ensembles including the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philly Pops, Harrisburg Symphony, and several other groups in the area.

Douglas and I had a great chat about a wide variety of topics, including the realities of making a living as a freelancer, what makes the International Society of Bassists conventions so special, and his company douglasmappmusic, which has for 20 years been providing piano parts written in keys that fit with standard orchestral tuning. Enjoy!

About Douglas:

Bassist Douglas Mapp is at home in many styles of music ranging from classical to jazz and Broadway to contemporary classical. The list of artists that he has performed, recorded and toured with includes Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Natalie Cole, Randy Brecker, Sean Jones, Ernie Watts, Lana Del Rey, Earth Wind and Fire, R Kelly, and Jeff Majors.

He is the principal bassist of the Reading Symphony and Assistant Principal of the Delaware Symphony. He performs regularly with some of the regions premiere ensembles including the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philly Pops, Harrisburg Symphony, and has a twenty-year tenure with the Philadelphia based new music ensemble Relâche. He has performed as substitute bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra both at home and on tour. He has performed as a soloist with many of the groups with which he performs, including his spring 2015 performance of the Bottesin Grand Duo Concertante with the Reading Symphony.

His publishing company, Douglas Mapp Music has been helping bassists to solve the age-old dilemma of solo versus orchestra tuning for over twenty years with piano parts written in keys that fit with standard orchestral tuning. He is president-elect of the International Society of Bassists and will chair the 2015 ISB convention at Colorado State University.

Mr. Mapp is a graduate of the University of the Arts and Temple University where his primary teachers were Neil Courtney and John Hood.

Crazy Gig Stories!

Jan 30, 2016 50:14

Description:

We are featuring a series of crazy gig stories that I had recorded in the first phase of the podcast. I had a total blast doing these back in the day and hope to do more of these in the near future.

You’ll be hearing four of my own stories on this episode:

My Car Caught Fire and Exploded Bugs Bunny is my Mortal Enemy Annoying Conductors 101 Auditioning is a Rotten Pastime

The last story is from podcast guest David Cardon, a fellow bassist from my time at Northwestern University. He’s a cool guy and incredibly funny, and I think that you’ll really enjoy this tale from him!

178: Useful Music Apps

Jan 28, 2016 48:01

Description:

Today’s episode is a bit of a departure from the norm for us. This is a recording of a talk I did for the Illinois American String Teachers Association’s Fall Teacher Enrichment Workshop in October of 2015.  I have been involved with this organization for many years and am their current state chapter president.  I have done presentations like this many times in the past (you can find them in the archives of Contrabass Conversations).  I cover all sorts of music apps for iOS and Android that I use in my own practicing and teaching, and I think that listeners will discover some useful tools by listening to this presentation.

I recorded this talk on my iPad, and I actually use the iPad for a few parts of the talk, so you will hear some audio strangeness from time to time as I pick up and manipulate the iPad. I also demo a device called the MIDI Fighter using a piece of software called Ableton Live, and again, you’ll hear me kind of banging away at this device as I talk, so that’s what’s going on at the end of the talk.

Here's a link to a video of the MIDI Fighter in action--it's an interesting device!

177: Bruce Bransby on principal bassist roles, life in the Indiana University bass studio, and optimizing bass gear

Jan 25, 2016 37:11

Description:

We are featuring Bruce Bransby on today’s show. Bruce has been professor of double bass at Indiana University for three decades and has taught bass players who now hold positions in major orchestras worldwide. Bruce has also been a faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival for this same length of time. Prior to that, he served as principal bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Kansas City Symphony.

Bruce is also an outstanding soloist, composer, and arranger, and you’ll be hearing an excerpt from his arrangement of the Valentini Cello Sonata at the beginning of the episode, and we’ll conclude today with Bruce’s own Valse for double bass and piano, which he composed under the pseudonym Rolande E. Curb (Curb is Bruce spelled backwards).

We feature more music from Bruce in the bonus content for this episode, and you can access that material from the Contrabass Conversations app. Just click on this episode and choose ‘bonus.’These compositions and arrangements can be purchased from Lemur Music (Theme, Prelude, and Valentini links) or the String Emporium website.  Enjoy, and check out this link to learn more about the Performer Diploma in Orchestral Studies offered by the Jacobs School--most graduate double bass students are choosing this option at IU.

About Bruce:

Bruce Bransby was principal double bass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1978-1986) under Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Andre Previn, and was principal double bass with the Kansas City Symphony (1971-1978). He studied with Nat Gangursky, Peter Mercurio, and Stuart Sankey.

Professor Bransby performs widely as soloist and chamber player and has premiered numerous works, including several concertos for the double bass. While in Los Angeles, he was active in studio recordings for motion pictures and television.

He was a faculty member at California State University Northridge, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the California Music Center, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and has been a performing member of the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival since 1987. His students hold positions in many of the world's finest symphony orchestras.

Moving to San Francisco!

Jan 23, 2016 18:10

Description:

Jason talks about his rapidly approaching move to San Francisco and discusses what's in store for the show.

176: Andrew Raciti on living in Australia, studying with Paul Ellison, and helpful student mindsets

Jan 21, 2016 38:17

Description:

We are featuring Andrew Raciti on this week’s show.  Andy is the acting principal bass of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is also the head of the double bass studio of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Before joining the Milwaukee Symphony in 2006, Mr Raciti was associate principal bass of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.   We talk about Andy’s experiences growing up in Milwaukee, studying at UW-Madison, studying with Paul at Rice, the Sydney Symphony, the Northwestern University bass studio, how Andy approaches lessons, the Laborie endpin, his Tester bass, and several other topics.  We also feature excerpts from Zivojin Glisic’s Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra with Andy and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chamber Orchestra. Enjoy!   About Andrew:   Andrew Raciti is the acting principal bass of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is also the head of the double bass studio of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Before joining the Milwaukee Symphony in 2006, Mr Raciti was associate principal bass of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.   In the summers he has been the principal bass of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and performs orchestral and chamber music at the Grand Teton Music Festival. He is also a regular professor of the Filharmonica Joven de Colombia in South America. In 2011 he performed the United States premiere of the Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra by Macedonian composer Zivoin Glisic. A recognized authority in bass pedagogy and performance, Mr Raciti has published articles in the quarterly for the International Society of Bassists. He is currently involved with the  BATUTA foundation of Colombia, South America, where he is developing the bass portion of a comprehensive string pedagogy that will be used throughout its 17,000 member nationwide network.   Visit Andrew Raciti's Double Bass Studio Facebook Page

175: Ju-Fang Liu on growing up in Taiwan, the path from student to principal bassist, and a love of teaching

Jan 18, 2016 32:09

Description:

Today’s episode features Indianapolis Symphony principal bassist Ju-Fang Liu. We had a great conversation about growing up in Taiwan, her years studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy and at Indiana University with Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby, her time in New World, teaching, playing jazz, studying bass overseas, and several other topics.

We also feature excerpts from her wonderful solo album, which I highly recommend checking out—it really is bass playing at its finest. Enjoy!

About Ju-Fang:

Ju-Fang Liu was appointed Principal Bass of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Mario Venzago in 2003, shortly after receiving her bachelor and master's degrees in double bass performance from Indiana University. There she studied with notable bass pedagogues Bruce Bransby and Larry Hurst. In addition, she has worked with other internationally-known teachers such as Edwin Barker, Edger Meyer, Harold Robinson, Stuart Stankey, Lawrence Wolf and Tim Cobb.

Ms. Liu’s musical interests encompass all aspects of musical performance. She was a repeat performer in the world-renowned Marlboro Music Festival working with the top chamber music professionals of our time as well as performing in the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals. A sensitive and thoughtful performer, she is constantly in demand in Indianapolis’ various chamber music venues.

Ju-Fang has been a finalist for the Boston Symphony as well as for the Atlanta Symphony Principal position in 2014, and has appeared with the Chicago Symphony. In addition, she has performed as co-principal with the New World Symphony. Her solo concerto performances have included the Bottesini, Koussevitzky and Tubin concerti, the latter performed under the baton of Maestro Venzago. She is also the first performer to win both the Solo and Orchestral Categories (Adult/Professional) of the International Society of Bassists competitions.

Ju-Fang has always had a serious interest in teaching and pedagogy and has previously taught at DePauw University and Indiana University. She joined the faculty of the Butler University School of Music in Indianapolis in 2014. Ms. Liu has given master classes in Columbia, working with the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia and has been a guest artist at the Taipei National School of the Arts and the Beijing Central Conservatory and other conservatories in China and Taiwan, performing recitals and giving classes.

Always seeking to improve her musical scope, Ju-Fang was awarded a Creative Renewal Grant from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and has added the electric bass and jazz study to her resume. Her solo cd is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/JuFangLiu.

174: Per questa bella mano with John Grillo

Jan 14, 2016 07:23

Description:

Today’s episode features longtime collaborator John Grillo performing Mozart’s aria Per questa bella mano. So, today’s episode features John performing Per Questa Bella Mano with John Dennison singing and Andrew Hauze on piano.

In addition to being our third interview guest for the podcast way back in 2007 (almost ten years ago at this point!), John and I have co-interviewed many prominent bassists over the years, including Lawrence Hurst (which we re-released a few weeks ago in a newly edited format), Ed Barker, Max Dimoff, and many others. We’ve also featured quite a bit of John’s bass playing here, including a complete recital featuring music of Bach, Schubert, Dave Anderson, and Stanley Chepaitis.

We also featured a couple of really interesting episodes covering orchestra excerpts and opera excerpts with an analysis of each excerpt followed by a performance from John of that excerpt. these are extremely useful practice guides—definitely check these out if you haven’t before—it's episode 41 for the orchestra excerpts and episode 62 for the opera excerpts.

If you have the app, just search for “John Grillo” and you’ll find all of these episodes. I hope you enjoy this, and stay tuned for more from John in the future!

173: Marc Ramirez on Portugal, life as an expat, and differences between American and European orchestras

Jan 11, 2016 01:47:29

Description:

Today we are featuring an interview with Marc Ramirez. Originally from New York, Marc is the principal bassist with the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, Portugal. Marc and I had a great conversation about his path to this job overseas, where he has now been for 17 years. We talk about similarities and differences in American and European orchestras, auditioning, traveling with a bass, his beautiful Cavani bass, and many other topics. We also feature excerpts from Marc’s performance of the Bottesini Grande Duo Concertante para Violino e Contrabaixo with Bin Chao on violin.

Up Magazine recently did a great profile on Marc covering his journey from the United States to Portugal, touring with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and many other topics. Marc will also be performing the European premiere of the Harbison Bass Concerto in May of 2016. Enjoy!

172: Lauren Pierce and Geoff Chalmers on innovating online

Jan 8, 2016 24:38

Description:

Today’s episode features Lauren Pierce and Geoff Chalmers, both of whom have been doing some remarkable things online in the world of the bass. What’s really cool is that these two have paired up to do a new web series called Ask Geoff and Lauren. In this episode, we talk about each of their respective sites and what they’ve been developing online. You can find Geoff online at discoverdoublebass.com and Lauren at laurenpiercebass.com and on her Facebook artist page at facebook.com/LaurenPierceBass.  Enjoy!

About Geoff:

Based in the UK, Geoff has performed on numerous gigs, shows, cruise ships, tours and recording sessions. He has a degree in jazz bass, as well as a postgraduate diploma in classical music. In addition to being a busy freelance bassist Geoff is also an experienced educator having taught bass at schools, colleges and universities, as well as to hundreds of private students.

In August 2013 Geoff founded Discover Double Bass with it’s free lessons library covering a wide range of styles and techniques. The videos are now being viewed thousands of times each week and a new lesson is released every two weeks.

