Sá Reston is a bassist who has followed an interesting musical path – one we enjoyed reading about quite a bit. His talent is obviously quite natural, and he’s incredibly humble too.
Read on, and you’ll see why we picked Sá as this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight.
I was born in Rio, and I started playing bass when I was 15, taking private lessons. My father was an amateur percussionist.
I began playing professionally at age 18 but stopped playing after some years. I came back to it around 1999, and by 2001 I met Itiberê Zwarg (Hermeto Pascoal’s bass player since 1977) and had a major change in direction musically. I studied in his workshops for six years and in the meantime I created the group Acuri where I worked as composer, musical director, bassist and pianist. This lasted from 2003 until 2011, when I joined Itiberê Zwarg’s group.
São Paulo, Brazil
Full-time musician (playing/lessons)
About 16 years (stopped for almost 5 years)
Bands & Gigs:
I play in Itiberê Zwarg & Grupo. Itiberê is the long-time bass player (more than 30 years) for Hermeto Pascoal. He is also a pianist, so I get the chance to play bass in the group of my greatest bass heroes! I play some piano too.
It is the greatest honor in the world to be able to share the bass chair with my greatest influence and teacher, not only when it comes to our instrument, but also with music as a whole!
I also do some freelancing work, but I see myself as the bass player of this group. It’s the biggest project in my life.
I play a 5-string N Zaganin (Brazilian luthier) bass, stringed E A D G C. Usually I play that plugged straight into whatever amp I have on the gig. Also have a Roland CB-100 cube.
Why I play the bass:
My brother is a bass player, and we had basses around the house. I used to sit and watch his lessons and one day when the lesson was over I picked up the instrument and played the groove he and his teacher were working on. The next week I was already playing with a band in the neighborhood.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
Guess it’s the way I feel music as a whole, not only with the bass player’s point of view. More than bass itself, I love music, I love harmony, rhythm and melody, and I guess this somehow translates to the bass for me. This and also the knowledge about the Brazilian styles I’ve been learning through the years.
But first and foremost, my ability to know that I’m always learning and that no matter how much knowledge you have, it’s nothing when compared to the greatness and infinite world of music.
I would say musicians, not only bassists, include Hermeto Pascoal and Itiberê Zwarg – they are my greatest examples as musicians. On the instrument, I have to mention Itiberê again and Luizão Maia, but there are so many – from Steve Harris to John Patitucci, I listened so much to so many guys. I wish I could thank them all!