Meet Jon Packard, a bassist who spent his career in the Air Force and played around the world in military bands. While Jon started out as a piano player, the love for the low end made him switch to the bass.
Jon is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight (you could be next!) Here’s his story…
I have been playing music professionally my entire adult life. Music has carried me all around the world, primarily in the US Army and US Air Force bands. I’m at ease in many styles from jazz, salsa, rock, reggae, ska, funk, and country, but am also totally engaged and committed to the project at hand. I greatly enjoy the challenge of getting into character in any musical environment, to be a musical chameleon. I’ve been lucky to share stages around the world with Toni Tennille, Ellis Marsalis, Tom Schuman, Chuck Findley, Gordon Goodwin, Canadian soul powerhouse Andria Simone, Atlanta singer/songwriter Karsten Durand, and Nashville legend Ray Scott.
I’m retired Air Force but have been known to tend bar from time to time.
Way longer than I care to admit, probably 35 years (when did I get old??)
Bands & Gigs:
I have a cover band, playing dance tunes from the last 50 years or so, with a heavy concentration on today’s hits. I also play in a rock/reggae band called “Quartus” that’s one of the most musically diverse, challenging and plain old FUN bands I’ve ever worked with. And I do a fair amount of freelancing in the area.
I’m a proud endorser of Roscoe basses, and currently have 4:
- Roscoe SKB 5 Custom J/MM
- Roscoe Standard 5 Plus MM
- Roscoe Standard 5 Plus JJ
- Roscoe Classic Custom P/J
- I also have a Rob Allen MB2 that I love
- For amplification I use an Aguilar DB751 with 2,3, or 4 GS112 cabinets
- All my basses get DR Strings
Why I play the bass:
I started life as a piano player but was always drawn to the low end. I love how it feels to play bass, and really drive a groove with a great drummer!
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I don’t know if it’s a superpower, but I feel like I can make any band I play with feel solid, without sacrificing my voice as an artist.
I think in some way, I’m influenced by everyone I’ve ever heard! But bassists that really resonate with me include Jaco, Jamerson, Marcus Miller, Will Lee, Michael Rhodes, Jimmy Haslip, and Ray Brown. This is a great time to be alive because there are so many great players breaking new ground with our instrument.