“At the Global Jazz Institute we teach how to use music as a force for change, to uplift the culture and to uplift people, which I find very exciting. Some say that excellence in your craft and focusing on society are mutually exclusive, but I beg to differ. The masters I’ve worked with, some of the most important names in the history of music, are not only very successful, they’re also humanitarians.
“In music we talk a lot about earth, wind, fire, and water. As a bassist, you have to love being the ‘earth.’ You have to understand the absolute responsibility and power of being the earth. That means providing that solid foundation—time and groove—and creating a feeling that frees up the rest of the band to play. It means being willing to make selfless choices to make the whole picture sound good.
“A great rhythmic power and feeling opens the door to communicating with any kind of music. After that your sound has to be beautiful enough to engage people. If you have everything else intellectually, but don’t have that rhythm and sound, no one will want to listen. Those who get that in their head sooner rather than later are the ones who improve faster.”
- Three-time Grammy Award winner
- Fourteen Grammy nominations
- Played on many Grammy Award-winning recordings
- Thirteen solo recordings
- Latest CD, Remembrance, features saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blade
- Performed and/or recorded with jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Victor Feldman, Nancy Wilson, and countless others
- Latest instructional book, Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining, published by David Gage
- Formerly the artistic director of the Bass Collective, a specialized school in New York
- Professor of Music at the City College of New York, 2002-2012
- Performed bass concerto A Prayer Out of Stillness by British composer Mark Anthony Turnage with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (featured on a live broadcast by the BBC), the Trondheim Symphony of Norway, the St. Louis Symphony, and the London Symphony Orchestra
- Launched interactive online bass school through ArtistWorks.com in 2013