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Reader Spotlight: Charles Robitaille

Charles RobitailleMeet Charles Robitaille, a bassist from Montreal who got a later start in life than many here, but made up for it with hard work and a love for the bass.

Charles is our reader in the spotlight for the week of May 13, 2013.

Bio:

Well I started playing pretty late, at about 17 years old. I worked very hard and later enrolled and majored in music studies at Vanier College. From there, I went to the University of Montreal, majoring in music again, but I didn’t find what I was looking for there, so I left.

I played with various bands in various styles… Top 40, Latin and jazz bands. I also completed a number of contracts on cruise ships as bass player in the main orchestras.

For the last six years I’ve been playing with a great show band named “Alter Ego”. We play all over Canada and the States.

Location:

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Day gig:

I am lucky enough to be part of a show that makes me earn enough money where I don’t need a day job. I am very thankful!

Years experience:

I’ve been playing for 22 years.

Bands & Gigs:

I am part of a show band called Alter Ego. It is a show comprised of drums, bass and guitar, with sequences, five female singers and two male singers. They all dance, and at various parts in the show they personify certain music superstars of the past.

Gear:

  • 2 F basses (six string)
  • 4 Musicman Stingray 5’s (the last one is a Classic 5)
  • A vintage Ampeg Blueline SVT (1970 or ’71)
  • Ampeg SVT-VR
  • 2 Ampeg B25B
  • Ampeg Micro SVT
  • Various size Ampeg cabinets
  • REDDI direct box with various effects pedals

Why I play the bass:

Like many, I really wanted to play the drums at first. But I couldn’t practice that instrument because we lived in an apartment. So when a guitar-playing friend asked me to play bass, I was all in because I really loved the bass too.

I was so enthusiastic about music that my mom allowed me to get a drum later, but after playing a few weeks on it, I realized that I really preferred the bass.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I dare to try things while trying to be as musical as possible.

My influences

Jaco Pastorius, Anthony Jackson, Hadrien Feraud, Gary Willis, Michel Alibo, Alain Caron, James Jamerson, Pino Paladino and many more. And that’s just bass players.

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