Reader Spotlight: Charley Sabatino

Charley SabatinoMeet Charley Sabatino, a bassist from New York who has an impressive resume and a great answer to the “superpower” question. We love his story for why he plays the bass… thanks to John Entwistle.

Charley is our player in the spotlight for the week of April 29, 2013.


I am a veteran bassist with more than 35 years experience. I play both upright and electric bass, encompassing a wide range of styles, and play throughout the NY/Metro Area. Highlights of my career include: The Today Show backing the Children’s Aid Society Chorus, Lincoln Center with Ben Vereen, Headliners at the Village Gate, 92nd St. Y, Cat Club, New Music Seminar and the Cabaret Circuit with clients of the William Morris Agency. I am the Music Director of the Jazz Workshop at the Cadenza Music School (named 2012 Best Music I teach improvisation, theory, upright and electric bass privately, both in-person and via Skype. I also give highly acclaimed clinics in the fundamentals of electric and upright bass and in improvisation for all instruments. I am endorsed by Lakland Basses SIT strings and Lathon Bass Wear. I hold a Master of Arts in Music from LIU CW Post and have studied with Billy Bauer, Harvie S., Jeff Andrews, Tony Oppenheim, Lyn Christie and Mike Pope.


Queens, NYC, NY

Day gig:

None. I play and teach full time.

Years experience:

More than 35 years

Bands & Gigs:

I am a freelance bassist… I get called to play anything from Rock to Jazz to Church Music on both upright and electric.

I also teach both upright and electric bass as well as theory and improvisation to all instruments…both privately (in-person and via Skype) as well as in clinics.


  • Lakland 44-94 (I am an endorsee)
  • Fodera Anthony Jackson Contrabass with modified electronics by Mike Pope
  • ~50 year old Czech Carved Top Upright
  • Sue Lipkins German Bow

Why I play the bass:

One of my classmates came to my house and brought the album Quadrophenia with him… I heard the bass line in “The Real Me” and pretty much made up my mind…

My bass superpower/claim to fame

As a player, I get called to play many different styles. I am known to be a player that shows up ON TIME, PREPARED and gives 110% to the gig.

As a teacher, my superpower has been to be able to quickly find a students stengths and weaknesses and build upon them to maximize their development.

My influences

John Entwhistle was my first, then Geddy Lee… then Stanley Clarke… Paul Chambers… Peter Washington… Christian McBride… Bird… Dizz… Miles… Trane… the list goes on…

And, of course, my teachers…

More on the web:

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Share your thoughts

  1. Rock on Charley!! Sick bass player!

  2. Versatile, Knowledgeable, and Professional…if your looking to improve your playing, look no further. If your looking to hire, Charley is the real deal!

  3. Great write-up on a great teacher!

  4. My 1st and Only teacher… A true professional in all aspects of being a teacher and musician. He has an uncanny way of pointing out your weak spots and quickly resolving it. All around, just a great guy!