About Lauren:

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren began her musical studies at the age of seven on piano and voice. Later, she was introduced to the Double Bass and soon began lessons with the late Douglas Sommer, section bassist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. While studying with Douglas Sommer, she continued her studies at the University of South Carolina under the tutelage of Dr. Craig Butterfield. During her studies at USC, Lauren was given the Presser Scholar Award, named a Magellan Scholar, and in 2010, performed a concerto with the University of South Carolina Symphony as the winner of that years USC Concerto Competition. After graduating from USC, Lauren moved to Denton, Texas to study the double bass with Jeffrey Bradetich. During this period, Lauren competed in the American String Teachers Association Competition and the International Society of Bassists Competition. In 2014, she was named coordinator of the Bradetich Summer Bass Camps.

171: Paul Ellison on musical athletes, period performance, and the comprehensive undergraduate experience

Jan 5, 2016 55:13

Description:

It is our pleasure to bring you this interview with Paul Ellison. Paul is chair of strings and professor of double bass at Rice University, where he has taught for the past four decades. He is the former principal bass of the Houston Symphony, former president of the International Society of Bassists, and has had a significant impact on the double bass world.  In this interview, we discuss Paul’s early background, his encounters with François Rabbath, being a musical athlete on the bass, gut strings and the adoption of steel strings, the undergraduate experience at Rice University, and many other topics.  Enjoy!

About Paul:

Performing solo and ensemble concerts as well as giving master classes on the double bass and period instruments on four continents, Paul Ellison is the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Double Bass and chair of strings at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Visiting Artist-Faculty University of Southern California and guest tutor at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music, and Bass Club, England. Current summer positions include principal bass at the Grand Teton Music Festival, faculty/performer at the Sarasota Music Festival and faculty/performer at Festival Domaine Forget, Quebec. Former students hold titled positions in major ensembles and institutions of higher learning on five continents. Previous positions include principal bass of Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Aspen Festival Orchestras (also faculty), professor of double bass and chair of strings at the University of Southern California, and president of the International Society of Bassists. Ellison was the first to receive both the diploma and teaching certificate from Institut International Rabbath, Paris.

170: Blair Tindall on Mozart in the Jungle, searching for a new career path, and observations on the orchestral world

Dec 31, 2015 40:15

Description:

We are featuring Blair Tindall on the podcast today. Blair is the author of the book Mozart in the Jungle, which explores the world of classical musicians in a very compelling narrative.  Blair and I talk about life as a New York freelancer, her journey into a career as a writer, and we take a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production of the TV series.

Mozart in the Jungle has been turned into a TV series on Amazon Video. The first season received two Golden Globe nominations (one for best comedy series and one for Gael Garcia Bernal for best actor) and the second season launches today!  If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can stream all episodes, and if you don't yet use Amazon Prime, you can start a free 30-day trial here.

169: Shigeru Ishikawa on Switzerland and Japan, premiering new works, and studying bass in the United States

Dec 28, 2015 01:09:29

Description:

 

About Shigeru:

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Shigeru Ishikawa is one of the foremost double bassists of his generation, both as a performer and a teacher. He is currently He is currently Solo Bass (ie. principal bass) of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Shigeru previously served as the principal double bass (Solo Kontrabass) of the BernerSymphonieOrchester in Bern, Switzerland, which he started in 2006. His performance has been described as “irresistible charm” (Der Bund), “jewel of a crown” (Miami Herald), “deep-rumbling bravura with athletic, fleet-fingered virtuosity” (Sun Sentinel).

He was the principal bassist of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from 1997 to 2003 under the music directors of James Judd and Joseph Silverstein. Prior to that, he served as the guest principal bass with the New Japan Philharmonic in 1996 under Seiji Ozawa Music Director and was the principal bass of the New World Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas from 1993 to 1996. He has been also the member of Saito Kinen Orchestra (Seiji Ozawa, Music Director) since 1992 where he participated in numerous recordings on Philips and Decca label. Maestro Ozawa chose him as the solo bassist (Chamber Orchestra) of Saito Kinen Orchestra for Britten’s War Requiem both in Japan and US tour in 2009 and 2010 and recorded on Decca label.

In addition to his orchestral activities, Shigeru Ishikawa regularly presents solo and chamber music performances. Since 1991 he has given numerous recitals both in Japan and USA , places including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Matsumoto, Sapporo, New York, Miami, Boca Raton, and has appeared in radio broadcast in both countries. In 2009, his Recital in Tokyo was broadcasted by NHK, Japan’s national television network, and especially Franck’s violin sonata performed on bass brought sensation throughout Japan. In U.S.A, he has released CD with Trio Tres Amigo with oboe and piano. He has also appeared as a soloist to perform concertos, such as Koussevitzky concerto with Lynn Philharmonic, Bottesini Tarantella with Renaissance Chamber Orchestra and BottesiniPassioneAmorosa with BernerSymphonieOrchester. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Berlin Quartet, IvryGitlis, members of Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bolomeo String Quartet.

As a winner of JAA music award in New York in 1991, he gave a New York debut recital in Carnegie Hall. He is also the prize winner of Bass94 International Doublebass Competition in 1994 in Avignon, France. In 1999, he was invited to give a recital at the International Society of Bassists Convention in the United States

He is also known as a supreme teacher with modern double bass technique. He served on the faculty of Boston Conservatory from 1996 to 1997 and after he came to Florida, he has taught at Harid Conservatory, Lynn University and Florida Atlantic University. He regularly gives master classes in the United States and Japan.

He received his Bachelor of Economics degree from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music in 1992.In addition, he has studied at Yale School of Music and Toho Gakuen School of Music. His primary bass instructors have been Eugene Levinson, Gary Karr, Edwin Barker and Shunsaku Tsutsumi.

Learn Double Bass - new app for iOS from Brian Johnson

Dec 23, 2015 15:33

Description:

Today we talk with Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist Brian Johnson, who has just released an app for iOS called Learn Double Bass.  What a cool app!  This app (currently free!) contains over 70 videos that clearly cover a specific bass topic.  These videos range from the very first steps (tuning the bass, rosining the bow) to more advanced concepts like spiccato.  In addition to these videos, the app contains a great number of helpful PDF resources.

Brian also teaches at California State University at Fullerton and at the Idyllwild Arts Academy, and he was a member of the Kansas City Symphony and Oregon Symphony prior to his current position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  It's great to see this kind of quality content from a professional orchestra player.  I can see everyone from a beginning bassist to someone gearing up for orchestral auditions benefiting from this app, and I think that teachers in particular (both classroom and private) will find this immensely useful.

Check out the app here, and follow along with Learn Double Bass on Facebook and on Instagram.  Brian is putting out some great practice tips on Instagram as well as some excellent bass shots.

 

168: Lawrence Hurst Interview (complete)

Dec 21, 2015 01:13:36

Description:

We are featuring our complete interview with former Indiana University and University of Michigan double bass professor Lawrence Hurst on this week's Contrabass Conversations episode.  This interview was broadcast in the early days of this show in three separate parts, and we are pleased to present the complete and uninterrupted interview on this week's show.  This episode was co-hosted by John Grillo.  Enjoy!

About Lawrence Hurst:

Lawrence Hurst began his musical studies on the piano accordion at the age of four. At 13, he started studying the double bass through the public school system of his hometown, Norfolk, Virginia. After serving two years with the Seventh Army Symphony, he started his professional career as principal bassist with the Dallas Symphony under Sir Georg Solti. He joined the music faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music in 1964. During his tenure at Michigan, he chaired the String Department and was Associate Dean and Director of the University Division of the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana Universtiy and was the chair of the String Department from 1987 until 2012. In 1967, he joined the summer faculty of the famed National Music Camp (now the Interlochen Arts Camp) and has taught there every summer since. His students can be found in orchestras and musical venues all over the world, including the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Atlanta, The Metropolitan Opera, St. Louis, and Milwaukee, to name a few. In 2005 he was given the American String Teacher's Association Artist/Teacher of the Year Award, and, in 2006, the International Society of Bassists (of which he is past president) gave him the Distinguished Teaching Award. In JUne, 2013, the ISB also awarded him the Distinguished Achievement Award. He retired from the Jacobs School of Music in June 2012, whereupon his former students initiated an endowment scholarship and medal for double bassists in his name.

email: feedback@contrabassconversations.com phone (call-in number--we'll play your message on the show!): 415-952-5643

167: Scott Pingel on accelerated musical development, life as principal bass of San Francisco, and differences between conservatory and university teaching

Dec 14, 2015 58:07

Description:

We're featuring San Francisco Symphony Principal Double Bass and University of Michigan faculty member Scott Pingel on this week's show.  In addition to holding down the principal bass chair for the San Francisco Symphony, Scott taught for several years at the San Francisco Conservatory, and he served as Principal Bass of the Charleston Symphony prior to his appointment in San Francisco.

This was really a great interview, and it was a pleasure to connect again with Scott (we played together for the Spoleto Festival over a decade ago).  You'll learn a lot about how Scott approaches practicing for auditions, his interesting path to becoming a bass player, and the instruments and bows on which he has spent the last several years performing.

About Scott:

Scott Pingel began playing the double bass at age 17 because of a strong interest in jazz, Latin, and classical music. In 2004, at age 29, he became the principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony and was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the most prominent additions to the ensemble.

Previously, Pingel served as principal bass of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and served as guest principal with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Canada. His solo performances with ensembles such as the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and in recitals frequently consisting of his own arrangements, have been met with high critical acclaim. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Julia Fischer, Gilbert Kalish, Wu Han, Joseph Silverstein, Yefim Bronfman, and members of the esteemed Emerson, Miro, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, Danish, and Takacs Quartets. He can often be heard at the Music@Menlo and Music in the Vineyards festivals and on television and radio programs including NPR's Performance Today.

Formerly active as a jazz musician and electric bassist, Pingel worked with greats including Michael Brecker, Geoff Keezer, and James Williams, and performed in venues from Birdland in New York to Fasching in Stockholm. Pingel has taught masterclasses at prestigious institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, The Julliard School, Colburn School, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing Central Conservatory, and the New World Symphony. Pingel's primary instructors were James Clute, Peter Lloyd, and Timothy Cobb. He earned a BM degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and spent two years as a fellow at the New World Symphony.

Outside of music, Pingel spent many years studying the ancient Korean martial art of Hwa Rang Do, in which he holds a black belt. He was an instructor at the Madison Academy of Hwa Rang Do and founded the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do Program, which continues to this day. Pingel lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Iris, and their daughters, Hannah and Sophia.

Vanhal complete performance with San Francisco Academy Orchestra

Scott's "dueling banjos" cadenza video

email: feedback@contrabassconversations.com phone (call-in number--we'll play your message on the show!): 415-952-5643

166: Larry Gray on multi-instrumentalism, thinking in jazz, and the history behind Chicago's Jazz Showcase

Dec 7, 2015 01:04:47

Description:

We're featuring an interview with bassist Larry Gray on this week's episode.  Larry's multi-instrumental path has taken him through performance on guitar, flute, cello, and piano in addition to bass.  Larry is in high demand as a jazz bassist in Chicago, performing regularly for decades at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, and he teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Enjoy!

About Larry

Born on Chicago’s south side, Larry Gray is considered by many to be one of jazz music’s finest double bassists. His impressive versatility and uncommon musical curiosity keep him in demand as both a leader and sideman.

Larry began his musical studies at the age of five when his father brought home an accordion and introduced him to his first teacher. Invigorated by this study, Larry added the guitar to his arsenal and studied piano seriously for many years thereafter. It was not until he was in his twenties that he decided to switch to the double bass. Larry went on to study classical music extensively, eventually adding the cello to his long list of loved instruments. His principal teachers were Joseph Guastafeste, longtime principal bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and cellist Karl Fruh, a highly regarded soloist and teacher. Under Mr. Fruh's guidance, he received bachelors and masters degrees in cello performance from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.

