Reader Spotlight: Jessica Karjanis

Jessica KarjanisMeet Jessica Karjanis, a bassist from Stamford, Connecticut who is about as versatile as they come. Jessica plays electric, upright (and cello), in bands ranging from original hard rock to bluegrass to metal. Jessica is our player in the spotlight for the week of February 21, 2012.


I’m a 27-year-old teacher who spends the nights and weekends playing bass. Would I call it gigging? Well, I make enough money to cover my bar tab…

I love playing and listening to all kinds of music; my main focus is an original hard rock band called Pink Missile, but I also play in a classic rock cover band and a bluegrass group.


Stamford, CT, USA

Day gig:

I teach eighth grade English.

Years experience:

14 years

Bands & Gigs:

Current Bands:

  • Pink Missile: Hard rock/metal (electric bass and occasionally cello)
  • CTCR: classic rock covers (electric bass)
  • The Shoutbacks: bluegrass/folk (upright bass)

Favorite Old Bands:

  • Burn the Bodies: death metal (guitar and elec. bass)
  • The Backwater Racket: bluegrass/folk (upright bass)


  • 5 string Ibanez SG
  • Christopher 3/4-size upright bass
  • Acoustic 4×10 cabinet
  • Kustom head

Why I play the bass:

After quitting violin in sixth grade, my teacher suggested cello, and I was hooked on the low end sound. In high school, I picked up bass because I wanted to play an instrument that would anchor the band.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Versatility! I play upright and electric, everything from jazz to death metal, from bluegrass to classic rock… (Perhaps a “jack of all trades and master of none.”)

I also play cello, and switched from bass to guitar in one old band when our guitar player quit.

My influences

Phil Lynott, John Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, Flea, Paul Chambers — and my former music teachers Patrick Smith, Dave Ruffles, Miriam Ecklehoffer, and Larry Rothermel.

More on the web:

Pink Missle:

Burn the Bodies: death metal (guitar and elec. bass)

The Backwater Racket: bluegrass/folk (upright bass)

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