Author: Crystal Gloistein

Gerald Veasley

Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer and educator. His performance as a bassist has been top shelf, as his memorable work with the late, great Grover Washington Jr., Joe Zawinul, and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band attests.

He has recorded and/or performed with many of the world’s top performers in various genres of music such as Chuck Loeb, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Nnenna Freelon, Philip Bailey, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Phil Perry, Will Downing and Pat Martino.

Gerald currently has a residency at Philadelphia’s most prestigious jazz venue, SOUTH, where he is curator of the “Unscripted Jazz Series”. The series has presented more than 75 events featuring notable guest artists such as Kirk Whalum, Raul Midón, Alex Bugnon, Kim Waters, Keiko Matsui, Maysa, Rick Braun, and Gerald Albright. He is in the process of producing two recording projects, “The Purple House” and a salute to the legacy of The Sound of Philadelphia.

When not collaborating with notable artists, Gerald tours and records with his band, which features talented musicians in their own right. Gerald’s recordings as a bandleader are: Look Ahead, Signs, Soul Control, Love Letters, On The Fast Track, Velvet, Live at The Jazz Base, Your Move and The Electric Mingus Project.

Veasley is on the faculty of the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), where he shares his knowledge of the electric bass and jazz performance. He is founder and artistic director of Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, which has nurtured a growing army of bassists of all skill levels. Whether performing, recording, collaborating, or teaching, Gerald brings a joyous, polished professionalism to the process of making music.

Stanley Clarke

Bassist Stanley Clarke was barely out of his teens when he exploded into the jazz world in 1971. Fresh out of the Philadelphia Academy of Music, he arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz and a budding young pianist-composer named Chick Corea.

All of these musicians immediately recognized Clarke’s ferocious dexterity and complete musicality on the acoustic bass. Not only was he an expert at crafting bass lines and functioning as a timekeeper – in keeping with his instrument’s traditional role – but the young prodigy also possessed a sense of lyricism and melody distilled from his bass heroes Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro and others, as well as non-bass players like John Coltrane. Clarke envisioned the bass as a viable, melodic solo instrument positioned at the front of the stage rather than in a background role, and he was uniquely qualified to take it there.

The vision became a reality when Clarke and Corea formed the seminal electric jazz/fusion band Return To Forever. RTF was a showcase for each of the quartet’s strong musical personalities, composing prowess and instrumental voices. “We really didn’t realize how much of an impact we were having on people at the time,” Clarke recalls. “We were touring so much then; we would just make a record and then go back on the road.” The band recorded eight albums, two of which were certified gold (Return To Forever and the classic Romantic Warrior). They also won a GRAMMY (No Mystery) and received numerous nominations while touring incessantly.

Joe Aranda

Joe found his passion for bass in 1983 at age 16 while attending Siena Heights College and later at Washtenaw Community College focusing on jazz. He has studied with great mentors such as Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Marcus Miller and Dan Pliskow.

Joe currently teaches bass privately and also is a member of the John E. Lawrence Band and has recently performed with national jazz artists Jessy J, Eric Marienthal, Chris Standring and Jay Rowe.

Ariane Cap

Austrian Ariane Cap is a multi-instrumentalist, educator, author, blogger, and composer. 

An eclectic and versatile bassist, she has covered many styles, from Rock (Keith Olsen/Fleetwood Mac), Jazz (Mimi Fox, Montclair Women’s Big Band) to Folk and Flamenco (Muriel Anderson), to classical music (The Mozart Band), and Top 40, Latin Disco (Generation Esmeralda) to Punk Rock (“kindie band” The Sippy Cups) and Cirque du Soleil. As a leader, Ariane has teamed up with star Jazz bassoonist Paul Hanson to create the critically acclaimed duo ‘OoN’. A new collaboration with Stu Hamm (Bass Beyond Borders) is underway.

Ariane is an online teaching personality with a thriving blog and bass courses and webinars that draw a local following. She contributes regularly to notreble.com with her series “Talking Technique” and does courses and live seminars for scottsbasslessons.com; her book, “Music Theory for the Bass Player” is a frequent bestseller on Amazon.

Ariane has been written about in several leading bass magazines and was featured  on the July 2019 cover of Bass Player Magazine as one of four winners of the “Hottest Bass Players on the scene” poll. She presented at the 2019 London Bass Guitar Show with a clinic and a performance.

A self-publisher and entrepreneur, Ariane is a frequent guest on business and motivational podcasts. A certified TinyHabits™ coach and NLP Practitioner, she has a deep interest in the learning process and in optimizing practicing habits and learning for herself and her students. 

Ariane is highly active endorsing her companies (Marleaux Basses, Kala basses and others), co-runs solobassnight.com, a series celebrating the art of solo bass and is a second term elected Governor of the San Francisco Chapter Board of the Recording Academy.   

Visit her blog at arisbassblog.com and her artist site at arianecap.com

Derrick Hodge

Two-time Grammy Award-winning bassist and Blue Note Recording Artist Derrick Hodge grew up right outside of Philadelphia in Willingboro, N.J. Within his formative years, Hodge pursued multiple styles of music as early as 7 years old ranging from gospel music to jazz and orchestral music, continuing his formal music education at Temple University, where he studied Jazz Composition and Performance. While attending Temple, Hodge uniquely became the first jazz major to participate in the Temple University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Luis Biava and New Music Chamber Orchestra.