Throughout his long and varied career, Larry has worked with numerous exceptional artists and jazz legends, including McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez, Branford Marsalis, Benny Green, Freddy Cole, Benny Golson, Steve Turre, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Fortune, Ira Sullivan, Junior Mance, David "Fathead" Newman, Willie Pickens, Ann Hampton Callaway, Charles McPherson, Antonio Hart, Jackie McLean, Sonny Stitt, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Al Cohn, Randy Brecker, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, Eric Alexander, Phil Woods, Jon Faddis, Roscoe Mitchell, Von Freeman, Wilbur Campbell, Eddie Harris, and Les McCann. In addition, he has collaborated with guitarists Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, and Tal Farlow, as well trumpeters Donald Byrd, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and Tom Harrell, among others.

Larry continues to tour extensively, performing at jazz festivals and clubs around the globe, including the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Havana Jazz Festival, Rio Sao Paulo Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, ECM Festival in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, the Poznan Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Detroit Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Village Vanguard, Blue Note (New York and Tokyo), Kennedy Center, and the Ravinia Festival, with such jazz luminaries as Marian McPartland, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Frank Morgan, James Moody, Larry Coryell, Louis Bellson, Barry Harris, Dorothy Donegan, Monty Alexander, Frank Wess, Joe Williams, Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, Kenny Drew Jr., and most recently, Ramsey Lewis.

As a classical musician, Larry played several seasons with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, including a year as principal bass. He worked on many occasions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under master conductors Erich Leinsdorf, Rafeal Kubelik, Carlo Maria Guilini, and Sir George Solti. He also was the featured double bassist with Lyric Opera for the world premiere of the opera Amistad.

Larry is an arranger and composer whose work has been widely recognized as uniquely melodic and exceptionally refined. His discography includes 1,2, 3,..., on Chicago Sessions, the solo bass record, Gravity, One Look, and Solo + Quartet, all on Graywater Records, as well as the Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson collaborations Meant to Be and Simple Pleasures. He can also be heard on the Ramsey Lewis recordings Appassionata, Time Flies, and With One Voice, and the latest release, Songs From the Heart. Larry also arranged and produced the critically acclaimed CD, Django by Ferro.

Furthermore, Larry has recorded with Chet Baker, Curtis Fuller, Ira Sullivan, Lin Halliday, Willie Pickens, Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Bunky Green, Bob Moses, Irish flute-whistle virtuoso Laurence Nugent, pop sensations Linda Eder, Dennis DeYoung, and Peter Cetera, and songwriter Michael Smith, among others. In addition, Larry is a first-call studio musician, and his playing can be heard on many commercial radio and television jingles and studio projects as well as the PBS television series, Legends of Jazz, where he can be seen performing alongside Jim Hall, Benny Golson, Chris Potter, Phil Woods, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Clark Terry, and Roy Hargrove.

In addition, Larry's original composition for double bass and guitar, Five Movements, was commissioned and performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Symphony Center in Chicago. Most recently, Larry has composed two commissioned works for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Tribute to the Bass Masters Suite was premiered at the Poznan Festival in Poland in 2008 to much acclaim. A second work, String Thing, was first presented in Chicago in October 2010 as part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago Jazz in Chicago series. Larry also completed a collaborative project with bassists Rufus Reid and Joseph Guastafeste that was premiered in March of 2011 in Chicago.

Larry Gray is also a dedicated teacher and is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served for many years on the faculties at DePaul University and Northern Illinois University. Active as a clinician at high school and colleges and festivals thought North America, he also coaches various instrumentalists in jazz techniques as well as music theory, sight-singing, and composition.

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165: Ed Barker Interview (from the archives)

Nov 30, 2015 01:22:53

Description:

Here's another popular episode from the Contrabass Conversations archives.  If you haven't check this episode out before (or even if you have), you'll be in for a real treat as we explore the world of the double bass with Mr. Barker.

We’re featuring Boston Symphony Principal Bassist Ed Barker on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Conducted by Contrabass Conversations co-host John Grillo, this episode features John chatting with Ed about his early years on the bass, his schooling and time spent in the Chicago Symphony prior to his appointment with the Boston Symphony, and in-depth look at articulation on the bass, and a discussion on practicing. We hope you enjoy this conversation with this modern master performer and teacher of the double bass!

About Ed Barker:

Edwin Barker is recognized as one of the most gifted bassists on the American concert scene. Acknowledged as an accomplished solo and ensemble player, Mr. Barker has concertized in North America, Europe, and the Far East. Edwin Barker has performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and with the contemporary music ensemble Collage, a Boston – based contemporary music ensemble, and is a frequent guest performer with the Boston Chamber Music Society. Mr. Barker gave the world premiere of James Yannatos’ Concerto for Contrabass and Chamber Orchestra and of Theodore Antoniou’s Concertino for Contrabass and Chamber Orchestra ; he was the featured soloist in the New England premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer with The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Barker graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory in 1976, where he studied double bass with Henry Portnoi. That same year, while a member of the Chicago Symphony, he was appointed at age 22 to the position of principal double bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His other double bass teachers included Peter Mercurio, Richard Stephan, Angelo LaMariana, and David Perleman.

Mr. Barker was invited to inaugurate the 100th anniversary season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with a solo performance of the Koussevitzky Bass Concerto; other solo engagements have included appearances at Ozawa Hall (Tanglewood), Carnegie Recital Hall’s “Sweet and Low” series, and at major universities and conferences throughout the world, as well as concerto performances with the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Athens State Orchestra (Greece) and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston and Europe. He was a featured premiere soloist with the Boston Symphony of John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol and Orchestra at Tanglewood’s 2007 Festival of Contemporary Music. Mr. Barker is an Associate Professor at the Boston University College of Fine Arts where he teaches double bass, orchestral techniques, and chamber music. His other major teaching affiliations include the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center, where he is Chairman of Instrumental and Orchestral Studies. Edwin Barker’s solo CD recordings include Three Sonatas for Double Bass, on Boston Records, James Yannatos’ Variations for Solo Contrabass, on Albany Records, and Concerti for Double Bass, on GM Recordings, which includes bass concerti by Gunther Schuller and Theodore Antoniou. Concerti for Contrabass also includes his highly praised performance of Tom Johnson’s Failing , which was recorded live at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater. Edwin Barker’s latest solo offering on CD is a recently released performance of James Yannatos’ Concerto for Contrabass with Collage. This episode originally aired on June 6, 2009. Enjoy!

164: The Karr-Koussevitzky bass

Nov 23, 2015 40:18

Description:

This week's episode contains a recital I did about ten years ago on the Karr-Koussevitzky Double Bass.  I was thrilled to have this opportunity and thought a lot about what sort of repertoire would be best suited for a recital like this.  Eventually I settled on a traditional program that I thought tapped into some aspect of either Gary Karr or Koussevitzky.  Lyric Opera of Chicago bassist Greg Sarchet was kind enough to set this event up for me at Northeastern Illinois University in their gorgeous recital hall.

You'll hear the following pieces on this recital:

Eccles Sonata (complete) Koussevitzky Valse Miniature Gliere Intermezzo Hindemith Sonata Massenet Meditation from "Thais"

It's a live recital and has its share of mistakes for sure, but it's kind of cool to get a chance to hear that bass, and it was certainly a great opportunity for me to play on a piece of history.  Enjoy--more interviews coming next week!

Amati recital program NEIU (PDF)

163: Kurt Muroki Interview

Nov 9, 2015 01:07:14

Description:

This week, we bring you an interview with Indiana University double bass professor Kurt Muroki. Kurt is an outstanding performer, teacher, and artist, and we had a great conversation about teaching, learning, and performing. Enjoy!

About Kurt Muroki:

Former Artist Member with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Professor Kurt Muroki began his musical studies on the violin at the age of six and subsequently performed concerti with the Honolulu Symphony and the Maui Symphony. Mr. Muroki went on to study the Double bass at the age of 13 and entered the Juilliard School of Music at 17 studying with his teacher / mentor Homer R. Mensch.

 

At the age of 21 Kurt began performing with the internationally renowned Sejong Soloists under ICM Management. Kurt has performed with the The Jupiter Chamber Players, Speculum Musicae, “Great Performers” series at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Sospeso, Sequitur, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori, New York City Ballet, 92nd St. Y, and Bargemusic. Festivals include Marlboro Music Festival, Festival L’Autonne at IRCAM, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few. Kurt is also active playing movies, commercials, popular, and classical recordings with titles including the Oscar winning film “The Departed”, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, “Hitch”, “Julie and Julia”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “Roger Daltrey Sings Pete Townshend” – The Who, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Itzhak Perlman.

 

Mr. Muroki has won numerous competitions including 1st prize in the Aspen Music Festival double bass competition, the first bassist to win the New World Symphony concerto competition, and the Honolulu Symphony Young Artists competition. He has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Tokyo, Orion quartets, Ensemble Wein-Berlin, Jaime Laredo, Lynn Harrell, Maurice Bourgue, Toru Takemitsu, Peter Schickele, John Zorn, and Brian Ferneyhough among others, and has performed concerto tours throughout Asia and the United States. Professor Muroki is currently tenured faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Artist/Lecturer at Stony Brook University, Distinguished Artist at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, faculty/Director of the Kaplan Fellowship program at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, teaches at New York String Orchestra Seminar, and has been a judge at the Yale Gordon Competition at Peabody Conservatory, ASTA, and others. Mr Muroki is a past Board Member of the International Society of Bassists and is a D’Addario Strings Artist.

162: David Allen Moore Interview (from the archives)

Nov 8, 2015 43:08

Description:

We’re featuring an interview from the podcast archives with Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist and University of Southern California bass instructor David Allen Moore on the podcast this week. David also teaches bass during the summer at the Domaine Forget program in Quebec.

In this interview, we chat about his early years on the instrument, teachers that have influenced him, his time in the Houston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, challenges of learning repertoire for a professional orchestra, his studies with François Rabbath, German and French bow differences, and many other topics. After the interview, we feature a track of David playing the Bohemian Dance from Frank Proto’s Carmen Fantasy. Enjoy!

David's Faculty Page of USC Website

Domaine Forget Festival

About David:

DAVID ALLEN MOORE graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern California in 1993 where he studied with Dennis Trembly, Paul Ellison, and John Clayton. Moore continued his studies in Boston, working privately with BSO principal bass Edwin Barker while performing with Boston Baroque, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Emmanuel Music, and the Boston Pops Esplanade orchestra.

Moore performed as a substitute with the Los Angeles Philharmonic during the 1995/96 season, after which he was a member of the Houston Symphony bass section under maestro Christoph Eschenbach, from 1996 to 1999. In January of 2000 Moore became a full-time member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s bass section and was promoted to the 4th chair by audition in October of the same year. Moore has participated in numerous festivals including Tanglewood, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, and Kent/Blossom Summer Music Festival.

He is an active recitalist and chamber musician, having performed in the Houston area with the Greenbriar Consortium, in Los Angeles with the Philharmonic’s New Music Group, and in San Diego with the Mainly Mozart Festival. He has been a featured clinician at the 2012 TCU International Double Bass Festival, the 2011 International Society of Bassists convention, the 1999 Texas Double Bass Symposium.

From 2003-2009 Moore was a faculty member at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. Moore has been a faculty member of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music since 2000, and since the Fall of 2010 he has been part of the full-time faculty as an Assistant Professor while maintaining his position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since 2007 Moore has been a faculty member at Domaine Forget in Quebec, Canada. In November of 2007 he began studies with internationally renowned double bass pedagogue and soloist François Rabbath in Paris.

