Tag Archives: bass


Kate Foss

Boston Musician Kate Foss Lays Down the Foundation on Tuba and Bass

Aside from sharing the same clef, you’d think the tuba and the upright bass couldn’t be any more different. You’d be wrong. According to Kate Foss of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and Local 802 (New York City), both allow her to do what she does best: lay down the foundation of an ensemble. The choice to play both bass and tuba was natural for Foss, who grew up in a musical family in the suburbs of Milwaukee.


“As a kid, I was fascinated with large machines like locomotives and construction equipment,” she recalls. “So it’s not really a surprise that I was immediately attracted to the bass. It’s the largest string instrument, and you can feel the sound inside you.” And with the tuba, it didn’t hurt that Foss’s grandmother played one in high school. Foss adds that she’s not sure if playing in the low register shaped her personality, or the other way around—but she still gets the most musical satisfaction out of being the supporting voice in a group.

While Foss has carved out an impressively varied freelance career around Greater Boston covering a wide range from symphony and opera orchestras to musical theater, it’s worth noting that music wasn’t actually her first choice: Foss has an undergrad degree in physics. “Toward the end of my physics degree, I did a summer at the Pacific Music Festival, and quickly realized my passion was such that I needed to switch,” she says. Foss searched for grad schools that would accept students without a music undergrad, winding up at New England Conservatory. “While there, I started freelancing in Boston—and that was that.”

Over her years in Boston, Foss has racked up an impressive list of work in orchestras, recordings, and musical theater. Her theater credits alone include 48 shows on which she has played upright and electric bass, and/or tuba. Foss doesn’t claim to have a favorite genre. “It doesn’t matter what I’m playing. A bass line is a bass line,” she says. “The tuba has largely the same function in the orchestra as the bass. Beats one and three, lots of whole notes,” she adds with a laugh. “Obviously, the mechanics are different. With tuba, you have to start the note a second before you think you should. Prep the breath, set the embouchure, etc. Bass is immediate, the second you start moving the bow.”

Foss also thrives on the variety of a freelancer’s life. “If I had to do one genre, I’d get bored. Ballet is marches and dance numbers, and then it’s something else entirely in opera or musical theater to hear a singer who really knows what they’re doing and is in total control.” Having a vocal background certainly helps with her appreciation: Foss’s tuba-playing grandmother got a degree in voice and passed that love on to her own children and grandchildren. Foss has fond memories of singing Bach chorales around the piano with her family. (In that vein, Foss’s CV includes nearly two dozen BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, or in English, Bach Works Catalog) numbers identifying the Bach choral works she has participated in.) 

Like nearly all freelancers everywhere, Foss’s music work is mostly on hiatus at the moment thanks to COVID-19. She also admits somewhat sheepishly that her practicing has fallen to a minimum since the pandemic shut things down. “Forcing musicians to be solitary is like isolating a duck—there’s nobody to quack with,” she quips. But she also agrees with the assessment that switching off from music for a while is perfectly okay. “I’ve been hustling with gigs since 2003, and had been thinking of taking a break. So the coronavirus forced me to take an extensive one. It’s about learning to trust yourself that you won’t forget anything. It will come back to you,” she says.

Meantime, Foss has been focusing on other things. Aside from a busy day job, she took up cross stitch, and has become heavily involved with fostering homeless cats and kittens through the Quincy, Massachusetts, animal shelter. Her work with the AFM has remained a constant, both pre- and mid-pandemic. She serves on the executive board of Local 9-535, and has been reading up on the history of unions to help her understand what happened to musician wages over the last 50 years. “The importance of the union should be part of music education,” she says. “Young musicians need an understanding of how the music world has gotten where it is today, and what they can do about it. There are reasons why you have contracts, and why you need to advocate for yourself. Nobody will pay you unless you collectively bargain for it. I wish I had had that knowledge sooner.”

Several years back, Foss participated in unionizing a theater she worked at, and says it was a fantastic experience. From there, it was a natural progression to greater union involvement. She praises her local’s response to the pandemic, particularly its involvement in the New England Musicians Relief Fund, which has been working to alleviate financial distress for some 2,000 freelance musicians that make their living playing music in the region. “The more I get into board duties, the more there is to learn about the AFM and the music business,” she muses. “Like a typical musician, I like to complain—but it’s great to learn how to do something about it.”

Info on the New England Musicians Relief Fund can be found online at www.nemrf.org/our-mission.



