Meet Brad Cheeseman, a bassist who has an interesting story of how he switched from guitar to bass, and never looked back. Be sure to check out his videos below of his transcriptions and bands, and also check out his website for the transcriptions themselves.
Brad is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of October 21, 2013.
Brad has been a performing musician, composer, arranger and educator in the Greater Toronto Area for nearly a decade. He is an Honours graduate of Mohawk College’s Jazz Performance program and Humber College’s Bachelor of Music program, and is currently pursuing his MA at York University. Brad has been the recipient of several awards for academic and musical excellence, including the Sully Kovacs Memorial Scholarship (2008), the Gordon and Anne Wragg Music Scholarship (2012) and the Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. Scholarship (2013). He was nominated for Bassist of the Year in the 2012 Hamilton Music Awards for his work with Andre Bisson, and has been described as “on his way to becoming one of Canada’s bright new jazz composer-artists”.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I’m grateful to say that I’m a full-time musician! In addition to being a performing musician, I teach music lessons (both privately and with a local lesson studio) and get a little bit of arranging work here and there.
Bands & Gigs:
I currently lead my own band, the Brad Cheeseman Group, which is a contemporary jazz/jazz fusion quintet that plays my original compositions. The project came out of a desire to blend elements of all of my favourite styles of music (such as groove, improvisation, interesting rhythmic and melodic content and emotional resonance) We released our debut EP (“Mixed Messages”) back in April and I’m really proud of it.
I also recently started playing with the Brownman Electryc Trio, whose latest record (“Gravitation”) features some unreal bass playing from the one and only Damian Erskine.
On top of this, I do a lot of work as a freelance/session bass player and get to play a lot of different music with a bunch of great musicians. It feels great to have a number of different creative outlets – no one gig needs to satisfy every need.
Lakland 55-02 Deluxe
MarkBass Little Mark III head
TC Electronic RS212 cabinet
SWR LA12 combo (for practicing and small gigs)
EHX Micro Pog
Digitech Bass Driver
Line 6 DL-4
Why I play the bass:
I guess I’m the typical guitarist-turned-bassist. I played guitar in a couple small bands in high school and eventually picked up a bass to mess around with on the side. Over one summer, a bass playing friend had been really shedding guitar while I had been working on my bass playing and we decided to start a band on our then-secondary instruments. Neither of us have gone back since! I love the way the instrument sounds as well as the roll of the bass in most settings. With my 6-string, I feel like I have all the tools I need to express myself.
My bass superpower/claim to fame
I feel like I’m a very well-rounded musician – I can improvise, have good ears, strong sight-reading ability and theoretical foundation and I’m comfortable with many styles. If people call me for a gig, it’s because they know that I’ll do my research and put in the work required of me, leaving them with one less thing to worry about on the gig. It’s important to remember that having a good work ethic is just as important as having all the musical stuff together.
Rich Brown, Tony Grey, Janek Gwizdala, Tony Levin and all of the greats (i.e. Jaco, Jamerson, etc.)