Moore received both the Diploma and Teaching Certificate from the Institut International Rabbath in February of 2009. Moore has presented clinics and master classes at Juilliard, The Curtis Institute of Music, Northwestern University, and Rice University, among others. He has former students performing in major orchestras in The U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. The double bass that Moore performs on with the Philharmonic is an instrument by Nicolo Gagliano made in 1735.His solo bass is a modern instrument by French luthier Christian Laborie. Moore uses bows designed especially for him by Paris bowmaker Boris Fritsch that are a unique French/German hybrid and are designed to be played either overhand or underhand. T

his interview originally aired on July 18, 2009 on CBC Episode 128.

161: Alex Hanna Interview

Nov 6, 2015 01:15:52

Description:

We are thrilled to bring you this interview with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Bass Alex Hanna. In addition to his responsibilities leading the bass section of the CSO, Alex teaches double bass at DePaul University and is active as a clinician, soloist, and chamber musician.

About Alex:

Inspired by the sound of the symphony orchestra, Alexander Hanna at age 13 decided to pursue a career as a bassist. Throughout his youth, after beginning music studies on the piano at age 4, he performed as a recitalist on both piano and bass and also as a soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on both instruments. In 2004, he was invited to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer.

In 2012, Riccardo Muti appointed Hanna as principal bass of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He had served four years as principal bass of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Alex will be performing the Vanhal Concerto with the Chicago Symphony December 17-19, 2015. We feature excerpts from Alex performing this concerto with the Bellingham Festival Orchestra, Michael Palmer conducting. Enjoy!

160: Barry Lieberman Interview (2014)

May 25, 2014 39:44

Description:

This week, we’re featuring an interview with double bassist Barry Lieberman. The former Assistant Principal Bass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Principal Bass of the Winnipeg Symphony, Barry now serves as co-director of The American String Project, an innovative string ensemble which features arrangements of string quartets for small string ensemble with double bass.

In this interview, we discuss Barry's recent TASP CD release on MSR Classics, his orchestral solo tutorials on his YouTube channel, upcoming possible future video projects, and designing a bass rosin that really works.

 

159: Paul Ramsier Interview

Nov 14, 2011 37:48

Description:

This special Contrabass Conversations episode features an interview with composer Paul Ramsier.  Though Paul is particularly well-known for his collaborations with Gary Karr, he continues to remain quite active as a composer and has a number of interesting projects in the works. Throughout this interview, you will hear excerpts from Divertimento and Silent Movie, two of Paul's most popular compositions.  These excerpts come from Paul's recently released DVD titled Four Ramsier Favorites and featuring double bassist Jerome Butler on bass.  We also discuss Bass Tunes, Paul's excellent volume of duets for young bassists and a book that I frequently use with my own students.  

Links to some of Paul's online offerings:

Paul's website Four Ramsier Favorites DVD Bass Tunes Compositions for Virtuoso Double Bass CD (site features audio excerpts of these tracks) Lemur Music (search for Paul Ramsier - many titles available including music for Divertimento, Silent Movie, Three Lyric Pieces, Eusebius Revisited, Road to Hamelin, and Lullaby for Bass Quartet)

158: Charles DeRamus interview

May 23, 2011 01:00:56

Description:

We're bringing you an interview with double bassist Charles DeRamus on Contrabass Conversations this week. Charles is a member of the Gothenburg Symphony and has worked extensively in both Europe and the United States during his professional career. Charles has recently written a children's concert for double bass quartet and narrator called "Greta's Dream" which has been performed at many venues in the United States and Sweden.

This piece will be performed at the 2011 International Society of Bassists Convention in San Francisco, so be sure to check out their session if you can attend the convention. Following the interview, we feature two excerpts from a live performance of Greta's Dream (right around the 57 minute point in the podcast if you want to jump right to them), and more information about this piece will be provided in the coming months. Be sure to check out the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Bass Quartet on Facebook--they've got a great page!

 

About Charles: Charles_DeRamus color medium.jpg Charles DeRamus has a career that spans from North America to Scandinavia, where he is currently a member of the Gothenburg Symphony and has worked extensively with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, Malmo? Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In the United States he has performed, recorded and toured with the Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and the Colorado Music Festival. His studies include degrees from Indiana University and Rice University, after which he was a member of the New World Symphony and participated in numerous summer festivals including Tanglewood, Schleswig-Holstein, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. Equally at home in various musical venues, Charles has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, Ohio Light Opera, NorrlandsOperan, Malmo? Opera, as well as the Dayton Bach Society, the contemporary ensemble “Black Box Band”, Sweden’s acclaimed new music ensemble Gageego, and the Persian/European influenced Rumi Ensemble. Recent solo engagements include a unique performance with the National Orchestra of Sweden for a concert celebrating newly naturalized Swedish citizens, as well as performances of Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango and Beethoven’s F Major Romance with the Eureka Symphony in the United States. Charles is a dedicated teacher and currently serves on the faculties of the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Festival Programs. Previously he has served on the All-State at Interlochen and University of Michigan Summer Arts Institute faculties, as well as given masterclasses in Norway, Sweden, the United States, and at the Royal College of Music and Yehudi Menuhin School in England. As a composer/arranger, in the 2010/11 season Charles will celebrate the premier performances of “Greta’s Dream”, his newly written children’s concert for Double Bass Quartet and narrator. Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, Charles is the third generation bassist in his family.

157: Koussevitzky recordings

Oct 14, 2010 29:16

Description:

This week on Contrabass Conversations, we're bringing you rare footage of Serge Koussevitzky performing a few selections. Enjoy this trip back in double bass history, brought to you by double bassist John Grillo!

156: Gunnelpumpers

Aug 8, 2010 15:48

Description:

We're featuring the debut album from Gunnelpumpers in its entirety on this episode of Contrabass Conversations. Enjoy!

About Gunnelpumpers

Gunnelpumpers is a group of musicians dedicated to the art of progressive, free improvisation. Founded in Chicago in 2002 by bassist/composer Douglas Johnson and percussionist Randy Farr, Gunnelpumpers has had over 50 musicians perform with the group. The core of the group currently includes founders Johnson and Farr, as well as rock guitarist John Meyer, Chicago Symphony bassist Michael Hovnanian, and session musicians Tom Mendel on bass guitar and Bob Garrett on drums.

At the heart of Gunnelpumpers lies the spirit of improvisation, and each musician brings a wide range of influences to create a unique and compelling sound. By nature Gunnelpumpers defies labels, but perhaps “tribadelic” best describes the myriad of styles drawn from, which ranges from rock to classical, jazz to psychedelia, and beyond.

155: Frederick Zimmermann Practice Tapes

Jul 25, 2010 23:56

Description:

We’re featuring practice tapes from the hugely influential double bass performer and pedagogue Frederick Zimmermann on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Co-host John Grillo unearthed and transferred these tapes of Zimmermann practicing, and he and I briefly chat about how these tapes helped to shape John’s concept of sound on the double bass. Enjoy!

About Frederick Zimmermann:

Frederick Zimmermann was an American double bassist and teacher. He played in the New York Philharmonic from 1930-1966 serving as assistant-principal and principal and taught at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University. He is considered by many to be the most influential American double bass teacher of the 20th century.

153: Bottesini with Leon Bosch

May 9, 2010 13:48

Description:

We’re featuring double bassist Leon Bosch performing selections from his latest album on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Titled Virtuoso Double Bass Vol. 2, this album contains a dozen works, both familiar and less familiar, from Giovanni Bottesini. You can purchase this album (as well as Leon’s other albums) from Meridian Records here, and learn more about Leon at leonbosch.co.uk.

151: Barre Phillips

Mar 26, 2010 20:37

Description:

We're featuring music from jazz and free improvisation bassist Barre Phillips on this week's podcast episode, as well as bass news and updates. Enjoy!

About Barre Phillips:

Barre Phillips (born October 27, 1934 in San Francisco, California) is a jazz and free improvisation bassist. A professional musician since 1960, he migrated to New York City in 1962, then to Europe in 1967. Since 1972 he has been based in southern France where in 2014 founded the European Improvisation Center

He studied briefly in 1959 with S. Charles Siani, Assistant Principal Bassist with the San Francisco Symphony During the 1960s he recorded with (among others) Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre, Archie Shepp, Peter Nero, Attila Zoller, Lee Konitz and Marion Brown.

Phillips' 1968 recording of solo bass improvisations, issued as Journal Violone in the USA, Unaccompanied Barre in England, and Basse Barre in France, is generally credited as the first solo bass record. A 1971 record with Dave Holland, Music from Two Basses, was probably the first record of improvised double bass duets.

In the 1970s he was a member of the well-regarded and influential group The Trio with saxophonist John Surman and drummer Stu Martin. In the 1980s and 1990s he played regularly with the London Jazz Composers Orchestra led by fellow bassist Barry Guy. He worked on soundtracks of the motion pictures Merry-Go-Round (1981), Naked Lunch (1991, together with Ornette Coleman) and Alles was baumelt, bringt Glück! (2013).

As a free improviser he has worked with (among many others) bassists Peter Kowald and Joëlle Léandre, guitarist Derek Bailey, clarinetists Theo Jörgensmann and Aurélien Besnard, saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker and Joe Maneri, and pianist Paul Bley.

Barre is the father of rock guitarist Jay Crawford from the band Bomb, of the bassist Dave Phillips and of singer Claudia Phillips, who was a one-hit wonder in France in 1987 with "Quel souci La Boétie".

 

150: ISB 2011 Convention Details

Feb 21, 2010 08:30

Description:

It’s official! Make plans to celebrate the Summer of Bass Love at the 2011 ISB Convention, June 5-11, at San Francisco State University. Stay tuned for details and mark your calendars!

We’re doing a brief podcast interview today with Barry Green, who we recently featured in an interview/performance episode on Contrabass Conversations. Barry describes the setting for the 2011 convention (which will be awesome!), and some other details that I’m sure will make you excited for this event. Enjoy!

Music Episode: Doug Stuart

Jan 24, 2010 17:43

Description:

This week, we’re featuring the double bass stylings of Doug Stuart, a former University of Michigan student who is currently active in the San Francisco Bay area. We’ll be hearing “Wake Up” and “Gratitude” from The Pear and the Pepper, Doug’s latest EP.

148: Happy New Year from Guy Tuneh

Jan 2, 2010 10:52

Description:

Enjoy this New Year’s nugget from double bassist Guy Tuneh, featuring a personal greeting for all listeners and readers and a complete performance of Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch. This was recorded live on a borrowed bass during a concert for sick children.

147: Barry Green Interview

Dec 24, 2009 01:11:16

Description:

We’re featuring double bassist Barry Green on Contrabass Conversations this week. In addition to being an influential bassist and teacher (he served as Principal Bass for the Cincinnati Symphony for 28 years, has written many method books, and currently teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area), Barry is the well-known author of The Inner Game of Music, The Mastery of Music, and Bringing Music to Life.

145: David Cutler and The Savvy Musician

Nov 18, 2009 25:08

Description:

We’re chatting with David Cutler, the author of The Savvy Musician, this week on Contrabass Conversations.  This new book is filled with excellent and informative about musical entrepreneurship, product development, branding, marketing, networking, and much more. I hope that you enjoy this interview and check out David’s book, and be sure to also visit his blog, which is a great supplement to the book and quite entertaining.

144: Advice from James Knabe

Oct 29, 2009 18:04

Description:

This week's podcast features an interview with James Knabe, a trumpet performer and teacher who also runs a web consulting service for musicians. Learn more about what musicians can do to effectively market themselves by listening to this short interview, and check out musicianadvice.com for more information about the services James provides. Enjoy!

143: Jeff Weisner Interview

Oct 23, 2009 01:08:13

Description:

This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode features an interview with National Symphony bassist and Peabody Conservatory faculty member Jeff Weisner. In addition to performing and teaching, Jeff is a prolific blogger, writing about all kinds of subjects on PeabodyDoubleBass. Jeff also cross-posts many of these posts on doublebassblog.org, adding his own perspective and enhancing this site.

