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Reader Spotlight: John Meyer

John MeyerMeet John Meyer, an electric bass/Contrabass player from Yucaipa, California, and our player in the the spotlight for February 16, 2010.

Bio:

John Meyer is an active freelance musician in the Inland Empire area and a veteran of the bass for over 25 years. With classical studies through the High Desert Symphony and Fullerton Symphony, pop studies through John’s very own ‘SoundWorks’ and jazz studies under many of Southern California’s greatest directors including, Kim Kruger, Patrick Winters, Dean Immel, Victoria Shapiro, Joel Di Bartolo, George Stanly, Tim Emmons, Ken Lesight, Paul Kardos, Joe Estrada, Ben Gonzalez, Tom Kubis and many others, John has performed in a variety of groups, events and organizations.

Location:

Yucaipa, CA.

Day gig:

Owner of Meyer Works Inc. A Masonry and Landscape construction company that allows me the time, especially recently with the building trades economy, to focus a lot of time in developing the bass thing!

Years experience:

Over 25 years

Bands & Gigs:

Weekly performances throughout the Inland Empire include genres from Jazz, Rock and Classical music.

My latest events feature SoundWorks a band that has led the community with a variety of musical styles stemming from the sounds of many great performers such as trumpeter, vocalist and educator, Alan Remele, drummers, Ricky Brown, Bernie Barbosa, Dave Bown, Jim Brennecke, John Will, saxaphonists, Jim Quam, Rio Fiumara, educators and recording artists, Craig Yancey, Bob Knop, pianists, Bob Meyer, Hank Barto, educator Dan Murphy and jazz vocalists, Dona Mara, Pam Armstrong and also superstar vocalist, actress and entertainer, Jennifer Julian.
SoundWorks’ recent performances has evolved into the pop and smooth jazz renditions of hits like ‘Imagine’, coming from the masters touch of recording artists, guitarist, Bob Summers, Robert Hess, pianist, Mike Mediano, trumpeters and recording artists, Alan Remele, Larry Meregillano and drummer, Wayne Carroll.

Most of the Rock sounds recently that continue to develop, are also through the works of VINTAGE, a Rock & Roll Cover Band featuring the ultimate in rock guitar genius, Monty Martin and drumming, virtuoso, Jim Brennecke. VINTAGE provides the sweet grooves of the 1960’s through modern day Rock & Roll for many of the community’s public, private and club events. A live band that guarantees fun for everyone and a smile left on your face when you leave the event!

Recent performance exposure has also come from the musical pit orchestra of William Dixon’s Junior University Musical Theatre, Riverside’s SOZO Jazz Orchestra featuring vocalist, Leslie Ellis, Bill Strout’s Big Band 2000 and the Golden West College Monday Night Big Band, under the direction of jazz superstar, Tom Kubis.

Gear:

Acoustic Basses:

  • 1918 German Flatback by Chas A Horan
  • 1930 Czechoslavakian Flatback by Korel Vysoky
  • 2007 Fender Victor Bailey 4 String Acoustic/Electric

Electric Basses:

  • Kawai KRB105
  • Fender Jazz
  • Gibson Custom Shop Flying ‘V’
  • S.D. Curlee
  • Hohner Jack Bass Custom

The Hardware:

  • SWR baby Blue II combo
  • Peavey Mark VIII head
  • Peavey Tour 210 cabinet
  • Peavey 215 cabinet
  • Peavey 1810 cabinet
  • Boss ME50B Multiple Effects
  • Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum
  • Fishman BP-100 Bass Pickup
  • Underwood Bass Pickup
  • Korg D888
  • Protools

Why I play the bass:

When Yucaipa Intermediate School’s (Y.I.S) Musical Director (1977-1980) Margo Tower said, “John, you have been playing Viola for a few months now, why don’t you work up a solo and try out for the All Southern California Honor Orchestra?” I said, “I can hardly play a quarter note, what are you talking about?” She said, “Yeah, what do you have to lose?” A month after the auditions, I reached into the mailbox and pulled out the envelope with my name on it that contained a congratulations and a very thick set of music charts that was sheets of solid black ink in the form of composer Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ and the like. It was then that I traded my center fielder’s long arm, no hop, throw to home plate for the quick wrist action of the bow across the strings.

After Y.I.S. came the award winning Kim Kruger regime (1980-1985) of Yucaipa High School’s triple A music department and sidelined with Redlands High School’s Patrick Winters and his after hours musical theater and chamber orchestra, where my focus and love of variety musical entertainment became apparent. When no orchestral opportunities existed at Y.H.S, I became hooked on one of Southern California’s finest jazz programs that Y.H.S. offered. It was then, once again, that I was offered a spot to try something new and work up some technique as a bassist. The rest is a history of award winning musical opportunity and a lifelong pursuit of acquiring the talent and artistry of a command performance.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

A thorough variety and display of a commanding musical performance from Rock, Pop, Jazz, Country and Classical.
My ability to ‘feel’ the crowd brings out a swinging bass performance with a unique style of groove, matched by no one, that provides for an awe inspiring appreciation from the crowd that keeps them coming back for more!

My influences

The sounds of bass giants John Patitucci, Stanley Clarke, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius and Ray Brown has always caught my interest. Some of today’s great performers that I continue to seek concert after concert are still the great, Stanley Clarke, George Benson, Warren Hill and the ultra talented duo of Bart Samolis playing bass with his wife playing Jazharp, Lori Andrews.

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