Pepe Bao is without any doubt, one of the most unique and unrepeatable figures in Spanish music scene. Pirate by vocation, self-taught by training, eclectic by conviction, funny by nature, professional by dedication, and musician “to the deepest of his soul.” His ability to experiment and to assimilate new ideas seems to have no limits. Pepe plays any style, literally, and plays all of them as the best specialists in each one because he gets into them without fear and without prejudices, without anything or anyone beng able to limit him, and helped by a technique perfected by continuous practice that gives him the freedom to express what is in his mind through the electric bass, directly, without obstacles on the way. Pepe Bao is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential names in the history of modern bass guitar playing in Spain. He is the man who brought the bass out of the back room and the irrelevance, and claimed all its musical value. Pepe has a vast experience in a variety of musical styles, including recording with countless artists as well as a huge number of live performances throughout his long musical career, which makes him an institution and a reference for more than a generation of bassists. Currently Pepe combines his musical activity on his solo career, as well as with O’Funk’illo, Estricnina, Pepe Bao Trio, and other formations in which he collaborates, delivering master classes throughout Spain and South America and getting involved in projects for promoting music education and ethical business.
Mr. Kirkwood began his professional career at the age of 10 in Houston, Texas. Studying music for about nine years, he attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston earning the esteem and admiration of his peers. At this time, he was given the opportunity to play with Hip Hop artist T.I.
Matt is a noted bassist and arranger within the Gospel, Pop, Jazz, and R&B community in Texas and abroad. Mr. Kirkwood currently lives in Los Angeles California and works in the company of several artists such as, Jessie J, Hailee Steinfield, El Debarge, John B, Bslade, Men at Large, T.I and many more. Matt Kirkwood contributes quality, professionalism, and excellence in the music industry.
Born and raised in San Francisco, bassist and songwriter Mark Lahargoue (La-Har-Goo) has been a part of the Bay Area music scene since the 1980s where he learned to play jazz, on the San Francisco streets, from legendary saxophonist Clifford Haynes. Mark, and his fellow bandmates have had an opportunity to perform with some of the most accomplished musicians in their respective fields: John Lee Hooker, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Herbie Hancock, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and many others. Now living on the SF peninsula; performing as the Marcus Gerard Band (formerly the Mark Lahargoue Quintet), Mark has hooked up with some of the hottest musicians on the scene: Ernest Carter (drums), Ramon Lazo (piano), Garry Jones (saxophones), and finally David Rampley (guitars), to create a new and contemporary jazz sound that combines ‘old school’ jazz together with a ‘smooth’ jazz sound in one collaboration.
Steve was first drawn to bass guitar at around 12 years old when he heard the music of Rush, with Geddy Lee on bass, and Iron Maiden. By the time he was 21, Steve had come to admire bass players in many other styles. He then studyied electric bass with amazing players such as Baba Elefante, Victor Wooten, Gary Willis, and Alfonso Johnson, double bass and jazz with John Clayton Jr. and Dr. Art Davis (bassist with John Coltrane), and classical technique with Anders Swanson and David Borkenhagen. Steve also studied theory and arranging, at the piano, with Allen Rowe, Gerry Schroeder, and Tom Kubis. With over 20 years of experience as a session bassist and performing live in pop rock, fusion, jazz, blues, and latin bands, Steve has performed with Frank Gambale, Scott Henderson, John Stowell, Jody Fisher, and Alex Skolnick. Steve has taught bass and music theory for over 10 years at Jim’s Music Center in Irvine, California and at The National Guitar Summer Workshop.
Ariel Garcia started playing bass at the age of 20, quickly he fell in love with his instrument, he started practicing and playing along with tracks. He was always trying to learn new styles. He completed 2 years at Berklee College of Music online program as a professional bass player. He is currently playing bass at Capital Christian Center and writing his own music. Ariel plays Funk, Jazz, Classic R&B, Rock, Pop, Bass Improve, Contemporary worship. Ariel has developed not only music knowledge and playing technique, but an exquisite taste and a great sensitivity that make his music stand out of the crowd and shine. He´s always pushing himself to learn new concepts of music and open to learn new things. Ariel is currently working hard on his new album, which we are eager to get.
Chuck Jacobs, Bassist, author (The Bottom Line, and Bass Beginnings Cherry Lane). Originally from northern Michigan, Chuck Jacobs has been a professional musician, playing electric bass for over 40 years, performing in the studios and live the world over with artists from a long list of superstars from; Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Wynona Judd, Smokey Robinson and many others. Jacobs has played on numerous Gold and Platinum albums with Rogers. Jacobs also has distinguished himself as a writer. His latest work “Bass Beginnings” (Cherry Lane) features a “from-the-ground- up” instruction on bass guitar playing specially developed for beginners, including exercises, play along CD, etc…
Pennal Johnson is the bassist for Lubriphonic (Rock, Funk, and Hard Soul Band) and does also clinics and studio sessions. Penal is not only a Bassist, but also a writer and entrepreneur from Chicago’s West Side, Illinois. He started, at the age of 8 years old, with a bass that his cousin’s son did not wanted, and he soon realized he could play by ear. Later on he learned to read music and continued to improve his bass playing skills at Hugh Manley High School in Chicago. After High school Pennal started playing professionally around the Chicago area performing with the talents of Andre and Sandra Crouch, Kurt Carr and Abraham Laboriel. Pennal’s approach to bass playing is as simple (and effective we would add) as “have FUN”!!!
New York City bassist and producer, José Asencio is distinguished for his approach and sensitivity to all genres of music. At a very early age he began expressing himself by playing percussion, trumpet and guitar. Around the age of 14 he connected with the bass guitar and the rest is history. In addition to performing in several TV programs, bass clinics, producing and performing with many great artist, he’s currently collaborating in producing his debut project “Soul Dignity”.
Daniel Meichtry began playing bass at the age of 12 in the Worship community in Portland, Oregon. Since then He has contributed to music programs throughout the Portland Metro Area as well as creating and leading multiple Worship Bass Clinics. His newest venture is as an Influencer with the founding of Bass Forward – an online community that promotes the top manufacturers and creators that personify Design, Detail, and Craftsmanship.