After the interview, we feature a live recording from the 2007 International Society of Bassists Convention of Jeff performing the Ostinato from Tom Schnauber’s Alba and Ostinato. Enjoy!

visit PeabodyDoubleBass visit Jeff’s Peabody faculty page

Peabody Double Bass Faculty:

Paul Johnson, Jeffrey Weisner (classical). Michael Formanek (jazz). Artist in ResidenceHal Robinson.

Follow the Peabody Double Bass Studio on Twitter

About Jeff:

B.M., Boston University School for the Arts; M.M. , Peabody Conservatory. Bass instruction with Lawrence Wolfe, Edwin Barker, and Hal Robinson. Member, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC, since 1995. Active chamber musician and solo performer, with recitals and masterclasses at venues including San Francisco Conservatory, the Colburn School for the Performing Arts, and Interlochen Arts Academy.

142: Alan Steiner and Audition Tapes

Oct 13, 2009 15:03

Description:

We’re featuring double bassist Alan Steiner on this week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations. A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Alan performs regularly with the Chicago Sinfonietta and Lake Forest Symphony. In addition to maintaining a private double bass studio, Alan teaches bass each summer at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin.

The topic of discussion for today’s brief (15 min) episode focuses on tips for helping students to make quality audition tapes. Alan listens to many audition tapes each year when choosing bassists for the Birch Creek Symphony, and he offers advice to help students make better tapes and get more out of the process. Enjoy!

141: David Grossman Interview

Sep 27, 2009 01:01:25

Description:

This week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations features an interview with double bassist David Grossman, a member of the New York Philharmonic bass section and an active jazz bassist. Hosted by John Grillo, this interview covers David’s early musical experiences, his dual interest in jazz and classical music, current projects, his philosophy and approach as a teacher, and a variety of other topics.

About David:

Bassist David J. Grossman began playing with the New York Philharmonic as its youngest member in December 1999 before graduating from The Juilliard School in May 2000. Born and educated in New York City, Mr. Grossman has performed as double bassist and pianist in orchestral, chamber, and jazz venues worldwide. He is a member of the double bass faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, and regularly gives master classes across the country. (view complete bio)

Tracks featured:

Thirds The Charm – from The Bass Of Both Worlds Jazz (iTunes link) Janacek: Pohadka (Fairy Tale) Mvt. 3 – from The Bass Of Both Worlds Classical (iTunes link)

More information on David’s recordings is available on his website davidjgrossman.com.

139: The American String Project

Sep 26, 2009 51:00

Description:

This week’s Contrabass Conversations episode features a follow-up interview with bassist Barry Lieberman, double bass faculty at the University of Washington and artistic director of The American String Project, an ensemble that specializes in performing string chamber orchestra arrangements of quartet literature.

Barry was previously interviewed on Contrabass Conversations in 2008, and on that occasion we discussed his early years on the instrument, his career in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and subsequent move to Seattle, and many other topics. We focus on recent developments with The American String Project in this episode, including their recent selection as “Pick of the Month” for all North American releases of classical music discs in the August issue of the BBC Music Magazine (more details on the String Project website).

This fascinating and virtuosic ensemble also recently produced a documentary detailing what happens behind the scenes each year with the String Project, and it is a well-produced and highly engaging glimpse into the workings of some of the world’s finest leaders in the string world in a rare collaborative setting. You can see it now on the TASP website, and we will be releasing the entire video on the podcast next week as well.

One of our most popular offerings on Contrabass Conversations since its inception has been Barry’s interview with Gary Karrfor his Barry Lieberman and Friends series at the University of Washington. You’re in for a real treat if you haven’t seen this in the past–check it out!

We’ve featured a great deal of String Project music on both the blog and the podcast–so much in fact, that I decided to put together a PDF listing everything that we’ve used (in some fashion) here:

American String Project music featured on doublebassblog.org.pdf

Today’s episode features an excerpt from the String Quartet Op. 18, No. 4 Mvt. 4 (Allegro) by Beethoven and the complete Allegro Non Troppo movement from the String Quartet #3 In F, Op. 73 by Shostakovich. You can also check out all the works that the String Project has performed on their page within doublebassblog.org.

137: Todd Coolman Interview

Sep 12, 2009 43:34

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with jazz bassist Todd Coolman on the podcast. This episode is guest hosted by double bassist Win Hinkle, who interviewedRufus Reid previously for Contrabass Conversations as well.

After listening to this interview, I went out and downloaded Perfect Strangers, Todd’s newest album, and I highly recommend it to listeners. Truly top-notch and extremely enjoyable playing all around! We’ll begin today’s episode with a brief excerpt from Crescent City Ditty, and well conclude with Todd’s bass solo from Connotation. Both excerpts are from Todd’s new album and you canfind it on iTunes here.

136: Joel Quarrington Interview

Sep 1, 2009 56:19

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with and music from Joel Quarrington this week of Contrabass Conversations. Joel is the former Principal Bass of the Toronto Symphony and currently serves as Principal Bass for the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada. In addition to his orchestral duties, Joel maintains an active career as a solo and chamber artist, touring internationally in this capacity and performing a wide range of repertoire.

This week’s episode begins with a recording of Joel performing the fourth movement from the Sonata For Solo Contrabass by Weinberg, and the episode concludes after the interview with Joel’s performance of the Bottesini Elegy. Both of these tracks are from his new album Garden Scene. Learn more about this album and Joel’s numerous other projects atwww.joelquarrington.com.

135: Matt Heller Interview

Aug 29, 2009 14:54

Description:

We’re featuring a brief (10 minute) interview with Calgary Philharmonicbassist Matt Heller. Matt is an old friend of mine who, in addition to being an excellent bassist, is the author of the always interesting blog hella frisch. Matt also did extensive coverage of the 2009 International Society of Bassists Convention. It was a real pleasure to get a chance to sit down and do an interview for the podcast with Matt, and I hope you enjoy this chat between two bass bloggers!

134: Colin Corner update and music

Aug 22, 2009 24:24

Description:

We're featuring a quick update and some performances from from double bassist Colin Corner, a previous CBC guest. When we first interviewed Colin back in 2007 he was performing in the Minnesota Orchestra, but he now serves as principal bass of the Rochester Philharmonic.

In addition to his orchestral duties, Colin maintains an active career as a composer and jazz bassist, and he currently performs with the modern jazz trio Blood Electric (DeVon Gray, keys; Peter Leggett, drums; Colin Corner, bass). Learn more about Colin at his website colincornermusic.com.

133: Scott Best Interview

Aug 16, 2009 22:15

Description:

We're chatting with Memphis Symphony Principal Bass Scott Best on this week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations. Scott is a close personal friend of mine and an outstanding double bassist in both solo and ensemble settings. We played together in the IRIS Orchestra of Memphis, Tennessee, and it is a real pleasure to feature him on the show.

Scott was one of the bassists involved in the ISB-coordinated commission of the John Harbison Concerto for Double Bass (complete video from ISB convention of this piece available here), performing the piece with the Memphis Symphony. Scott was also asked (along with Dennis Trembly and Volkan Orhon) to perform a movement of this piece at the 2009 ISB Convention, and we include the audio of Scott playing the third movement at the end of this interview. We hope you enjoy this interview with double bassist Scott Best!

128: David Allen Moore Interview

Jul 12, 2009 46:50

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with Los Angeles Philharmonic bassistand University of Southern California bass instructor David Allen Moore on the podcast this week. David also teaches bass during the summer at the Domaine Forget program in Quebec. In this interview, we chat about his early years on the instrument, teachers that have influenced him, his time in the Houston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, challenges of learning repertoire for a professional orchestra, his studies with François Rabbath, German and French bow differences, and many other topics.

After the interview, we feature a track of David playing the Bohemian Dance from Frank Proto’s Carmen Fantasy. Enjoy!

About David:

DAVID ALLEN MOORE, the newest member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s bass section, joined the orchestra in January 2000 and was appointed to the 4th chair in October 2000. He graduated in 1993 from the University of Southern California, where he studied with Dennis Trembly, Paul Ellison, and John Clayton. Moore continued his studies in Boston, working privately with BSO principal bass Edwin Barker.

Moore performed as a substitute with the Los Angeles Philharmonic during the 1995/96 season, after which he was a member of the Houston Symphony bass section under maestro Christoph Eschenbach, from 1996 to 1999.

Moore has participated in numerous festivals including Tanglewood, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, and Kent/Blossom Summer Music Festival. He is an active chamber musician, having performed in the Houston area with the Greenbriar Consortium, and in Los Angeles with the Philharmonic’s New Music Group. He was also a featured clinician at the 1999 Texas Double Bass Symposium. Moore currently is on the faculty of the University of Southern California.

130: P. Kellach Waddle Interview

Jul 10, 2009 23:36

Description:

We’re featuring composer and bassist P. Kellach Waddle on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Actually, we have chatted about doing an interview since 2007, and we got a chance to do so at the 2009 International Society of Bassists Convention. P. Kellach Waddle has had a great deal of recognition as a composer, and he has written numerous works for solo bass or featuring the bass in a prominent role. I think you’ll really enjoy this interview we did back in June!

We’re also featuring P. Kellach Waddle performing his own composition “Sonata in Two Movements” for solo bass after the interview segment.

About P. Kellach Waddle:

Two time Pulitzer-Prize nominated composer P. Kellach Waddle maintains an active career not only as a composer but also as a bassist, conductor and writer. With nearly 450 performances of his music by the end of the ’05-’06 season, and a list of completed works now numbering over 220 , Mr. Waddle continues to maintain a career as one of the most performed and prolific composers of his generation. His works have been performed in 38 states and in 14 countries on 4 continents and radio features/interviews with him have been heard on classical radio stations in Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee and Ohio. A performance by Mr. Waddle of his Op. 1 #1, the bass caprice De Salones Espanoles, marked the first hearing of his music on National Public Radio as part of its Music From Roundtop Series in 1993.

Complete bio for P. Kellach Waddle

131: Jiri Slavik Interview

Jul 10, 2009 20:07

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with double bassist Jiri Slavik on Contrabass Conversations this week. Jiri is an extremely accomplished bassist in both jazz and classical styles, as you can see from his biography below, and he gave a truly mesmerizing performance at the 2009 International Society of Bassists Convention. This interview took place just as Jiri was about to leave for Europe, and I feel fortunate to have gotten the chance to chat with him on his first visit to the United States!

After the interview, we feature a track titled “Coesistenza” from Jiri’s album Repose. This track also features pianist Fred Thomas (iTunes link). 

About Jiri:

Jiri Slavik was born in Havirov, Czech Republic, into a teacher’s family with a strong musical tradition. As a child he played the violin, which he exchanged for the double bass around age 13. A year later he moved to Rome, Italy, where he attended St Stephen’s School and eventually also the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire (Massimo Giorgi’s double bass class). In the summer of 2004 he graduated from both of these institutions, always with the highest attainable marks (the seven-year long double bass course at the conservatoire took him three years to finish).

After having been offered a full scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music, Jiri moved to London, UK, to pursue his studies, first in classical double bass with Duncan McTier, later on in jazz composition with Barak Schmool. After three years he finished the four years long programme with “First Class Honours”.

Since August 2007 he lives as a freelance musician and a composer in Paris, France. He has attended masterclasses under the direction of jazz celebrities such as Dave Holland, Jeff „Tain“ Watts, Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard, Kenny Wheeler or contemporary music authorities like Pierre Laurent-Aimard or Peter Maxwell Davies. During his years at the Academy he was the first double bassist of the Concert Orchestra under the direction of Colin Davis or a chosen soloist at the Paganini Festival (2006). With the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris he played Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Notre Dame or performed in the Théâtre des Champs-Elyseés.