■ Electric basses: twin “Peavey Cirrus 5” bass guitars, 5-string thru-necks (long scale), walnut—I bought two and had one converted to fretless

■ Strings: round-wound

■ Tuba: BB♭ Yamaha 4-valve

Orchestra/Opera/BWV/Ballet Gigs

■ Bass: 1999 Joel Mentec 4-string upright bass with C-extension (Mentec is a French maker)

■ Bow: Seifert German-style bow, c. 1980

■ Bow: Horst Schicker French-style bow

Pit/Musical Theatre/Any Cramped or Non-Temperature-Controlled Space

■ Bass: 1939 Kay “Chubby Jackson” 5-string bass, model S-51 (low B is where it’s at if the sound system can handle it)

■ Bow: Seifert German-style bow, c. 1980

■ Amp: Gallien Krueger, MB115

mini multi guitar tool

Mini-Multi Tool

mini multi guitar tool

World’s Smallest Guitar/Bass Multi-Tool

GrooveTech Tools’ newest guitar and bass multi-tool, the Mini-Multi, consolidates 14 tools into a body that’s less than three inches long. Included are eight hex wrenches, four screwdrivers, and a precision ruler. And for those important moments, a bottle opener is provided. Sizes are in both meters and inches for use on most makes and models of guitars and basses. Tools are prograde and made to precision tolerances.



Leland Sklar

Legendary Session Musician Embraces the ‘Brave New World’

With more than 2,600 albums under his belt as a session musician—as well as decades on tour with some of the biggest artists in the music industry and musical contributions to countless Hollywood films and major television shows—bassist Leland “Lee” Sklar has guided his career by a simple tenet: “Be cognizant of the song.”

“First and foremost, from my career standpoint, the song has always meant everything to me,” says Sklar, a 50-year member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA). “It really emanates from the studio and listening to a song that’s presented to you, and really thinking about, ‘What does the song need?’ Not about, ‘How can I shine on this?’ ‘How can I impose myself on this?’ I think it’s imperative to let the song guide you into what you need to do on it.”

photo: Rob Shanahan

That belief has directed Sklar’s career from his early days with James Taylor to his legendary status as one of the most recorded and most sought-after bassists in the LA studio scene. And at age 73, Sklar is still going strong.

Sklar is renowned for his bass playing, but his musicianship actually started on piano—when, as a child, his parents loved watching the old Liberace television show. Sklar had an affinity for the keys, but once he got to junior high school, he found the school band had too many piano players. His teacher suggested he try the bass and pulled out a blonde upright out of the back room. “I plunked one note, felt that vibration, and man I was sold,” Sklar says. A few years later, another game-changing moment arrived when Sklar got an electric Melody bass and a St. George amp—and entered the electric world. “After that, I started joining bands left and right and sitting home and playing to records,” he says—an ironically prescient circumstance, given where his career went and where it is today in the world of a pandemic shutdown. But more on that later.

Sklar, like so many teenagers then and since, loved playing bass, but he never expected to find a career in music. In college at California State University, Northridge, he was an art/science major, expecting to go into medical or technical illustration. But then, during his fifth year of college, his life changed in one day, he says. “I met James Taylor. I got offered one gig, and that was in 1970. And basically, I’m still on that gig.”

Sklar’s first real studio experience, he says, was with Taylor, a member of Local 802 (New York City), for Taylor’s third studio album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Since then, Sklar’s career moved ever upward. As part of the now-legendary studio ensemble called The Section (which included Local 47 members Russ Kunkel and Craig Doerge), Sklar’s playing has been heard on hits by artists such as Linda Ronstadt (Local 47), Randy Newman (Local 47), Dolly Parton (Local 257), Neil Diamond (Local 47), and George Strait (Local 433), to name only a few. Sklar has also done vast amounts of session work for television and film, playing on TV shows such as Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, and Simon and Simon, and on movies such as Forrest Gump, Ghost, and Legally Blonde.

One of the reasons Sklar has been an active musician for 50 years and participated in so many albums and recordings is because he is a professional, and he treats his vocation that way. “The studio process is a profession. It may be called ‘playing,’ but it’s a profession that’s as serious as any profession out there,” he says. For example, he continues, if your downbeat is at 10 a.m. for a session, don’t pull into the parking lot at 10 a.m. Arrive early, get your gear tuned and in place, check out the charts and make sure there are no surprises and, if you need to, take an extra few minutes to wrap your head around the songs and be ready to play at 10 a.m. “That’s what you were called for,” he says. “My job is me, and I treat it as professionally as I can. When you finish a track and people are going to listen to the playback, don’t sit there and check your phone messages; go into the control room and listen. And if you hear things that could contribute to make it a better song, throw it out there. Don’t sit mute in the back of the room like wallpaper.”

