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Player Spotlight: Steve Uccello

Steve UccelloMeet bassist Steve Uccello, our player in the spotlight for September 15th, 2009.

Bio:

Steve Uccello is an Upright and Electric Bassist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He’s a versatile musician who authentically approaches each style he plays. Steve has self-produced two solo albums, the recently released SYMMETRIA, an instrumental bass-centric journey comprised of 14 songs, and the 2006 release, Polar Vision, a vocal-phsycedelic-folk-rock album. Studying under the world-renowned bassists Stan Poplin and Ray Drummond, Steve was the first Jazz Studies graduate from CSU Monterey Bay in 2005. Steve provides the bottom end for the Monterey Bay Jazz Orchestra, slated to play this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival. Steve Uccello has shared the stage with artists such as Steve Lawson and Joe Craven. Steve was a featured guest at the 2009 Mandolin Symposium, working closely and playing with David Grisman and Mike Marshall. He has toured and/or recorded with the unique singer/multi-instrumentalist Dayan Kai, Kerrville & Telluride winner Keith Greeninger, singer/environmental activist David Grimes, Jazz composer Kirk Danielson, Spanish Nuevo Cancion artist Juan L. Sanchez, and Italy based Gospel artist Nehemiah Brown. In October, 2009, Steve will be playing solo at the Y2K Loopfest in Santa Cruz, California.

Location:

Monterey, CA U.S.A.

Day gig:

Playing music is and has been my only career.

Years experience:

Electric: 20 years, Upright: 15years

Bands & Gigs:

I play lots of Jazz gigs, theatre gigs, and I play with singer songwriters and children’s artists (Nancy Cassidy, to name one). I also play at a church every Sunday, I teach private lessons once in a while, too. Somehow it all adds up!

Gear:

  • Howard Core 1/2 size upright w/ bolt on neck (travel bass)
  • Roma 3/4 size upright
  • G&L 4string fretted
  • G&L 5string fretless
  • Regal-Dobro acoustic bass guitar
  • Guitarron (Mexican 6 string bass)
  • GK MB150 combo
  • SWR SM-500 head
  • Ampeg 4×10 +tweeter 500watt cab
  • Looperlative LP-1 Looping Device
  • Boss RC-2 Loop pedal

Why I play the bass:

Hearing guys like Jaco and Les Claypool drew me to the bass and revealed its possibilities, but it actually happened by accident. Like so many other bassists, I was a guitarist first then became a bassist due to the fact that the band I was in at the time needed a bass player. But after seeing the great Ray Brown play live, I fell in love with the upright. For more on this see a post I did on “The Bass Guitar Blog

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Finding weird, beautiful chords and using unorthodox techniques to produce them (like pizzing one note while bowing another, or putting the bow under the strings to bow the outer two strings).

My influences

Jaco Pastorius, Ray Brown, Stan Poplin, Ray Drummond, Michael Moore, Dave Holland, Steve lawson, Daniel Diaz, Michael Manring, Paul Chambers, George Shuffler, Francois Rabbath, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Roger Waters, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney, Christian McBride, Ron Carter, Scott Lafaro, Les Claypool, Slam Stewart.

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