As a soloist he has appeared in the Santa Cecilia hall of the auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome or in a program of the Czech Television Koncert na kurtech. With pianist Fred Thomas he made two live recordings for the Czech Radio, as well as the album Repose (F-IRE label, London). His music is in an independant German film production “Oury Jalloh” (www.ouryjalloh-derfilm.de), which won the German Human Rights Film prize, category amateur film, for 2008.

126: Art Davis Retrospective

Jul 1, 2009 39:21

Description:

We’re featuring a guest interview by bassist Tim Wolfe, Jr. interviewing his former teacher Jim Miller about Art Davis. Tim and Jim discuss Art Davis’ life, career, and pedagogical approach. They discuss Art’s book and his four-finger approach to the double bass, among other subjects.

We’re also featuring excerpts from “Duo,” a track from the Art Davis Quartet album Life and featuring Art Davis, John Hicks, Idris Muhammad & Pharoah Sanders. This album (along with other music from Art’s considerable career) is available through iTunes.

Tim also created a timeline (PDF) detailing milestones in Art’s career:

Art Davis Timeline

 

 

About Art Davis:

In a musical career that has spanned four decades, Dr. Art Davis has played his bass with a myriad of the greatest jazz, classical, and popular artists in the world. He has shared his talents with not only the best jazz musicians (John Coltrane,Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Thelonius Monk, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, etc.), but with notable figures from popular music such as Judy Garland, Bob Dylan, Minne Pearl, Barbara Streisand, Hank Williams. Davis’ career has also seen performances with major orchestras such as the National Symphony, NBC Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Radio City Music Hall Symphony, Westchester Symphony, Orange County Symphony and others.

Davis studied the tuba as well as the piano as a boy in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania before switching to the bass in high school. He won numerous awards on both tuba and double-bass while attending high school. Upon graduation, he moved to New York to study via scholarship at both theManhattan School of Music as well as the Juilliard School of Music. While attending the latter he studied with world renown cellist Lazlo Varga andAnselme Fortier, who was principal bassist with the New York Philharmonic at that time. He earned a B.A. degree, triple major in psychology, music, physics, summa sum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Art Davis’ recording debut came in 1958 at the Newport Jazz Festival, with Max Roach’s group that included the legendary Booker Little and George Coleman. Davis maintained a strong personal relationship with Max, and Booker Little became one of his best friends.

John Coltrane came into Art Davis’ life while Davis was working with Max Roach’s group at Small’s Paradise in Harlem. Coltrane at that time was in Miles Davis’ band and between sets asked Art if he would like to “practice” with him. Art agreed and Coltrane replied “How about tomorrow morning?” At 8:00 the following morning John Coltrane was in the lobby of Art’s hotel and called him on the house phone. After that first meeting, the two practiced regularly for about a year, the sessions lasting for many hours without a break. It was during this year that John Coltrane wrote the tune “Giant Steps”. Davis credits the association with John Coltrane as the most intense and enriching musical experience of his career. Until Coltrane’s death in 1967, Art remained close musically and personally with him and was a member of the bands on several Coltrane albums including, “Ascension”, “Africa Brass I and II”, “Olé! Coltrane”, and others. Art’s discography as a member of Coltrane’s groups also includes the original recording of “A Love Supreme” (which remains unreleased) with Coltrane’s regular quartet and Archie Shepp. Art also toured intermittently with John Coltrane. Due to Davis’ studio and other commitments, he was unable to become a permanent member of Coltrane’s quartet, but John insisted on their continued relationship.

Then, in 1959, Davis joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band and toured for two and a half years. Weary of the road he returned to New York and free-lanced. In 1961 Art became the second African-American member of the NBC Staff Orchestra, working regularly on the Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson shows (and others), as well as performing in the New York studios playing jingles, films, and freelancing with performers.

When the Griffin show moved to Los Angeles in 1971 Davis went back to school to pursue his deep interest in psychology, earning a masters degree in Experimental Psychology from the City College of the City University of New York and a masters degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from New York University by 1982. He supported himself while in college by teaching and performing in Broadway shows.

After receiving his doctorate, he devoted four years to psychology patients and teaching in medical centers and colleges. In 1986, Davis moved to southern California, where he currently teaches college courses and maintains a professional practice as well as playing concerts, clubs, and recordings.Throughout his busy career, Davis finds time to encourage young people to strive toward their highest professional ambitions. His fan club decided to reflect this concern and established a scholarship program for deserving students.

 

124: ISB 2009 Impressions

Jun 29, 2009 19:23

Description:

We’re featuring some brief interviews I did with people on the floor of the 2009 International Society of Bassists Convention at Penn State in June. Feel free to check out my ISB 2009 Retrospective blog post for even more information on what was happening at this year’s convention, and stay tuned for an avalanche of content from this event over the next couple of months!

During this episode, I chat with Bill Wasson, Ian Saunders, Robert Meyer, and several University of Michigan students, as well as featuring some listener feedback and news.

123: Klauss Stoll Interview

Jun 22, 2009 01:12:32

Description:

This week, we’re featuring an interview with Klauss Stoll, the recently retired Principal Bass of the Berlin Philharmonic. He has taught for many years in Berlin, Salzburg, and in master classes worldwide, and is regarded as one of the finest teachers of the double bass alive today.

This interview was conducted by Jonathan Stefaniak, a former member of the Civic Orchestra who is now playing in an orchestra in Japan. Jonathan was recently working with Professor Stoll in a master class setting and had the opportunity to sit down and chat with him for the podcast.

In this interview, Jonathan and Klaus discuss Klaus’ early years on the instrument, his time spent in the Berlin Philharmonic, auditioning for co-principal and eventually first principal chair, his chamber duo, orchestral style, developments in eduction and the decline of the despotic maestro, the unique characteristics of the Berlin Philharmonic, and specifics about his teaching.

Learn more about Klaus at his website: klausstoll.com

CBC 120: Ed Barker Interview

Jun 7, 2009 01:28:20

Description:

We’re featuring Boston Symphony Principal Bassist Ed Barker on this week’sContrabass Conversations episode. Conducted by Contrabass Conversations co-host John Grillo, this episode features John chatting with Ed about his early years on the bass, his schooling and time spent in the Chicago Symphony prior to his appointment with the Boston Symphony, and in-depth look at articulation on the bass, and a discussion on practicing. We hope you enjoy this conversation with this modern master performer and teacher of the double bass!

About Ed Barker:

Edwin Barker is recognized as one of the most gifted bassists on the American concert scene. Acknowledged as an accomplished solo and ensemble player, Mr. Barker has concertized in North America, Europe, and the Far East.

Edwin Barker has performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and with the contemporary music ensemble Collage, a Boston – based contemporary music ensemble, and is a frequent guest performer with the Boston Chamber Music Society. Mr. Barker gave the world premiere of James Yannatos’ Concerto for Contrabass and Chamber Orchestra and of Theodore Antoniou’s Concertino for Contrabass and Chamber Orchestra ; he was the featured soloist in the New England premiere of Gunther Schuller’s Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer with The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Barker graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory in 1976, where he studied double bass with Henry Portnoi. That same year, while a member of the Chicago Symphony, he was appointed at age 22 to the position of principal double bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His other double bass teachers included Peter Mercurio, Richard Stephan, Angelo LaMariana, and David Perleman.

Mr. Barker was invited to inaugurate the 100th anniversary season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with a solo performance of the Koussevitzky Bass Concerto; other solo engagements have included appearances at Ozawa Hall (Tanglewood), Carnegie Recital Hall’s “Sweet and Low” series, and at major universities and conferences throughout the world, as well as concerto performances with the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Athens State Orchestra (Greece) and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston and Europe. He was a featured premiere soloist with the Boston Symphony of John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol and Orchestra at Tanglewood’s 2007 Festival of Contemporary Music.

Mr. Barker is an Associate Professor at the Boston University College of Fine Arts where he teaches double bass, orchestral techniques, and chamber music. His other major teaching affiliations include the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center, where he is Chairman of Instrumental and Orchestral Studies.

Edwin Barker’s solo CD recordings include Three Sonatas for Double Bass, on Boston Records, James Yannatos’ Variations for Solo Contrabass, on Albany Records, and Concerti for Double Bass, on GM Recordings, which includes bass concerti by Gunther Schuller and Theodore Antoniou. Concerti for Contrabass also includes his highly praised performance of Tom Johnson’s Failing , which was recorded live at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater. Edwin Barker’s latest solo offering on CD is a recently released performance of James Yannatos’ Concerto for Contrabass with Collage.

122: Top Music School Considerations

Jun 5, 2009 21:19

Description:

The number of considerations a prospective music school student faces these days can be quite staggering–in this week’s episode, I try to give listeners a summary of the most important considerations in the quest for the ideal music school. Enjoy, and learn more about this topic at doublebassblog.org or listen to some of the top university bass professors at contrabassconversations.com.

121: Ben Jensen Performance

Jun 3, 2009 19:31

Description:

We’re featuring the Courante and Gigue from the Sixth Cello Suite by J.S. Bach as well as the first movement of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2 this week, played impeccably by the wonderful bassist Ben Jensen, currently a student of Bruce Bransby at Indiana University. These were recorded live in a master class at Indiana University and are an outstanding example of bass playing. Enjoy!

We’ve featured Indiana University double bass professor Lawrence Hurst on Contrabass Conversations previously–if you haven’t checked out this interview before, I’d encourage you to check it out. Indiana University has an established reputation as one of the premier institutions for top-notch double bassists to perfect their craft, and if Ben’s example is any indication of the talents of the younger generation of bassists, we’re in good hands indeed!

118: Jon Burr Interview

May 16, 2009 41:50

Description:

We’re chatting with jazz bassist Jon Burr on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. In addition to an active career recording and performing original tunes with the Jon Burr Quartet, Jon has toured and recorded with many great jazz masters, including Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, Art Farmer, Stephane Grappelli (from 1986-1997), Sir Roland Hanna, Dorothy Donegan, and Buddy Rich. From 1980 – 1985 he toured with Tony Bennett; he has also worked with Lainie Kazan, Rita Moreno, Barbara Cook, Eartha Kitt, among others. Jon was a founding member of violinist Mark O’Connor’s “Hot Swing” trio, with guitarist Frank Vignola.

In our interview, we discuss Jon’s early years on the bass, his time spent touring with Stephane Grappelli and Tony Bennett, his upcoming book “The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass Playing,” upcoming projects, as well as advice for younger players coming up in the business right now. After the interview, we feature “Nobody Said It Was Easy,” one of Jon’s original tunes.

Learn more about Jon at his website jonburr.com and his food blog highfibercooking.com, and find him on Twitter attwitter.com/jonburr.

117: Mark Morton interview part 2

May 9, 2009 46:55

Description:

We're concluding the interview that we began on CBC 114 with double bassist Mark Morton, who is currently professor of bass at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX and has also served as Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony. Mark was the first prize winner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and he was the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music. He is well-known for writing and publishing the “Dr. Morton” series of books on the art of bass playing, and he is the founder of the American School of Double Bass.

We start this segment of our interview discussing Mark’s Simandl-Plus® approach and how it increases the number of techniques available to the modern bassist, as well as some specific examples in orchestra repertoire where these kind of techniques can be used. We also talk about when Mark starts using the third finger and the thumb on the neck, adopting a more flexible approach than advocated in Simandl technique. We also discuss melodic gestures and when to shift according to a particular gesture, lyrical and technical fingerings and when to use them, shifting strategies, the value of Simandl and how it teaches the “grid” of the fingerboard, Mark’s fingerboard mapping system, and some of his upcoming projects.
We also feature a recording this week of Mark playing the Gliere Tarantella from his albumRussian Rendezvous, which is available from CD Baby or the iTunes Music Store.

I recommend downloading Mark’s Simandl-Plus® packet and following along with our discussion to get a more complete idea of how he implements these concepts.

