Reader Spotlight: Joel Gregory Ciulla

Joel CiullaMeet Joel Ciulla, our bassist in the spotlight for July 27, 2010.


Joel has performed and recorded with hundreds of great musicians such as Alex Acuna, Bennie Maupen, Gerald Clayton, Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, Poncho Sanchez, Justo Almario… just to name a few. He is currently working on his new CD “Cha Cha Bop”, featuring all original compositions.


Los Angeles, CA USA

Day gig:

Professional bassist and composer.

Years experience:

35+ years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m currently working on my solo CD project. Its all my original material with a Jazz-Fusion-Latin-Funk kind of twist. Great line up of players including drummer Johnny Vatos Hernandez (Oingo Boingo), percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia (Phil Collins), Latin Jazz Trumpeter Dr. Bobby Rodriguez and many more great LA players. I hope to be releasing it mid-September 2010. Possible small tour to promote the new CD at the end of 2010.

I’m mainly in the studio composing and recording for film and playing bass on other musicians CDs. I do a few “hired gun” type gigs per month around LA. I’ve traveled around the world quite a bit in the past, so staying in LA is nice.


  • 4 string Farnell Ultralite fretted Bass**
  • 5 string Farnell Ultralite fretted Bass**
  • 5 string Farnell Ultralite fretless Bass**
  • 1974 KAY upright
  • David Eden Amplification
  • Peavey Amplification
  • numerous rack gear ie; DI, noise gate, compression, etc…
  • Various Boss pedals
  • Roland midi bass rig w/upgraded patches
  • DR strings
  • GHS strings
  • a bunch of other stuff

**all basses have top of the line EMG pickups

Why I play the bass:

A good friend in Jr. high school was playing an upright bass and it was the coolest thing I had ever heard. So… I started playing upright bass in the school music program. Shortly after that, I picked up playing electric bass too. I learned to read music when I was 14. Started learning music theory at 15.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I’ve developed my chops up over the years and can play technically intricate passages, but… I’m proud of being able to lay down a solid bass foundation, choose the right notes and rhythms to compliment and inspire whatever type of music I’m playing and “lock in” with the drummer. I’ve listened to a lot of younger bass players who have great ideas and chops-up-the-ass, but can’t groove with a band to save their lives. As a bass player, you typically get hired to lay it down.

My advise to younger bass players is to learn and understand the role of a bass player if you want to have a career as a bass player, then move on to soloing.

My influences

Of course, Stanley Clarke and Jaco P!! Also Claude Debussy, Joseph-Maurice Ravel, Gustav Holtz, Dmitry Shostakovich, Rufus Reid, Eddie Gomez, Bob Magnusson (beautiful tone), Alphonso Johnson, LARRY GRAHAM, Frank Zappa, Return to Forever, Chick Corea, Al Dimeola, Stephan Grappelli, Michael Brecker, Oscar Peterson, 1000’s more. I also listen to drummers constantly!!!

I try to remain open minded and listen to someone new everyday.

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  1. Player Spotlight: Joel Gregory Ciulla: Meet Joel Ciulla, our bassist in the spotlight for July 27, 2010.
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