Instructors

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.

Chuck Rainey

At one time tagged as the hardest working bass player in America, Chuck Rainey’s bass playing on successful television shows, motion pictures and recordings illustrate his well-known and legendary style, feel and concept for the instrument and it’s role in organized music. His unique bass lines accent numerous commercials and are an integral part of today’s music across many music viewing and listening fronts.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio as Charles Walter Rainey III, Chuck boasts a native ‘son ship’ of Youngstown, Ohio, where he was actually raised and educated. Originally trained in the classics as a trumpet player by C.F. Brown, James Ramsey and John Busch, Chuck switched to Baritone Horn while attending Lane college in Jackson, Tennessee and was an intricate part of the schools well known and traveled ‘brass ensemble’ in the early 60’s.

Learning to play the guitar while on military active duty before college, eventually led him to professionally play the guitar with local bands in Youngstown and Cleveland after returning home from college and military obligations. Since his formal training did not encompass improvisational skills, his guitar playing ability was limited to ‘rhythm playing.’ He began to play the ‘electric’ bass instrument after it was obvious that his skills were more valuable playing single note patterns, which he displayed as a guitar player. Read more

Divinity Roxx

Her journey started on the burgeoning music scene in Atlanta, GA after falling in love with the bass guitar while studying Journalism at UC Berkeley. Her career as a bass-player skyrocketed after attending a bass camp led by the legendary Victor Wooten where she was invited to tour with him merely three months after the bass camp.

With limited funds, a heart full of passion and an energy that exudes resilience, she auditioned for Beyoncé and was selected as a band member and assistant Musical Director. While touring and working with the super-star for over 5 years, Divinity appeared on countless television shows including: The Grammy’s, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America with personal highlights including a special performance at The White House for President Barack Obama.

Divinity also acted as the Musical Director for K-Pop sensation, 2NE1 and joined them on their first worldwide New Evolution Tour in 2012. She played The Arsenio Hall Show, 106 and Parkand The Queen Latifah Show with rapper B.o.B. and has backed legends like Patti Labelle, Kelly Rowland, Erykah Badu and Gladys Knight on BET’s Black Girl’s Rock television show.

Despite these appearances with so many legendary and iconic figures, it is in her solo performance Divinity shines the brightest. Her ability to simultaneously play bass guitar while fronting her own band captivates audiences around the world. Her 2012 ‘Roxx Boxx Experience’ received critical acclaim as the ultimate funk mash-up of hip-hop and rock, featuring appearances by Grammy award winning artists and musicians Bootsy Collins and Killa Mike.

2016 has been the year of evolution as Divinity released her highly anticipated album, ‘ImPossible.’ From jazzy riffs to dub bass lines, hip-hop and rock, to straight r&b sensibilities, the resilience, bold and honest approach to the music sets this up to be Divinity’s breakout project. We truly get a sense of the artist she has evolved into and the purpose of her art. The first single, ‘We Are’, was released in 2015, produced by the great Keith Harris and inspired by the late June Jordan, her most influential professor while studying at UC Berkeley.

“We Are is more than a song, it’s the message I want to give to the world. We are the only ones who can positively effect the change we want to see in this world”. -divinity

Justin Raines

Justin Raines is a 3x Grammy Award-winning bassist. He is also a private bass and drum instructor and founder of JRaines Lessons. He is currently the bassist for Multi Grammy, Dove, Stellar award-winning Christian artist/songwriter Israel Houghton and New Breed.

Justin was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where a lot of his musical growth began. Attending performing arts middle and high schools helped mold his musicianship. He was also given the privilege to attend the world renowned Berklee College of Music.

Justin has played with and shared the stage with the likes of Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, CeCe Winans, JoJo, Musiq Soulchild, Martha Munizzi, William McDowell, Sheila E., and many more amazing artists and musicians.

Adam Nitti

Adam Nitti has been establishing his own voice amongst his contemporaries as both a bassist and recording artist for over two decades. He has released five solo recordings to date on his own Renaissance Man label which have drawn international acclaim, but he has also been notably involved as a bassist and contributor on a variety of projects covering multiple genres. As a recording bassist, he has also appeared on three Grammy-winning albums and another Grammy-nominated album to date. Adam has performed with Kenny Loggins, Carrie Underwood, Michael McDonald, the Dave Weckl Band, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, Susan Tedeschi, Lincoln Brewster, the Justice League (featuring T Lavitz, Jimmy Herring, and Richie Hayward), Angie Aparo, Scott Henderson, Jon Anderson, Peter Erskine, Heather Headley, Al Green, Keith Carlock, Shane Theriot, Mike Stern, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Kirk Covington, Wayne Krantz, Marco Minnemann, the London Symphony Orchestra, Joe Beck, and many others.

