show episodes
 
Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With over 2 million downloads, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists. Join the community and experience life on the low end of the spectrum!
 
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show series
 
Kevin “Brandino” Brandon is an Eastman artist and winner of multiple Grammy awards. He is also a longtime five-string bass player, and we dig into that topic and many more in today’s episode. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wide-ranging titles for bass…
 
100% true story! You can check out the YouTube video for some visuals as well. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wide-ranging titles for bassists. Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle. Check out my Beginner's …
 
Andrés Martín’s Signature Edition double basses are now available through Eastman! We go behind the scenes with Andrés on the experience of making these basses today. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wide-ranging titles for bassists. Listen to Contrabas…
 
Elsen Price recently released a new album titled Gastronomy Astrology, which features some of Australia’s leading jazz players. We talk about this latest album and much more in this third interview with Elsen. Enjoy! Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wid…
 
Marek Romanowski recently released his first CD. Titled Contemporary Sonatas for double bass and piano, this release features music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Lowell Liebermann, and Frank Proto. We talk about how he chose the pieces for this release, how the pandemic has been for Marek, plans for the future, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to follow a…
 
We’re reconnecting with Stephanie Patterson today. Stephanie specializes in teaching adult learners and was featured on the podcast in 2019, and we dig into what she has learned about teaching adults over the past few years. We dig into pandemic teaching, lessons, learned through teaching many adults, and much more. If this resonates with you and y…
 
Marc Johnson recently released Overpass, his first solo double bass album. We talk about the process behind putting this album together, Marc’s path through the music world, reflections on his time with Bill Evans, his longtime collaboration with Eliane Elias, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Overpass on the ECM website, Spotify, Appl…
 
Micah Howard teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, which is one of the nation’s leading programs for double bass study. CMU has recently come on board as a podcast sponsor, and Micah chats about the benefits of the program and what it’s like studying at CMU in this sponsored episode. Enjoy, and you can click here to visit Micah’s website and sign …
 
Valentina Ciardelli is now teaching at the London Performing Academy of Music and is accepting applications through the end of September, including scholarship opportunities. You can visit this link to apply and learn more through this PDF. This is a great opportunity to study with one of the most innovative bassists active today. Check it out, and…
 
Canadian-born bassist and composer Michael Bates has had a multifaceted career in the jazz world. Michael and I connected in person during the 2021 Wabass Institute, and it was great to spend some time digging into his musical path in this follow-up interview. We talk about what the pandemic has been like for Michael, his path from hardcore music b…
 
Frank Lestina is an educator and double bassist in metro Chicago. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Roosevelt University and his Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Illinois, and he has had a celebrated career as a high school orchestra director and guest clinician. We talk about Frank’s sudden hearing l…
 
Born in Sweden and raised in Germany, Christian Fabian attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship. Through Brian Bromberg, one of his early mentors, Christian became the bassist for the Lionel Hampton Band. He currently serves as co-leader of the New Lionel Hampton Band featuring Jason Marsalis, and he also co-founded the Native Jazz Q…
 
Today’s episode features a conversation with Joseph Brown, the new owner and current vice president of the J.F. Nordlie Pipe Organ Company. Joe is my brother-in-law, and it was great to talk about the craft of organ building and the similarities between the organ and double bass. Enjoy, and be sure to follow J.F. Nordlie on Facebook and Instagram! …
 
Michael Fanelli is a bassist, educator, musicologist, and author who is also Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. As string/orchestra specialist at the UNI Malcolm Price Laboratory School, he created and taught the string curriculum for grades 4 through 12 based on Rolland Teaching of Action in String Playing material…
 
Dr. Jeffrey C. Zimmerman is a bassist and former student of Stuart Knussen. His thirty-plus years of experience and study across various disciplines from masters in music, Asian medicine, martial arts, medical qigong, tai chi, and science led to the development of his technique, Harmonetiks, to enhance healing, self-care, and performance. We talk a…
 
James Oesi is the founder of the Dutch Double Bass Festival, which will be running for the third edition on October 29th and 30th in Rotterdam. This year’s lineup will include Dave Holland, Ben Williams, Sasha Witteveen, and many others. Pick up tickets on their website now, and be sure to follow the festival on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Su…
 
Ishani Bhoola is building an orchestra of young musicians to tour South Africa in July 2024. This project is called International Youth Orchestra Bridges and is a collaboration between the West Coast Youth Orchestra (South Africa) and the Waverley Ensemble (UK). It will bring together young musicians from the UK and South Africa, aged between 13 an…
 