Links: American School of Double Bass, Texas Tech School of Music

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116: Lawrence Wolfe Interview part 3

Apr 23, 2009 39:53

Description:

We’re featuring the third and final part of our interview with Boston Symphony Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe this week on Contrabass Conversations. I had a chance to check out a wonderful master class that Mr. Wolfe did at Northwestern in the fall of 2008, and I did a summary/synopsis of some of the concepts and ideas covered in this class as well. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Larry–he’s one of my favorite bassists, and listening endlessly to his solo record really shaped how I approach the double bass when I was in college.

Larry is one of the most influential bass players in the United States, having taught countless players during his years at New England Conservatory and other Boston academic institutions who are now in major orchestras or pursuing other successful musical endeavors.

We’re also featuring Jacob Druckman’s piece Valentine, one of the tracks from Larry’s solo album which was added upon the CD release and one which you’re really going to enjoy. Larry will be doing a presentation at this summer’s International Society of Bassists convention, which I am definitely looking forward to checking out. Be sure to check out Larry’s website as well!

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The State of the Orchestra

Apr 11, 2009 52:38

Description:

Double bassist and Contrabass Conversations co-host John Grillo recently recorded in the first of a new series of audio programs about the past, present, and future of the professional symphony orchestra. In this first episode, John interviews me about my book Road Warrior Without an Expense Account, which I hope you’ll find interesting. I also recorded a screencast of my Keynote presentation about this book, which I did in Sioux Falls, South Dakota during the summer of 2008. I wrote the blog posts that this book is based upon in early 2007. Enjoy!

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Music Episode: Haberdashery

Apr 11, 2009 12:29

Description:

We’re featuring music from the engaging and unusual band Haberdashery on this episode.

Tracks featured:

-Toys
– Sunset Cowboy
– Not Here

Music Episode: Ben Jensen

Apr 11, 2009 08:45

Description:

We’re featuring the Courante, Gavottes, and Gigue from the Sixth Cello Suite by J.S. Bach on Eclectic Bass this week, played impeccably by the wonderful bassist Ben Jensen, currently a student of Bruce Bransby at Indiana University. These were recorded live in a master class at Indiana University and are an outstanding example of bass playing. Enjoy!

We’ve featured Indiana University double bass professor Lawrence Hurst on Contrabass Conversations previously–if you haven’t checked out this interview before, I’d encourage you to check it out. Indiana University has an established reputation as one of the premier institutions for top-notch double bassists to perfect their craft, and if Ben’s example is any indication of the talents of the younger generation of bassists, we’re in good hands indeed!

114: Mark Morton interview

Mar 28, 2009 53:12

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with double bassist Mark Morton, who is currently professor of bass at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX and has also served as Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony. Mark was the first prize winner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, and he was the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music. He is well-known for writing and publishing the “Dr. Morton” series of books on the art of bass playing, and he is the founder of the American School of Double Bass.
We talk about double bass technique in great detail during this interview, particularly about Mark’s approach to left hand fingering systems and his Simandl-Plus® system of fingering. I’d recommend downloading Mark’s Simandl-Plus® packet and following along with our discussion to get a more complete idea of how he implements these concepts.

Links: American School of Double Bass, Trios for Deep Voices, Texas Tech School of Music

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115: Jeremy McCoy Interview

Mar 28, 2009 52:26

Description:

We’re featuring the complete recording of our interview with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Assistant Principal Bass Jeremy McCoy on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Jeremy attended the Curtis Institute and was a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada prior to his appointment with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Jeremy and I discuss a wide variety of topics, including his early experiences on the instrument, life in the Met, thoughts on teaching, recording a solo album, and much more. We also feature excerpts from Jeremy’s solo album Dialogues with Double Bass.

link to Jeremy’s website

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Music Episode: Ira Gold

Mar 25, 2009 21:17

Description:

This all-music episode features a performance from National Symphony double bassist and Peabody Conservatory faculty member Ira Gold.  Ira performs the Vanhal Bass Concerto live with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.  This was performed on February 9, 2009.  Enjoy!

113: Lawrence Wolfe Interview part 2

Mar 20, 2009 48:07

Description:

We’re featuring the second part of our interview with Boston Symphony Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe this week on Contrabass Conversations. I had a chance to check out a wonderful master class that Mr. Wolfe did at Northwestern in the fall of 2008, and I did a summary/synopsis of some of the concepts and ideas covered in this class as well. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Larry–he’s one of my favorite bassists, and listening endlessly to his solo record really shaped how I approach the double bass when I was in college.

Larry is one of the most influential bass players in the United States, having taught countless players during his years at New England Conservatory and other Boston academic institutions who are now in major orchestras or pursuing other successful musical endeavors.

We’re also featuring the Gliere Scherzo and Koussevitzky Valse Miniature from Larry’s solo album, both of which you’re really going to enjoy. Larry will be doing a presentation at this summer’s International Society of Bassists convention, which I am definitely looking forward to checking out. Be sure to check out Larry’s website (which he is in the process of revamping – listen to the interview to learn more about this), and stay tuned for tour final segment of this interview very soon!

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112: Max Dimoff Interview part 2

Mar 14, 2009 36:33

Description:

Contrabass Conversations Co-host John Grillo and Jason conclude their interview with Cleveland Orchestra Principal Bass Max Dimoff this week. Before winning his job with the Cleveland Orchestra, Max served as Principal Bass of the San Antonio Symphony and Section Bass for the Grant Park Symphony and Seattle Symphony.

In this second segment of our interview with Max, we cover the use of rhythms in practicing solo and orchestral music, why he finds warm-up exercises useful, standing versus sitting, and audition preparation advice.

Max's Warm-Ups

Max Dimoff Warm-Up Packet (PDF)

In addition to serving as Principal Bass with the Cleveland Orchestra, Max is on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music along with Jeff Bradetich, his former teacher from Northwestern University. Max and Jeff team teach the CIM bass studio in a very interesting arrangement which we discuss during our interview.

110: Lawrence Wolfe Interview

Feb 28, 2009 44:27

Description:

We’re featuring the first part of our interview with Boston Symphony Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe this week on Contrabass Conversations. I had a chance to check out a wonderful master class that Mr. Wolfe did at Northwestern in the fall of 2008, and I did a summary/synopsis of some of the concepts and ideas covered in this class as well. I’m really looking forward to chatting with Larry–he’s one of my favorite bassists, and listening endlessly to his solo record really shaped how I approach the double bass when I was in college.

Larry is one of the most influential bass players in the United States, having taught countless players during his years at New England Conservatory and other Boston academic institutions who are now in major orchestras or pursuing other successful musical endeavors.

We’re also featuring the Gliere Scherzo and Koussevitzky Valse Miniature from Larry’s solo album, both of which you’re really going to enjoy. Larry will be doing a presentation at this summer’s International Society of Bassists convention, which I am definitely looking forward to checking out. Be sure to check out Larry’s website (which he is in the process of revamping – listen to the interview to learn more about this), and stay tuned for tour final segment of this interview very soon!

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109: Max Dimoff Interview

Feb 19, 2009 41:29

Description:

Contrabass Conversations Co-host John Grillo and Jason interview Cleveland Orchestra Principal Bass Max Dimoff this week. Before winning his job with the Cleveland Orchestra, Max served as Principal Bass of the San Antonio Symphony and Section Bass for the Grant Park Symphony and Seattle Symphony.

In this second segment of our interview with Max, we cover the use of rhythms in practicing solo and orchestral music, why he finds warm-up exercises useful, standing versus sitting, and audition preparation advice.

Max's Warm-Ups

Max Dimoff Warm-Up Packet (PDF)

In addition to serving as Principal Bass with the Cleveland Orchestra, Max is on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music along with Jeff Bradetich, his former teacher from Northwestern University. Max and Jeff team teach the CIM bass studio in a very interesting arrangement which we discuss during our interview.

Music Episode: Leon Bosch

Feb 13, 2009 14:01

Description:

We’re featuring two tracks from U.K. bassist Leon Bosch’s new solo album The Russian Double Bass, which was released on Meridian Records this month. Leon has been a musical guest on the podcast twice before, and I really hope you enjoy this all-music episode of excellent music played by this wonderful musician.

Tracks Featured:

Rachmaninoff Vocalise Glière Tarantella

108: Dan Krekeler Interview part 2

Feb 10, 2009 35:28

Description:

We’re concluding our interview (check out part 1 here) with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra bassist Dan Krekeler this week on the podcast. John Grillo and I co-interviewed Dan, which was particularly cool since we’ve both known Dan for many years. I played with Dan in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and John went to Indiana University with him as an undergraduate. It’s great to see an old friend have such great professional success, and it was a lot of fun to catch up with Dan and hear about his experiences on the road to a major orchestral position.

In our conversations about audition prep, Dan brings up musician coach Don Greene, and I realized that we’ve never actually talked about Don before on any blog posts or podcasts. This is surprising, since I’m a big fan of Don’s concepts and strategies for successful auditioning, so we’ll have to delve more into that topic at a later date.

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107: Michelle Fiore Interview

Feb 1, 2009 28:15

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with Michelle Fiore this week on Contrabass Conversations. Michelle is the proprietor of Classic Contrabass, a shop in Wheeling, Illinois catering exclusively to double bassists. I’ve known Michelle for many years–she was involved for many years with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Winter Bassfest that I started several years ago. She does great setup and repair work, and she has an excellent selection of double basses for sale as well as quality rental instruments for students.

Michelle had the opportunity to visit the Maggini exhibition in Italy a couple of years ago, an event which featured Dragonetti’s Gasparo da Salo bass from 1590 as well as several other Maggini double basses. She wrote an article about this exhibition last year for the International Society of Bassists‘ Bass World journal, and she discusses in detail some of her observations about these remarkable instruments in this interview. We also chat about instrument setup and how it differs for classical and jazz bassists, sound post adjustments, and many other topics.

106: Dan Krekeler Interview

Jan 28, 2009 33:45

Description:

John and Jason co-interview Metropolitan Opera Orchestra bassist Dan Krekeler, which was particularly cool since they’ve both known Dan for many years. Jason played with Dan in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and John went to Indiana University with him as an undergraduate. It’s great to see an old friend have such great professional success, and it was a lot of fun to catch up with Dan and hear about his experiences on the road to a major orchestral position.

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105: Jeremy Kurtz Interview part 2

Jan 14, 2009 21:41

Description:

We’re concluding our interview with San Diego Symphony Principal Bass Jeremy Kurtz on this week’s episode of Contrabass Conversations, plus featuring excerpts from Jeremy’s captivating new solo album Sonatas and Meditations, which can be purchased through the new International Society of Bassists store at www.ISBstore.com. . Check out part 1 of the interview here, and learn more about Jeremy at his website jeremykurtz.com. Enjoy!

103: Jeff Bradetich Interview part 2

Dec 16, 2008 28:11

Description:

We’re concluding our interview with University of North Texas and Cleveland Institute of Music bass professor Jeff Bradetich on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. We featured the first part of this interview on episode 101 of the podcast, and we hope you enjoy hearing the thoughts and perspectives from this wonderful and influential performer and pedagogue. Learn more about Jeff and his new foundation at BradetichFoundation.org.

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102: Jeremy McCoy Interview

Nov 30, 2008 30:14

Description:

We’re chatting with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Assistant Principal Bass Jeremy McCoy on this week’s Contrabass Conversations episode. Jeremy attended the Curtis Institute and was a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada prior to his appointment with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Jeremy and I discuss a wide variety of topics, including his early experiences on the instrument, life in the Met, thoughts on teaching, recording a solo album, and much more. We’ll conclude this two-part interview in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

link to Jeremy’s website

link to Jeremy’s Manhattan School of Music page

link to Jeremy’s album Dialogues with Double Bass

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101: Jeff Bradetich Interview

Nov 7, 2008 48:58

Description:

It is a real pleasure to be able to put out this interview with University of North Texas and Cleveland Institute of Music faculty member Jeff Bradetich. Jeff was a huge influence on my early development, and I continue to use the principles he taught me in my own teaching and performing each and every day.