Adam’s passion for the bass guitar has been matched in more recent years by his passion for sharing musical knowledge. In 2003, he co-founded the first-ever online interactive music school, MusicDojo.com.  MusicDojo allowed students from all over the world to access world-class instructors via virtual classrooms and gain valuable feedback and critique of their daily assignments on their own schedule. MusicDojo was unique in the way it offered convenient, high-quality online interactive instruction at the time of its launch, and ultimately helped to pave the way for other music educational sites to come online. Adam’s knowledge and experience gained from his involvement with MusicDojo ultimately led him to create AdamNittiMusicEducation.com, a membership-based online academy for bass guitar. Using an extensive curriculum-based library of HD video lessons as its foundation, the site also offers interactive options for those looking for an even more-personalized experience.

In addition to his work as a performer, composer, and online educator, Adam is also an adjunct faculty member of Belmont University’s School of Music and the Atlanta Institute of Music. He is also a bass clinician for Aguilar Amplifiers, Ibanez Basses, and D’Addario Strings, and is a staff instructor for both Victor Wooten’s “Wooten Woods” music camps and Gerald Veasley’s Bass Boot Camps. Adam is also a former columnist for Bass Player magazine and Bass Musician Magazine, and has made hundreds of appearances at such events as Euro Bass Day Italy, Bass Player Live!, Bass Day U.K., the Outreach Festival-Austria, Bassquake, and the European Bass Day in Germany.

Mike Pope

Bassist and composer Mike Pope builds significant musical, personal and spiritual bridges between the past, present and future with his third release, Cold Truth, Warm Heart. The new album shows him to be a visionary composer, arranger and bandleader.

The 2014 offering is the first in a decade and establishes a new threshold of leadership for the virtuoso acoustic and electric bassist who has toured extensively with Chick Corea, David Sanborn, Al DiMeola and Bill Bruford, and more recently, Joe Locke and Eldar Djangirov.

Pope’s 2002 album, The Lay of the Land, delivered contemporary straight ahead jazz with help from stellar players: Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, John Patitucci, Jeff ”Tain” Watts and others. It was warmly received, but tours with other ensembles took up the bulk of his time.

In the last decade, he moved to Maryland, started a family and adopted a more anchored life. Both his personal and professional life bore fruit. He has two lovely children and plenty of new music to share.

“The new album,” says Pope, “was written for the players who were playing it. The idea was to write stuff that was inspired, worrying less about how it would all go together than how it felt in the moment.“ On most compositions, he establishes the subject matter and directs the conversation, while the (recording and touring) musicians contribute superb interaction and improvisation. Pope leaves plenty of space for these world-class improvisers to do what they do.

The stellar touring band includes Eldar Djangirov (piano), Joe Locke (vibraphone), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone) and Mauricio Zottarelli (drums). All but Djangirov appear on the latest album.

Mike Pope brings an unerring gravitas and steely resolve to every role he plays. Devoid of pretense or ego, his skill on the bass is matched by just a handful of players on the planet.

His newest work exhibits the essence of jazz: rich melodies, lush chords, and sensual rhythms. Others of equal skill and stature surround him; gifted improvisers who surrender to the supremacy of truly inspired music.

Freekbass

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Freekbass was an only child who initially wanted to be a magician. He later developed his own obsession for cartoon superheroes and comic books, relating to the underlying themes. Living in Cincinnati exposed Freekbass to genres of music he may have missed otherwise. While most kids were listening to Nirvana and Green Day, he connected with the bottom-heavy sounds coming out of the boom boxes like Zapp and Midnight Star. While working in a music shop to pay off his first electric bass he had in lay-away, he began to study the classics of Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament and Bootsy with a bass in one hand, and an MPC2000 in the other.

Freekbass has released six full-length CDs, including “Concentrate” (available here for free download) with guests Bootsy Collins, DJ Spooky, Adam Deitch, and Steve Molitz, and “Junkyard Waltz,” which includes guest appearances by Phish bassist Mike Gordon, guitarist Buckethead, keyboard wizard from P-Funk/Talking Heads Bernie Worrell, and is produced by funk legend Bootsy Collins. Also, national music DVD instruction company, The Rock House Method, recently released two Freekbass instructional DVDs “Learn Funk Bass with Freekbass (Level 1 & Level 2)” and TrueFire.com just released the instructional DVD/download “50 Freekbass Licks You Must Know.” In 2010 Freekbass connected with DJ Logic, and Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz to form the funktronica trio, Headtronics.

Going into 2015 Freek has a lot of things on the table. He just released his next album, “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real,” which is produced by Duane Lundy (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James/Ben Sollee) and includes P-Funk/Rubberband keyboardist Razor Sharp Johnson, horn man Skerik, and Trey Anastasio Band vocalist/trumpet Jennifer Hartswick . Also, he was a part of this year’s London Bass Guitar Show in the UK giving a master class and performing. Plus he will be doing extensive touring with his mainstay funk group, “Freekbass & The Bump Assembly,” which also includes Razor Sharp Johnson (Bootsy’s Rubberband/P-Funk) on keys and synths and Rico Lewis (George Clinton & P-Funk) on drums. And just last month, he signed with the esteemed label Ropeadope, which you can read about by clicking here.

Anthony Wellington

Anthony Wellington is one of the most sought after and well known bass teachers in the world today as well as the long time holder of the coveted “2nd bass” position in the Victor Wooten Band. He has been featured in many publications including Bass Player Magazine, and in 2009, readers awarded his feature as “best non-cover article of the year”. He has a uniquely thorough teaching style which combines one-of-a-kind mathematical analysis with abstract concepts and “legwork”.