Susanna Klein and Randall Pharr have recently released a new iOS practice app called Clipza. In this episode, we discuss the inspiration behind the app, the simple interface, and how it solves a key problem for practicing musicians. Enjoy, and be sure to check out the app and follow Susanna and her practicing mission on Instagram, Facebook, and You…
 
Chris West has released a new book titled The Paganini of the Double Bass: Bottesini in Britain. This book tells the complete life story of Bottesini, with a huge amount of supporting material from periodicals of the time and a chronological listing of all of Bottesini’s double bass compositions. We talk about the idea for this book, how Chris went…
 
We’re chatting with Paul Sharpe and Ella Sharpe about what it’s like studying the bass from your parents. We talk about how both Paul and Ella got into playing the bass, the unique bass program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, perspectives from both Paul and Ella, and Ella’s thoughts on her future. Enjoy! About Paul Sharpe: P…
 
Andrew Reinartz is a musician and educator based in Sioux Falls, SD. Playing primarily upright and electric bass, he easily fits into a variety of styles including Jazz, Classical, Funk, R&B, Rock, and Folk. Andrew also does work as a producer, live/project studio recording & mixing engineer. Also an avid educator, he is Jazz Bass Instructor at Aug…
 
We are now accepting applications to intern with us! Learn about the program and what it entails in this episode, and you can apply to intern through this link. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wide-ranging titles for bassists. Listen to Contrabass Conv…
 
This short episode features a look at the 2021 Wabass Institute, with short interviews from faculty members Ranaan Meyer, Eric Larson, and Hal Robinson. Enjoy, and you can also check out this video for a deep-dive at this year’s event. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music …
 
Jason digs into why he keeps doing this podcast after so many years in this solo mini-episode. Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically! Check out our Online Sheet Music Store with 100+ wide-ranging titles for bassists. Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle. Check ou…
 
Nick Tsiavos recently put out a new solo album titled Maps for Losing Oneself to considerable critical acclaim. We dig into the inspiration behind this latest solo album, what the pandemic has been like for him, the influence of Francois Rabbath and Barre Phillips on his music path, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out more about Nick on …
 
Isaline Leloup has recently released an album of 18th Century Viennese Bass Music. We talk about how she got into historical performance, the inspiration behind the album, what it was like to record it, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Isaline’s album on Spotify and Apple Music, and learn more about her on Facebook and YouTube! Subscr…
 
Rodney Jordan and Christian Fabian have recently released a new album of bass duos called Conversations. We chat about the idea behind this album, what it was like putting it together, and much more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Conversations on Spotify, Apple Music, and wherever you listen to music! Subscribe to the podcast to get these intervi…
 
We’re chatting with Eleanor Martindale about this summer’s RCR Double Bass Camp, which will be coming up August 16-21 in Perpignan, France. We talk about how the camp is organized, the teachers that will be there, and much more. Enjoy, and you can learn more about the RCR Double Bass Camp on their website, Instagram, and Facebook! Subscribe to the …
 
Christian Gray joined the double bass section of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra at the start of their 2017-2018 Season. Prior to his appointment, he performed frequently with numerous other ensembles, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and San Antonio Symphony. We talk about what life in an opera orches…
 
Ben Hanlon is a bassist in the Melbourne Symphony and is also an active jazz bassist. He and James Sherlock have recently released a new duo album titled Stravinsky, and his trio Ball Hanlon Schulz has also released a new album titled Land Of If. We talk about these new projects, life in Melbourne during the pandemic, and much more. Enjoy, and chec…
 
Noah Reitman has been assistant principal bass of the Vancouver Symphony since 2015 and is also currently the president of the Vancouver Musicians’ Association. He also coaches bass and chamber music at Idyllwild Arts in California in the summers. He is also on the faculty at the VSO School of Music where he teaches bass lessons and coaches chamber…
 
Bram De Man is a double bass luthier in Brussels, Belgium. After first studying as a bass player, at the age of 18, he was admitted to the Ghent Conservatory to study musical instrument making, graduating with a first-class distinction and receiving an honorary bequest for his research into D-violones and the early double bass. After these studies,…
 
Travis Harrison is a freelance bassist in Toronto and a former member of the Winnipeg Symphony. As a former student of Joel Quarrington, Travis worked with Joel for many years to develop and refine the Canadian School of Double Bass, which has been recently updated and released in a new edition for both fourths and fifths tuning. We talk about Trav…
 
