In Memoriam: Jim Stinnett
It’s a sad day in the bass community. World-renowned bassist and educator Jim Stinnett has passed away after suffering a heart attack. The news was confirmed by his family via Facebook.
“Yesterday we said goodbye to Jim. His heart was not able to recover from the massive attack he had last Friday, in spite of all the efforts of the best medical experts in Boston. He had been sedated for quite a while, so his passing was not painful,” they wrote. “Some of Jim’s final words and wishes were to encourage and inspire us all to carry on and keep striving. So we wanted to share with you that his parting is not the closing of a door but the beginning of a new path. As we navigate next steps we appreciate your kind words and support. We will continue to use this page as a space for anyone to connect and share memories.”
Stinnett originally hails from the Northwest, where his music career flourished as a producer, writer, arranger, and – of course – bassist. He performed with a who’s who of jazz artists including Clark Terry, Ernestine Anderson, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Sam Rivers, and many more. He graduated from New England Conservatory of Music in 1986, and would eventually put down roots in New England.
He taught bass and arranging at Berklee College of Music for three decades, fostering many talented players as they honed their craft. Steve Bailey, who now heads the Berklee Bass Department, shared his thoughts on Facebook.
“Jim was a BIG part of my path, early on, pointing me in good musical directions, the importance of playing good time, and sticking to ones convictions…. always learning,” he wrote. “Jim taught bass the way that would get the MOST out of a hungry student. I know this from my experience as his student, and by watching him with countless others ,both at Berklee and at his Camps and Clinics. He will be missed by so many people, both those that he knew, and the countless that he has influenced. ”
Stinnett also published many education books for bass players: The Music Of Paul Chambers, Arcology, Creating Jazz Bass Lines, All Cows Eat Grass, Reading in Bass Clef, Slap Bass Workout, and 12 Keys to Success. In recent years, Stinnett had been building basses and continuing to teach online.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Jim Stinnett.