When not teaching 80-100 students a week at his lesson headquarters “Bassology” in Waldorf, Maryland he teaches in Bensalem at “Bass Specialties”, and at “Inspire Music” in York, PA once a month . He also conducts private Skype lessons for students all over the country and internationally. Anthony also owns and operates AntFarm Recording Studios.

Anthony Wellington was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in the South East part of Washington, DC. He got his first guitar when he was twelve years old and began playing bass by the time he was fifteen. When he attended Oxon Hill High School, he began to take music courses. He went on to study Jazz at the University of Miami and studied Audio Engineering at Omega Recording Studios.

Some of the first artists that Anthony identified with musically were James Brown and Stevie Wonder. Though, from an early age he was drawn mostly to the lower frequencies in the music spectrum – da’ bottom. This led him to take inspiration from bassists such as Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Mark Adams from the group Slave, Bootsy Collins, Louis Johnson and a host of others. Driven by the level of musicianship exemplified by these bassists, he began to put in long hours practicing and studying music theory. His passion and commitment for music continued to grow.

Anthony started a recording studio while playing keyboards and guitar. He had stopped playing bass in 1986 and didn’t play again for about 8 years. Anthony feels, however, that things happen for a reason. So in 1993, when his recording studio was burglarized leaving nothing but a single bass guitar, he took that as a sign and once again took up bass playing and has been going strong ever since.

In 1996 he stepped into Hot Licks Guitar Shop in Waldorf, MD to check out some basses. After hearing him play, the manager Gene Quade offered Anthony a position teaching bass guitar and he taught there 6 days a week until February of 2006. At that time, he decided to open up his own private bass academy and found a commercial space in Waldorf, MD and can be found there Monday through Saturday, doing what he loves most – instructing nearly 90 students a week. It was quickly apparent that Anthony had a true gift for teaching and has earned the respect and love of his students both as a teacher and a friend. He has an uncanny instinct for knowing what each individual student seems to need and is able to provide just the right kind of encouragement they require to develop their own musical skills.

Starting out playing in Go-Go bands, he slowly transitioned into other musical realms. In 1999 he played with Gospel great Walter Hawkins and later he began touring nationwide with world-renowned bass player, Victor Wooten as his Bass Tech, sound engineer and stage manager. A couple of shows into the first tour, Victor asked Anthony to also perform in the show. In 2000, he also began extending his teaching skills to include the Victor Wooten’s Bass/Nature camp and various music workshops.

During that same year he joined forces with a local DC band called His Boy Elroy and performed with them throughout the MD, DC, and VA tri-state area until early 2003. Anthony can be sometimes found performing with other local musician friends. Check out his website for gigs, tour dates and clinics.

Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller has maintained a multi-faceted career as a bassist, composer, writer and clinician for over 20 years, earning his reputation as a uniquely talented yet supremely tasteful team player for instrumentally-minded artists. In the power super-trio The Aristocrats (with uber-players Guthrie Govan on guitar and Marco Minnemann on drums) he’s a part of the hottest new act in rock/fusion today; their latest release Tres Caballeros (2015) dropped jaws around the world. Beller has been Joe Satriani’s tour bassist for both the Unstoppable Momentum (2013-14) and Shockwave (2015-16) world tours in addition to featuring on the Shockwave Supernova record.

Beller was Steve Vai’s choice for the 2009 live CD/DVD Where The Wild Things Are and is also in the “band” Dethklok, a tongue-in-cheek extreme metal band borne of the hit Cartoon Network “Adult Swim” show Metalocalypse. Beller’s tracked on the last two Dethklok releases (Dethalbum III; The Doomstar Requiem) and has anchored the band for three nationwide tours to date, alongside metal monsters Mastodon and Machine Head, among others. He’s been a musical partner of freak/genius guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) for over 17 years and 10 albums, while his versatility was on display touring intimate venues for several years with R&B/soul singer/songwriter/keyboardist Kira Small.

On his own, Beller’s released three rock/jazz fusion solo albums to widespread acclaim: 2003’s View, 2008’s Thanks In Advance, and 2011’s live CD/DVD Wednesday Night Live. His first instructional DVD, Mastering Tone And Versatility, was released by Alfred Publishing in early 2012, and he’s a featured artist on the instructional website Jamplay.com. As a pure player, a masterclass clinician (sponsored by Mike Lull Basses, Gallien-Krueger Amps & D’addario Strings), a former Contributing Editor for Bass Player Magazine, and a former VP of SWR bass amps, Beller brings a global perspective to the world of bass.

Rob Smith

Rob Smith is a professional bassist, teacher, and clinician. He has taught over 25,000 lessons and has been an instructor at Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp for the past eight years. He won the WMMR Building the Band contest and was previously named Philadelphia’s best rock bassist by Origivation magazine. Rob is currently performing and recording with Dave Weiner, Rob Balducci, and Matthew Landis. He proudly endorses Skjold Basses.