Today’s episode features a conversation with Camellia Aftahi, Michael Martin, and Tyson Davis about Bass Players for Black Composers. This organization commissions and publishes new works for double bass by Black composers, and it is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an ambitious fundraising campaign for future projects. We talk about the f…
 
Today’s episode features a conversation with Paul Leverger, who heads the marketing team for the music score reading app Newzik. Newzik just rolled out a new LiveScores feature which uses Maestria, their AI-driven Optical Music Recognition technology. This new feature allows for any PDF or paper score to be turned into an interactive document. Enjo…
 
Patrick Staples is a bassist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and has begun making bows recently. We talk about growing up in Canada, moving to Los Angeles to attend Colburn and study with David Allen Moore and Paul Ellison, further studies with Tim Pitts at Rice University, and landing his job in Calgary. We also dig into how Patrick got st…
 
Christopher Jeffer is a double bassist and recording engineer who recently released a solo bass album titled Cat’s Cradle. We dig into the inspiration for this album, what he has learned about recording double bass, the challenge of doing this recording during the pandemic, goals for the future, and much more. Check out Cat’s Cradle on Spotify, App…
 
Trevor Jones and Jason talk about the behind-the-scenes work behind the launch of the Double Bass Blog Sheet Music Store in today’s special mini-episode. Enjoy, and be sure to check out the store for over 100 titles covering different styles, techniques like harmonics, repertoire for solo double bass, 2 basses, and more! Every purchase goes directl…
 
Rob Knopper is a percussionist with the MET Orchestra, and he is a force of nature in the online learning world, with his popular auditionhacker program and other associated ventures. We talk about what the last few years have been like since our previous interview in 2016, how his online programs have evolved, what the pandemic has been like for h…
 
Today’s episode features a discussion with the following luthiers about the 2021 Build a Bass event in conjunction with the virtual International Society of Bassists Convention: Dustin Williams Trevor Davis Joey Naeger Mitch Moehring Madeleine Crouch (ISB General Manager) Enter the 2021 ISB Build-a-Bass Sweepstakes by Saturday, June 12 at 11:59 PM …
 
Nicky Schwartz just released Stolen Pearls with his wife Anna Fedorova, including the most epic double bass album trailer ever. Nicky and Anna call themselves the Oyster Duo, and in this album they uncover all kinds of pieces not commonly played on bass. We talk about the new album, Nicky’s journey through the music world, what it’s like playing in…
 
Nina DeCesare recently joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2020 after spending several seasons playing with the Oregon Symphony. She studied at Rice University with Paul Ellison and leads an active performing and teaching life outside of the orchestra. We talk about what the pandemic has been like for her, auditioning for a job while holding…
 
Jonathan Borden is a double bassist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and a graduate of Juilliard. He has recently launched an awesome YouTube Channel and is filming detailed tutorials about all kinds of double bass topics. We dig deep into YouTube tech talk, the joys and challenges of being a “YouTuber,” Jonathan’s future plans for his chann…
 
Tony Alcock is Double Bass Section Leader for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has previously been Principal double bass of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and section leader with the BBC Now (Wales), BBC SSO (Scotland), Scottish Opera, and Co-Principal with the Halle. We talk about all kinds of topics, including Tony’s path…
 
Isaac Trapkus joined the New York Philharmonic in November 2016. Before joining the Philharmonic he was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and, before that, principal double bass of the New Haven Symphony while he was studying with Leigh Mesh, associate principal bass of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Isaac also volunteers as a designer …
 
Marc Gelfo is the founder of Modacity, which has transformed my practice habits during the three years that I’ve been using it. We dig into what Marc has been up to since our last podcast chat, the power of deliberate practice, new features coming for Modacity, the new iPad edition, and more. Enjoy, and check out this special lifetime offer that Ma…
 
Erica Bramham just released Enamel, her third album, and her first self-recorded release. We talk about how the pandemic inspired these compositions, what it was like shooting the music videos for this album, what the pandemic has been like for her in Melbourne, thoughts on future projects, and such more. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Erica’s wor…
 
Mary Rannie is the principal double bass of the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia, Canada, the double bassist in the Galiano Ensemble, and former bass instructor at the University of Victoria. She is also the author of Gary Karr: Life on the G String, which chronicles the remarkable career of one of the most influential bassists in history. We …
 
Michael Fuller is currently a Resident Bass Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Prior to that, he spent three seasons with the New World Symphony. We talk about Michael’s background, growing up in Philadelphia, discovering the bass, his time spent at Eastman and Rice, learning Sofia Gubaidulina’s Eight Studies for Double Bass, what the pandemic…
 
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