The idea to put on a show dedicated to the then quite new and revolutionary art of “solo bass” was born on a Michael Manring Talkbass thread in 2005. Dave Grossman, Manring and Jeff Schmidt were musing about the possibilities of bringing diverse solo bass artists together to play a show - stylistically diverse, eclectic and creative, this show would be united by the tool it was played on - the electric bass.
They decided to test the idea and put on Solo Bass Night I at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, California in May 2005. The event was an immediate hit – not only did it feature Michael Manring, but people’s curiosity was soon piqued when the first reviews came in: Solo Bass Competition winner Jeff Schmidt is using what wicked tuning? David Grossman plays Bach on a 7-string bass? Jean Baudin is tapping the Mario Brothers theme on an 11-string bass, really?
All marvelled at the multitude of ideas, styles and playing techniques. Wicked pedal geekery and nerdy audio talk erupted in the breaks. Deep (pun intended) friendships formed and many left inspired, intrigued and ready to experiment at home!
After five successful and popular shows the series came to a halt due to changes at the venue, so the series slipped away and lay mostly dormant for a few years. The seeds the shows had planted, however, continued to bear fruit and inspire in the Bay Area. Ariane Cap, for example, had definitely caught the bug since Solo Bass Night I: between hanging out with her new friends and running into the British solo bass maverick Steve Lawson, she had started to create her own solo bass and Bach duet projects. But Solo Bass Night’s rumors had spread even to Madison, WI where Josh Cohen, a 6-string solo bassist known for traveling across North America performing whilst living in his custom camper van known as the BassMobile, had been nurturing the art of solo bass in the Midwest between tours. In early 2019 he approached Dave Grossman with the idea to bring back Solo Bass Night. Dave referred him to Ariane, so the two of them have started to revive the series and inject it with new energy. The plan is to bring the series to some of the cities where our solo bass idols reside and to inspire bassists to find the solo bassist inside of them.
The two put up a website where bassists can submit their videos, volunteer to help organize future shows, and where fans can find out the latest about this diverse, interesting, constantly evolving and always curious genre of solo bass.
Solo Bass Nights are back, and this time with a double event in two cities with some of the biggest names on the West Coast! Raffles with awesome prizes provided by our sponsors are awaiting, too!
SOLO BASS NIGHT VI
Thursday • November 7th 2019 • 7:00PM
The Sound Room in Oakland
Special Guest: Paul Hanson
SOLO BASS NIGHT VII
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday • November 14th 2019 • 7:00PM
Gruv Gear Headquarters
511 S. Harbor Blvd. Ste S La Habra CA 90631
Special Guest: Paul Hanson