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Player Spotlight: Jonathan Moody

Jonathan MoodyMeet Jonathan Moody, a player who works from the pit – literally – playing a variety of musical styles using an impressive line-up of gear.

One of the coolest parts to the story: Jonathan is a second generation bassist, following in the footsteps of his mother who taught him how to play initially.

Jonathan is our player in the spotlight for March 13, 2012.

Bio:

While most people aspire to be the star on the stage, Jonathan Moody has made a name for himself under it. A veteran of the Southwest Michigan theatre circuit, Jon brings a musical voice that’s rooted in a wide variety of styles, helping him bring an authenticity to every note he plays. Combine that with his rock solid reliability (musically and professionally) and it’s easy to see why he’s the first person Music Directors contact when hiring a pit.

Location:

Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

Day gig:

Graphic Designer at Full Blown Color, a wide format print shop.

Years experience:

20+ years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m the “first call” bassist in the musical theatre circuit in town and around the area. Lately I’ve also picked up consultant duties, helping Music Directors hire musicians, make recommendations, navigate through theatre procedures, etc.

I also play every week at church, and somewhat regularly with a folk group in town and an art/rock group that performs original soundtracks to old silent movies.

Gear:

  • 2009 Warwick Streamer LX Broadneck 6 string
  • 2010 Warwick Custom Shop Corvette $$ 6 string fretless
  • 1996 Warwick Corvette Standard 5 string
  • NS Design CR-5M Electric Upright
  • Phil Jones Bass Cub
  • Phil Jones Bass Briefcase
  • Phil Jones Bass Suitcase and 4B extension cab
  • Levy’s Leather bass straps and gigbags

Why I play the bass:

Initially, it was a family tradition. My mom played string bass in college and after in a community orchestra, so my original lessons were from her. What kept me at it was the challenge of having your part fit into an overall mix of people to help create a finished product. Also, I was making money gigging in high school, so there was that side of it as well.

I didn’t pick up electric bass willingly; it was a request from my old jazz band director. I didn’t give it much thought until the summer of 1995 when I was touring with the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra, and someone handed me a copy of Michael Manring’s album, Thonk to listen to on the bus. It completely destroyed any preconceived notions I had about the instrument, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I have the distinction of being able to walk into a show and sight-read it better than the regular who has been playing it for weeks. Depending on where you’re sitting, that’s either a blessing or a curse.

My influences

First and foremost, my mom for giving me the basics. Eugene Rebeck, Ed Fedewa and Ian Bruce were my teachers growing up and helped to guide me. In the professional realm, I’ve been influenced by Slam Stewart, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Jonas Hellborg, Jaco, Marcus Miller, Bakhiti Kumalo, Melvin Gibbs and a lot more that I can’t recall.

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