Sklar says he’s got “a big mouth and a lot of attitudes,” and he is not afraid to put in the time and raise his voice to add extra things to a song to make it as good a record as it can be. “I think people came to depend on that [work ethic and attitude], and that is one of the reasons why, at the end of the day, I’ve been able to work for 50 years and I’ve done about 2,600 albums. The fact that I’m still working to me is one of the most amazing blessings. … I really appreciate it; I’ve worked hard for it—and I don’t take it for granted.”

Sklar also keeps working because he rarely says no to jobs—unless they are non-union. “You always have to realize that if you’re not going through the union, you’re not going to get the pension; you’re not going to get health and welfare; there’s a lot of things you sacrifice,” he says. “Sometimes people will contact me and say, ‘Can we just do it non-union?’ and I say, ‘Well, no, we can’t, actually.’ If we don’t go to the union, you’re not getting to walk away from the things that the union survives on.”

Sometimes, he says, he gets frustrated by the politics and the minutiae involved in the reality of any labor movement, and he would just like to hunker down and play music. But without the minutiae, he says, “you would have a hobby and not a profession.”

“I think the essence of what a union is really for is the protection of its members on many levels that they are not getting—you’re being protected from being ripped off,” he continues. “It’s a brotherhood and sisterhood of really gifted people that are trying to watch out for one another and work in the safest environment possible from exploitation.”

Sklar has played with countless musical brothers and sisters, both in studio and on the road. He is currently playing with his band The Immediate Family, comprising former members of the The Section. He says he prefers the road to the studio, mainly because you have a live audience. “That’s kind of life’s blood that really sustains my energy—to engage with an audience,” he says. “On the road I’m not one of those guys that sits back in the dressing room and only comes out for the show. I go out and I wander around and talk to people in the audience and make myself available just to sit and hang out with them because I’ve always found that to be really interesting.”

Of course, the coronavirus has changed every musician’s plans. Sklar said he had a year’s worth of gigs lined up for 2020—in the US, Japan, and Europe. And “in one fell swoop, I went from a full book to an empty book,” he says. The thing about being a musician in isolation, he continues, is that you can either roll over and give up or dig in and figure out what you can do to keep going. So, despite his age and the fact that he can authentically talk about the “good old days” of analog when albums were made in a professional studio, had A and B sides, concepts, cover art, a mastering process, etc., Sklar has become an exceptional example of creating an engaging—and paying—online presence as a musician.

He is online every day talking to and playing for his 129,000 YouTube subscribers, 85,000 Facebook followers, and numerous
Flatfiv.co digital clubhouse members (who pay money to join). His digital gig started because of the coronavirus quarantine, when he decided to film himself playing along with songs he has recorded over the years and show viewers how he played his bass parts. That expanded to live chatting with fans, telling stories about making albums, being on the road, and just general life as a working musician—and it jived perfectly with his long-held joy of hanging out with fans, which all of this web-based interaction allows.

“It’s become a serious focus for me … it’s something I look forward to and I love that it’s taken on its own life,” he says. “I’ve found it to be really cathartic, on both sides of the aisle. People that are writing to me are talking about how this has become a kind of oasis in their daily lives. They try to avoid the news, and people send me pictures of their family eating dinner watching my videos on TV. And for me it gives me a focus every day.” He sees this as a long-term interactive experience between himself and his fans, and he has no intention of stopping. “If this curtain of COVID suddenly lifts, if there’s a vaccine and we can feel safe … and I get to go back out and hit the road again and hit the studio again, I’m taking my channel with me,” he says. “This has really become to me as viable as any recording session or concert I’ve ever done, and I want to maintain it as such. It’s a Brave New World we’re in right now.”


Lee Sklar has an array of equipment he uses as a working musician, including:

  • Two signature basses: a Dingwall 5-string signature and a Warwick chambered signature based on the Starbass II.
  • He still has his trusty ‘Frankenstein’ bass, built for him by John Carruthers in 1973. It is on all of the recordings he has done over the years.
  • Euphonic Audio amps and speakers.
  • GHS strings (most of the time).

A Conversation with Double Bassist Joel Quarrington

Joel Quarrington, a life member of Local 149 (Toronto, ON) and Local 180 (Ottawa, ON), has served for over 30 years as the principal double bassist of many ensembles including the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches at the University of Ottawa and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Quarrington performs on an Italian bass made in 1608 by the Italian master Giovanni Paolo Maggini, and is an enthusiastic advocate of the historical practice of tuning the bass in fifths rather than the customary fourths. He believes fifths tuning leads to clearer and more accurate performance in all ranges of the bass, as well as greater tonal richness.