During this influential time, Hodge began to show his colors as a “Renaissance” musician, with incredible diversity in musical tastes and abilities. Hodge played with such Philly Jazz greats as tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes and trumpeter Terrell Stafford, meanwhile reaping considerable session work with some of Philly’s finest modern R&B artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Throughout his early career, Hodge continued to show an adept proficiency and broad ability across numerous musical genres, and platforms. Ranging from orchestrations with Common and Kanye West for Common’s album Be, (which reached Billboard No.1) and production work on Common’s Finding Forever to winning R&B Grammys in 2012 and 2014 with the Robert Glasper Experiment as a founding member of the group. Hodge has always been held with the highest respect of his peers which led to roles such as the Musical Director for Maxwell for nearly a decade, continued work as a producer and writer for numerous albums, including co-producing Justin Kauflin’s album “Coming Home” with Quincy Jones, and several Blue Note projects along side Don Was, all while maintaining his solo projects and touring. Hodge has performed, written and/or recorded with artists such as Maxwell, Kanye West. Herbie Hancock, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Timbaland, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Gerald Levert, Common, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Andre 3000, Sade, Terence Blanchard, Ledisi, Terell Stafford, Donald Byrd, Stefon Harris, Bootsie Barnes, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Lattimore, Donnie McClurkin, and many more.

As a Blue Note Recording Artist Hodge has released two solo projects under the label, The Second (2016) and Live Today (2013), both albums being a rich, raw and revelatory artistic statement, having accessibility in mind to ensure that melodies soar and rhythms bump.

His writing and arranging accomplishments straddle both the recording and live arenas, from composing original music for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, to arranging for Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as composing the original work “Infinite Reflections” for the Chicago Brass Ensemble, and being a Sundance Composer Fellow. He has also directed and scored other projects from being co-Musical Director for the 2015 Triumph Awards and arranging strings for Mos Def’s 2008 premiere at Carnegie Hall, to writing for films such as Back to School Mom, the 180 Days Documentary Series, Land of Opportunity, Black Candle, The Army Recruiter and Uneasy Listening. Early film work includes When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts in which he did additional writing and scoring, as well as Who the $%@ Is Jackson Pollock?, and Faubourg Treme: A Story of Black New Orleans.

Bakithi Kumalo

Grammy Award-winning bassist Bakithi Kumalo’s musical career has been characterized by a series of serendipitous events, ranging from his debut gig as a precocious seven-year-old filling in for the bassist in his uncle’s band to his enlistment into Paul Simon’s group during the recording sessions of the pop star’s landmark Graceland album in 1985.

Kumalo creates a singular electric fretless bass sound teeming with double stops that sound like human voices and the African grooves of his homeland, which has garnered him a stellar reputation as a sideman. In addition to touring with Simon, he’s also recorded and/or toured with Gloria Estefan, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Chico Ceasar, Laurie Anderson, Gerald Albright, Miriam Makeba, Randy Brecker, Grover Washington Jr., Bob James, Angelique Kidjo, Jon Secada, Josh Groban and Chris Botti.

Kumalo has also been active as a solo artist, with five albums to his credit — 1998’s San’ Bonan, 2000’s In Front of My Eyes, 2008’s Transmigration, 2011’s Change, and 2016’s After All These Years.

Ryan Madora

On a funny, personal note:

People frequently note the size discrepancy between the electric bass and me, a five-foot tall “not my first pick for the basketball team” female.  “That bass is bigger than you are!” they exclaim.

Believe it or not, I’ve got a good fifteen inches on most of my instruments, but I certainly appreciate and embrace the humor of seeing someone my size wield a massive gig bag through airports and all around town.  It is equal parts hilarious, curious, and mind-boggling.

All kidding aside, I’m used to it.  In fact, I never really noticed—I just decided to pick up the instrument and start playing.  As the old saying goes, the heart wants what the heart wants, and mine wanted to listen to Motown and play along to Booker T. and the MGs.

Down to business:

With a formidable start and an informal education on the Philadelphia blues scene, Ryan studied Music Business and Communications at New York University.  After graduating, she returned to Philly for corned beef sandwiches, Zydeco, water ice, classic R&B, and plenty of rock and roll.  A few years and many, many gigs later, she decided to take a leap of faith, throw her gear in the car, and drive to Tennessee.

Since moving to Nashville in 2012, she has had the privilege of working with some of Music City’s most talented artists and producers, including Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Pat McLaughlin, Tenille Arts, Kyshona Armstrong, Alicia Michilli, Nicole Boggs, Fred Mollin, Lamont Dozier, Daphne Willis, and many others.

She is currently touring with guitar virtuoso Robben Ford, playing on various sessions, and teaching private lessons and clinics.

Thanks to good fortune, exciting phone calls, and many hours of practice, she has backed up artists such as Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Marren Morris, and Hanson. Ryan has served as Musical Director for the annual “Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots Million Dollar Show at The Ryman” to benefit St. Jude’s and has made appearances on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th seasons of the hit TV show “Nashville.”

When she’s not performing, you can find her at coffee shops writing columns for the online bass magazine, No Treble.

Bass BootCamp EXPO 2016

Bass BootCamp 2015