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Reader Spotlight: André Bowman

André BowmanMeet bassist André Bowman, our player in the spotlight for September 29th, 2009.

Bio:

Hailing from Buffalo, NY, I started playing bass at age 9, beginning with acoustic bass and picking up electric a couple years later. Receiving several awards throughout high school with the jazz band and orchestra, I continued my studies at Berklee College of Music, to which I was awarded a scholarship. Relocating to Atlanta in 2002, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many top artists, both live and in the studio, as well as producers, contributing to albums by Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Ashlee Simpson, India.Arie, the Black Eyed Peas, and others. In addition, I’m actively writing and producing for various projects, both major and independent and always looking for new opportunities to further my musical growth.

Location:

Atlanta, GA, USA

Day gig:

Thank God it’s music!

Years experience:

20 years

Bands & Gigs:

Currently with India.Arie (Universal Republic), Jennifer Holliday, Sheri Jones-Moffet (EMI Gospel); have served as music director for Jully Black (Universal Canada), Johnta Austin (So So Def/Def Jam) as well as numerous performances with other major artists.

Gear:

Aguilar DB751, DB series cabs (endorsee), Elrick bass guitars (Gold Series 6 and Expat Jazz 5), pre-WWII American Standard upright bass, Pigtronix, Boss, and other various pedals.

Why I play the bass:

It was a natural transition from cello, which I played first. I started playing upright bass in the school orchestra and at a school concert, saw an upperclassmen playing ‘Peter Gunn’ on electric bass with the jazz band. I thought it was the coolest thing and I had to learn how to play. I was fully committed.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I’m all about the groove. Pocket. Don’t get me wrong, chops are important; They allow you to express what you’re hearing and feeling at any given moment but most importantly, they enable your ability to execute whatever is required. I like to play and create bass lines that mean something, that are memorable and make people move. Some of the greatest songs in history are remembered for their bass line. I’ve done quite a few sessions for hit producers and I believe one of the reasons they call me is for the attention that I give to the bass part I’m laying down. I want it to support the song but also give it that little something special.

My influences

Verdine White, Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorius, Rocco Prestia, Nathan East, Victor Bailey, Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, Stuart Zender, Paul Jackson… the list could go on for days and those are just the bass players!

More on the web:

Selected Performance Clips

With Jully Black @ 2008 Juno Awards:

With India.Arie on Good Morning America:

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