International Musician recently spoke with Quarrington about his career, his music, and what he has been doing during quarantine.

IM: When did you start playing music?

JQ: “I wanted to play an instrument because my two older brothers played a lot at home. I grew up watching them play and wanted to join them. My oldest brother, Tony, taught me. We had a brotherly trio and we kept that up for many years. We played bluegrass country and had banjos, guitar, and double bass.”

IM: What type of music education did you have growing up?

JQ: “I attended the University of Toronto and studied music there. I also studied in Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria privately. I enrolled in school in Austria, too.
I traveled all over Europe for lessons; I wanted to learn as much as I could.

I joined our brotherly trio when I was seven years old. We had two guitars and Tony on the banjo. Sometimes Tony would bring the double bass home from high school and we would include it in our trio. In grade 7, I chose to study the double bass. That way if I learned the double bass, my brother Tony would play the banjo in our trio. I just really love the banjo and its sound.”

IM: What interested you about classical music?

JQ: “When I began studying bass, I got good right away. My teacher at school suggested that I begin studying privately. My teacher was the principal bassist at the time for the Toronto Symphony. I knew that eventually I, too, wanted to be in the symphony. The first time I played in a symphony, I was 12 years old. At that point, I was certain that that’s what I wanted to do.”

IM: When and why did you decide to become a union musician?

JQ: “I first joined the AFM when I was 18 years old. In order to become a real musician, I had to be in the union. When I joined the Chamber Players of Toronto, it was mandatory to be part of the union. I remember signing my papers then. I’m now 65. When I joined, my retirement date was 2020, and I thought that date would never come. Now, it’s here and I have no interest in retiring!”

IM: How has joining together with other musicians in union allowed you to improve your life, both professionally and personally?

JQ: “I have never thought about not being in the union. Being in the union has improved my life and it’s provided me with a huge network. In retrospect, the benefits and pension fund is the nicest part about being in the union. Every union job always pays an amount to your pension. It’s very beneficial. I’ve also gotten connections for gigs through the union. The work the union has done on my work visas has been helpful and indispensable, as well.”

IM: Have you participated in your local in any way?

JQ: “During the 1999 Toronto Symphony Orchestra strike, I attended lots of meetings. The AFM provided the legal fees and a representative for our contracts. This was very beneficial as a union member. In 1991, our salaries were cut by 25% and we didn’t have raises for eight years. We went from being a 50-week orchestra to a 42-week orchestra. Our summer season was wiped out. However, after 9/11 the contract that was settled on couldn’t be paid. Now, the Toronto Symphony is doing great.

The union has been very helpful, as they have been for every orchestra I’ve played with. The AFM has helped with collective bargaining agreements, electronic media, contracts, and all aspects of orchestral life. Members of the orchestra also joined the union board. I think this helped as well. They were able to fix things and have more control over what was going on.”

IM: What do you tell non-union musicians about the union and the value of being a member?

JQ: “I teach a lot of high school graduates before they head off to university. I let them know about joining the union and how beneficial it is being a member. I get them set up and everything at a young age before they go out into the world of being a musician. I also teach graduate students who have arrived from other countries who are on work visas. I have a nice relationship with the woman at the local union. I’m able to set up my students with gigs and it gets them out and performing.”

IM: What are you doing to pay the bills through quarantine?

JQ: “I haven’t been performing at all, but I have been teaching a lot. I’ve been enjoying my time in quarantine. I’ve been able to accomplish a lot. I’ve been writing pieces and teaching a lot. I also have some compositions I have wanted to get published. I’ve been working on some projects for years and now I’ve been able to get so much done.”