We get really “inside baseball” on some technical considerations for the bass in this interview, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy, and we also feature a track of Jeff performing the Czardas by Vittorio Monti from his excellent album Portraits. We’ll conclude this interview in the next few weeks and really get into Jeff’s exciting new double bass foundation, which you can learn more about atwww.bradetichfoundation.org. Enjoy!

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100: Origins

Oct 29, 2008 01:14:02

Description:

We've finally reached 100 episodes of Contrabass Conversations! In this special episode, we hear how many of our guests from our first two years of podcasting began playing the bass.

Today, you'll be hearing excerpts from the following guests. Complete episodes featuring all of these guests (and many more!) can be found at the Contrabass Conversations website, along with complete biographies and links to guest websites:

1. Andy Anderson – Lyric Opera of Chicago

2. Phillip Serna – teacher and early music specialist

3. John Grillo – former New World Symphony, co-host of CBC

4. Bjorn Berkhout – composer

5. Kate Nettleman – principal bass of Hong Kong Philharmonic, newest member of Minnesota Orchestra

6. Weldon Anderson – freelance bassist and composer

7. Ira Gold – National Symphony

8. Francois Rabbath – soloist

9. Greg Sarchet – Lyric Opera of Chicago

10. Lawrence Hurst – Indiana University bass professor

11. Eric Hochberg – jazz bassist

12. Michael Hovnanian – Chicago Symphony

13. Rob Kassinger – Chicago Symphony

14. Jeff Turner – Pittsburgh Symphony

15. Ranaan Meyer – Time for Three

16. Guy Tuneh – soloist and chamber musician

17. Peter Tambroni – teacher and author

18. Colin Corner – former member Minnesota Orchestra

19. Brad Opland – Chicago Symphony

20. Scott Rosenthal – Theater/Broadway musician

21. Donovan Stokes – soloist and professor

22. Virginia Dixon – Suzuki bass

23. Peter Seymour – Project bassist, former New World Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra

24. Steve Reinfranck – luthier and teacher

25. Owen Lee – Cincinnati Symphony

26. Lynn Seaton – jazz bassist, UNT jazz bass professor

27. Anthony Stoops – soloist and professor

28. Chris Threlkeld-Weigand – luthier

29. Barrie Kolstein – luthier

30. Dave Anderson – Louisiana Philharmonic, composer

31. Kristin Korb – jazz bassist and vocalist

32. Barry Lieberman – University of Washington, former L.A. Philharmonic

99: Jeremy Kurtz Interview

Oct 18, 2008 39:47

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with San Diego Symphony Principal Bass Jeremy Kurtz on this week’s episode. Jeremy was a student of Hal Robinson at Curtis and Tim Pitts at Rice University, and he also spent two years in the New World Symphony prior to his appointment with the San Diego Symphony. His solo album Sonatas and Meditations, which will be will be available by the time you hear this episode, can be purchased through the new International Society of Bassists store at www.ISBstore.com. You can learn more about Jeremy at his website jeremykurtz.com.

Tracks from Sonatas and Meditations featured:

David Anderson Sonata for Double Bass and Piano Luis Prado Meditation 1

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98: Marshall Fine Sonata for Double Bass

Oct 10, 2008 46:12

Description:

This fascinating bass sonata clocks in at almost 40 minutes (!) and was written by Marshall Fine for double bassist John Chiego.

John Chiego, bass

Deborah Heath, piano

recorded live at the University of Memphis

2/14/98

1. Homage to A.T. (13:06)

2. Scherzo: La Vendetta (5:12)

3. Warrington-Variations (20:55)

About Marshall Fine:

Currently Assistant Principal Violist of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Marshall Fine is a versatile composer/performer who plays both violin and viola with equal facility. His output includes three symphonies, an oratorio, La Dolorosa, a violin concerto, and many sonatas (six for viola, three for violin). He received his DMA in 1990 from the University of Memphis. In addition to his orchestra position, he also arranges for his string quartet, the Bluff City String Quartet, and for other ensembles.

This sonata was written for John Chiego, former principal bass of the Memphis Symphony, who is currently professor of double bass at the University of Memphis.

About John Chiego:

Mr. John Chiego, is Professor of Double Bass and the Associate Director for Curriculum and Instruction in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. Mr. Chiego currently serves as the Principal Bass of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and is the bassist for the Orpheum Theatre Orchestra in Memphis, playing for touring Broadway shows. He was the long time Principal Bass of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculties of the Hot Springs Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, the Allegheny Summer Music Festival, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. He has also been an Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Chamber Music Festival. As a recitalist and clinician, Mr. Chiego has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, with featured solo recitals at the Edinburgh International Double Bass Festival and The International Society of Bassists’ worldwide convention in Houston, Texas. A champion of modern instruments, Mr. Chiego recorded his first CD, It’s a Bass Thing, featuring a double bass built by Thomas Kelischek. Mr. Chiego currently plays instruments made by American bass maker Rumano Solano exclusively. Mr. Chiego has been a member of the editorial board for The American String Teacher magazine, a journal for which he has written articles on double bass pedagogy and technique, and has served as Tennessee Chapter President of the American String Teachers Association. Mr. Chiego is the author of The Musical Experience, a popular textbook for introductory music courses currently being used by colleges and universities across the United States.

95: The Bass Gang Rocks!

Sep 14, 2008 14:56

Description:

This week, we’re featuring another all-music episode. I’m pleased to bring you some tracks from The Bass Gang, one of the most virtuosic, astounding, and entertaining bass quarters of all time.

 

1. Jump (Van Halen)
2. Whiter Shade of… Bach (Procol Harum)
3. Pulp Bass
4. Black Cat White Cat

Be sure to visit them online at thebassgang.org, where you can check out even more tunes from them on their site.

93: DaXun Zhang Interview part 2

Aug 29, 2008 41:12

Description:

We’re concluding our interview with double bass soloist and University of Texas-Austin bass professor DaXun Zhang today, as well as featuring more tracks from this stellar musician. Check out episode 92 for the first part of this interview.

Along with the conclusion of our interview, we’ll be featuring DaXun performing a very cool Chinese piece for bass called Sun SHines on Taxkorgan. It’s available on his self-titled solo album, which you can learn more about at his website. DaXun is also professor of double bass at the University of Texas-Austin, so check out their website if you’d like to learn more about studying with him, and be sure to visit daxunzhang.com for more about this great artist. Enjoy!

 

About DaXun:

“If the bass is finally to produce a headliner, the instrument can have no better champion,” wrote The Washington Post of double bassist DAXUN ZHANG, who has indeed made his mark as a soloist on this unusual instrument.

In April 2007, Mr. Zhang won an Avery Fisher Career Grant, only the second double bassist in the history of this prestigious award. This summer he was invited by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han to participate in the chamber music festival Music@Menlo in California and performs Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet at the Indiana University Summer Chamber Music Series. During the 2007-2008 season he continues his residency with Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and performs with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project in a series of concerts and cultural exchanges in China. He performs as soloist with the University of Northern Colorado Symphony and gives recitals at Indiana University, Rodef Shalom Congregation (PA), and McCain Performances (KS).

Mr. Zhang has performed extensively with the Silk Road Project, including concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, and in Japan and California. With Mr. Ma he recorded the soundtrack to a 10-part documentary series on the Silk Road, which aired in Japan on NHK Television. The CD was released as “Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon” on Sony Classical. He has also joined with fellow Silk Road musician and pipa player Yang Wei and pianist Tomoko Kashiwagi to form the innovative chamber ensemble Qi Lin.

As concerto soloist, Mr. Zhang has appeared with orchestras including Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra. He has given recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Georgia, Missouri State University, and at the Chinese Embassy in the Embassy Series in Washington, DC. He has also performed chamber music at the La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival.

DaXun Zhang is the first double bass player to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and start a career under the auspices of Young Concert Artists. He made his New York debut sponsored by the Claire Tow Prize and his Washington, DC debut as a co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts Society. He also won the La Jolla Music Society Prize, the Orchestra New England Soloist Prize, and The Fergus Prize. In April 2006, Mr. Zhang performed Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy in at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall with Keith Lockhart conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

DaXun Zhang comes from a family of bassists in Harbin, China. He has been playing the instrument since the age of nine, and studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing beginning at the age of eleven. He continued his studies in the U.S. at the Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor of Music at the Indiana University School of Music, where he worked with Lawrence Hurst. He has served on the faculty of Northwestern University and was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Zhang was the first double bassist ever to win First Prize in the 2003 WAMSO (Women’s Auxiliary of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra) competition, leading to a performance with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra with Osmo Vanska, conducting. In 2001, Mr. Zhang was the youngest artist ever to win the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He has also received the Grand Prize of the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition.

DaXun’s Website:

www.daxunzhang.com

92: DaXun Zhang Interview

Aug 24, 2008 31:40

Description:

We’re featuring an interview with double bass soloist and University of Texas-Austin bass professor DaXun Zhang today, as well as featuring more tracks from this stellar musician.

Along with the conclusion of our interview, we’ll be featuring DaXun performing a very cool Chinese piece for bass called Sun SHines on Taxkorgan. It’s available on his self-titled solo album, which you can learn more about at his website. DaXun is also professor of double bass at the University of Texas-Austin, so check out their website if you’d like to learn more about studying with him, and be sure to visit daxunzhang.com for more about this great artist. Enjoy!

 

About DaXun:

“If the bass is finally to produce a headliner, the instrument can have no better champion,” wrote The Washington Post of double bassist DAXUN ZHANG, who has indeed made his mark as a soloist on this unusual instrument.

In April 2007, Mr. Zhang won an Avery Fisher Career Grant, only the second double bassist in the history of this prestigious award. This summer he was invited by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han to participate in the chamber music festival Music@Menlo in California and performs Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet at the Indiana University Summer Chamber Music Series. During the 2007-2008 season he continues his residency with Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and performs with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project in a series of concerts and cultural exchanges in China. He performs as soloist with the University of Northern Colorado Symphony and gives recitals at Indiana University, Rodef Shalom Congregation (PA), and McCain Performances (KS).

Mr. Zhang has performed extensively with the Silk Road Project, including concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, and in Japan and California. With Mr. Ma he recorded the soundtrack to a 10-part documentary series on the Silk Road, which aired in Japan on NHK Television. The CD was released as “Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon” on Sony Classical. He has also joined with fellow Silk Road musician and pipa player Yang Wei and pianist Tomoko Kashiwagi to form the innovative chamber ensemble Qi Lin.

As concerto soloist, Mr. Zhang has appeared with orchestras including Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra. He has given recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Georgia, Missouri State University, and at the Chinese Embassy in the Embassy Series in Washington, DC. He has also performed chamber music at the La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival.

DaXun Zhang is the first double bass player to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and start a career under the auspices of Young Concert Artists. He made his New York debut sponsored by the Claire Tow Prize and his Washington, DC debut as a co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts Society. He also won the La Jolla Music Society Prize, the Orchestra New England Soloist Prize, and The Fergus Prize. In April 2006, Mr. Zhang performed Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy in at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall with Keith Lockhart conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

DaXun Zhang comes from a family of bassists in Harbin, China. He has been playing the instrument since the age of nine, and studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing beginning at the age of eleven. He continued his studies in the U.S. at the Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor of Music at the Indiana University School of Music, where he worked with Lawrence Hurst. He has served on the faculty of Northwestern University and was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Zhang was the first double bassist ever to win First Prize in the 2003 WAMSO (Women’s Auxiliary of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra) competition, leading to a performance with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra with Osmo Vanska, conducting. In 2001, Mr. Zhang was the youngest artist ever to win the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. He has also received the Grand Prize of the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition.

DaXun’s Website:

www.daxunzhang.com