Ruben Rodriguez (left) and La Bella VP Eric Cocco. Photo by Arnie Goodman.
By Chris Jisi
The plush performance parlor of the Cutting Room on East 32nd Street in Manhattan was the setting for La Bella Lords of the Low End, on the afternoon of September 28th. The charity event, organized and hosted by La Bella’s Eric Cocco, benefited Little Kids Rock, which “helps restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged public schools.” For many of the over 150 who attended the four-hour foray, one look around the spacious room brought back memories of Bass Player LIVE! in New York, as table tops held exotic basses at jaunty angles, floors rumbled with designer amps and effects, and elite players mingled with working bassists and musical hobbyists. Indeed, Lorenza Cocco, who assisted husband Eric, noted, “It’s great to bring back to New York City a much overdue celebration of all things bass, with the very best players and builders, while supporting a most worthy cause.”
The stage buzzed with raffle giveaways in-between performances by the Little Kids Rock Band, Chilean 8-string specialist Igor Saavedra, fuze force Alain Caron, Latin ace Ruben Rodriguez, and surprise guest Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Among the more than 25 exhibitors were Roger Sadowsky, Mike Tobias (MTD), Harvey Citron and Joe Veillette, Aguilar, Warwick, Tech 21, Fodera, F-Bass, Brubaker, Phil Jones, Guitar Center, the Collective School of Music, and a free bass tune-up by master luthier Mas Hino at the La Bella booth. Looming low end luminaries included session great Neil Jason, Gotham recording and Broadway vets Frank Gravis, Steve Millhouse, Irio O’Farrell and Lee Nadel, futurist Evan Marien, and Sean Hurley, who showed off his new Fender signature P-Bass before heading to Central Park to play the Global Citizen Festival with John Mayer. Summed up Eric Cocco, “It’s an honor to be surrounded by so many innovators that I looked up to, growing up in the business. I can proudly say that everyone of these companies and artists jumped at the opportunity to help raise awareness and money for “Little Kids Rock.”