Joel Quarrington uses:

• Basses: Santo Maggini 1660, Brescia/Italy (solo/recording); Mario Lamarre 2018, Montreal/Canada (orchestra); Masa Inokuchi 2000 Toronto/Canada (touring)

• Bow: Bernard Walke – special “Longbow” design

• Strings: Thomastik-Infeld Vienna – Dominant (top three strings), Spirocore Light (low C)

• Rosin (depending on weather): Kolstein Ultra All-Weather, Wiedoeft, and Leatherwood Bespoke

• Sound post: Anima-Nova carbon fibre adjustable

• Cases: Accord Flight Case – “Stanley Clarke” model; “Tuff-Lite” Flight case;
Mooradian Soft Cases, deluxe model; Accord Carbon Fiber Double Bow case; Holstein Bow cases

Kolstein’s Formulation Supreme Bass Rosin

Kolstein’s Formulation Supreme Bass Rosin is a high-quality rosin designed specifically with bass bows in mind. It powders very little, provides excellent grip, and has an indefinite shelf life. Available in several grades (hard, all weather, and soft) to meet the musician’s personal preference, as well as the geographic and climatic conditions that prevail where the rosin will be used.

behind the changes

Behind the Changes

The Music of Ron Carter

behind the changes

For the first time, jazz double bassist Ron Carter of Local 802 (New York City) puts down on paper what he has been doing instinctively for over 50 years: how he comes up with all those famous walking bass lines. Carter discusses how bassists can make their own roadmap to changing the changes and offers examples of harmonic variations using common song forms.

Behind the Changes: The Music of Ron Carter, by Ron Carter, Heights Music, www.heightsbooksandscores.com.

Ken Dow

From Broadway’s Jersey Boys to Gigging with Queen, Bassist Ken Dow is in Demand

Ken Dow, of Local 325 (San Diego, CA) is the original bassist for the worldwide hit musical Jersey Boys. He worked with multiple Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff since the show’s inception at La Jolla Playhouse, and performed the show nightly on Broadway for 10 years. Dow has traveled all over Europe and the United States for more than 20 years playing jazz, classical, funk, folk, hip-hop, soul, blues, bluegrass, rock, and music that defies conventional classification. He has worked and performed with a wide array of distinguished artists, including Pete Townshend (The Who), Brian May and Roger Taylor (Queen), Sara Watkins of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) Billy Crystal, and more.

International Musician recently spoke with Dow about his career, his time in the pit on a Broadway show, and his recent projects:

IM: You performed with the show Jersey Boys every night for 10 years. Was it tough coming out of such a long performance on one show and switching gears, taking on new projects?
KD: For me, steady work like that is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, steady income, let alone a pension, is a fanciful aspiration for, I would guess, most freelance musicians. I was grateful to have that. Depending on your mindset, the fact that you’re playing the same music every show could mean you have to expend very little mental effort to perform. Of course, it can also become like musical data entry, looked at from another angle. One of the nice things about working on a [union] Broadway musical is that, contractually, you’re allowed to take up to 50% of the shows off in any given quarter. So whenever the opportunity to work in a different musical context presented itself, I jumped at it. Some of my most memorable moments of my time in NYC come from those outside gigs.

IM: Tell me about the beginning of your career. How did you get into singing?
KD: I took piano lessons as a young kid, which, in my opinion, is probably the most holistic way to start playing music. The fact that all the notes are laid out before you, they all look different from each other, it’s easy to see patterns in harmony, you’re working with both bass and treble clefs, etc.
My mother’s parents were both professional musicians, so she thought musical ability might run in the family. She pretty much forced me to sing duets with her, even before I started playing bass in junior high school, and I’m glad she did. Now I sing backups on most gigs I do, and lead vocals on some. That, and the fact that many of my electric bass heroes—Geddy Lee of Local 149 (Toronto, ON), Paul McCartney, Peter Cetera of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL), etc., played and sang simultaneously, led me to believe it could be done.
I also joined the San Diego Youth Symphony when I was in junior high, where I played upright bass. In my opinion, you can’t get a better overall music education than by playing classical music. The way harmony functions, the way your part fits into the whole, sight reading, technique, stamina, working with others… It’s the best! I found out later, once I started taking more advanced theory classes in college (UCSD), that I already knew most of what they were talking about, just without the terminology in some cases.

IM: Did you start out doing sessions? What types of gigs did you play?
KD: My brother, drummer Kevin Dow (also of Local 325 and also a Jersey Boys alumnus) and I started putting bands together in high school, but even before that some of the older students started asking me to join bands. I also started playing with professional rock bands fresh out of high school. It was often a situation where I was too young to be in the bar we were playing, so I’d have to wait outside during set breaks.
My time in the San Diego Youth Symphony also partially prepared me to start playing jazz upright bass professionally. Over time, my musical interests broadened, as did the styles of music I would get called to play. I love playing recording sessions, but I came of age a little too late to be part of the golden age of sessions, unfortunately.

IM: When did you join the union and in what ways has it helped shape your career?
KD: I joined the union back in the 90s, when I started working on an open-ended run of Forever Plaid in San Diego. I knew that all of the major playhouses in town were union houses, so I knew that’s where the high-quality work was.

