Steve Bailey Named Chair of Berklee’s Bass Department

After 40 years at the helm, Rich Appleman retired as Chair of the Berklee College of Music’s Bass Department in May of this year. During his tenure, Appleman helped shape the face of the school by growing the bass department by leaps and bounds.

Succeeding Appleman this fall will be bassist Steve Bailey, who brings his own incredible credentials to the position. Known for his jaw-dropping 6-string fretless playing, Bailey has recorded and performed with everyone from Paquito D’Rivera to Dave Liebman to The Rippingtons. Bassists may also associate him with his extensive work and friendship with Victor Wooten. The duo have published several works under the Bass Extremes project, which set the standard for modern advanced bass guitar playing.

Bailey also has over 25 years of teaching experience, with faculty appointments at Musicians Institute, UNC Wilmington and Coastal Carolina University. He’s also authored six books and instructional DVDs. He holds a B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami, with additional study at the University of North Texas.

“Berklee is iconic. With a world-class faculty and over 400 bass students, I can’t think of another music institution on the same scale,” said Bailey. “To have the opportunity to build upon Rich Appleman’s incredible 40-year legacy is truly special.”

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Share your thoughts

  1. Going to miss Rich – had lessons from him in the 1980s, he was excellent! but Bailey is a great replacement!

  2. Congrats to Steve Bailey! Rich Appleman, a great teacher and mentor to so many (myself included), leaves a great legacy behind for Steve to build on. I’m happy to hear Berklee was able to select/attract a new Bass Chair on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the bass world today.

  3. congratulations steve!

  4. Getting to go to VW camp and meet and learn from this guy in a fun environment was incredible. His knowledge of the bass and music is scary.

  5. Congratulations Steve, a little more work for you my friends and they choose a good man for the job LOL.

  6. Congratulations, Steve!