IM: Who are some of your major musical influences?
KD: Like most musicians, I’d imagine, I started out being fascinated with great players of the instrument I’d chosen. Electric bass: Jimmy Johnson, Anthony Jackson (Local 802), Nathan East (Local 47), Pino Palladino, Geddy Lee, John Patitucci (Local 802), Jaco Pastorius, all of whom led me back to James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey (Local 47), Paul McCartney, and Peter Cetera.

IM: How do those influences come through in your own music?
KD: Almost every gig I play, I find myself thinking, “Well, time to cut another check to [INSERT ARTIST HERE]!” I feel like my own playing might best be described as an attempted amalgam of the bassists I like listening to. Also, I feel like the role of the bass in most groups pushes the bassist towards a holistic understanding of the music being played, rather than a granular focus on one’s own part. I feel the best musicians, regardless of instrument, all do this. For that reason, over time I’ve come to admire songwriters, composers, and orchestrators at least as much as individual instrumentalists.

IM: Can you describe one or two of your more memorable experiences?
KD: In October 2002, the rock band Queen was scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted to put on a concert that night. At that time, they didn’t have a regular band lineup, so they asked Chris Thompson (formerly of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, lead singer on their famous version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light”) to share vocal duties with several other great rock vocalists, including Jeff Scott Soto and Patti Russo, and to get a rhythm section together. My brother Kevin and I had already been working with Chris, so he asked us to do it.
Once Brian and Roger arrived at rehearsal, we worked on two or three songs, then took a break. At that moment, Brian came walking up to me to introduce himself. I nervously shook his hand as he examined the three instruments I’d brought, prompting him to declare, “Those are beautiful basses you have there. Do they make them just for you?”
This was one of the first high-profile gigs I’d done, so the idea of people making basses just for me was preposterous. Of course, that’s the world Brian May lives in, so that wouldn’t be unusual for him. I sure felt deflated! I quickly steered the conversation toward his iconic guitar, built by him and his father, which he called “his baby.” Makes for a good laugh now.
The night of the show was unlike anything I’d experienced before, with special guests like Nuno Bettencourt, Carmine Appice, Steve Vai, (all members of Local 47) and more. What a blast, and an honor!

IM: What are some of your upcoming projects?
KD: I’m currently playing shows in the San Diego area, both at the Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse, and at the Civic Theatre when national tours come to town and need a bassist. Other than that, I freelance around Southern California, sometimes elsewhere, playing with original projects, corporate bands, and everything in between. I’m happiest when I’m doing a variety of things.

cube acoustics

Cube Acoustics Endpin

cube acousticsCube Acoustics uses a patent pending alloy for instrument parts. Their endpin design provides professional cellists and bassists with improved volume and articulation, while the collar makes it easy to extend the pin. Matt Schiebold, cellist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, a member of Locals 15-286 (Toledo, OH) and 5 (Detroit, MI) is the inventor. Robert DeMaine, principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) purchased all three Cube Acoustics products. You can read his enthusiastic review on Cube Acoustics Facebook page.


Gary Karr

Gary Karr: Life on the G String

Gary KarrGary Karr’s career as a double bass soloist was launched in 1962 by Leonard Bernstein, in a Young People’s Concert at Carnegie Hall, which was viewed on television by 7 million people. Gary Karr gained legendary status for his virtuosity and inimitable lyricism, infectious sense of humour, and pioneering spirit. In 1967, he founded the International Society of Bassists. The Local 247 (Victoria, BC) member continues to perform and record at age 75. Emotional, surprising, and entertaining, his story appeals to fans, musicians, music-lovers, and biography enthusiasts.

Gary Karr: Life on the G String, by Mary Rannie, Friesenpress,

TRBX604FM and Five-String TRBX605FM Basses

TRBX604FM and Five-String TRBX605FM Basses

TRBX604FM and Five-String TRBX605FM BassesYamaha four-string TRBX604FM and five-string TRBX605FM basses bring the elegance of intricately finished flame tops and matching headstock veneers to TRBX series’ comfort-contoured mahogany body, bolt-on five-piece maple/mahogany necks, and premium electronics. Able to deliver the right tone for every music style, custom Yamaha H series pickups use four Alnico V pole pieces per string for wide frequency response and noise-free operation. The TRBX604(5) onboard electronics allow players to take full advantage of the pickup’s range with easy-to-use balance control and three-band active/passive EQ. Retail prices range from $970 to $1,070.