Rabbath Institute Los Angeles 2024

Cielito de Jesus’ Rabbath Institute Los Angeles Bass Workshop celebrates the music and teachings of Francois Rabbath, one of the most influential double bassists of the past century.

With Cielito de Jesus · Long Beach, CA

The Rabbath Institute Los Angeles is an extremely cool five-day event in Long Beach, California, put together by Cielito de Jesus. It’s all about the teachings of François Rabbath and includes masterclasses, performances, and workshops to help bassists of all levels up their game. Each summer, famous bassists from around the world join the faculty to share their tips and stories.

Cielito de Jesus, RILA founder and organizer

Cielito founded RILA in 2017 and has hosted the event every summer since.

Born in the Philippines, Cielito emigrated to the United States where she began her formative musical training with Nico Abondolo at the Colburn School of Music. She drew inspiration from teachers Dennis Trembly and David Young before spending time in Paris to study with François Rabbath and Thierry Barbé.

In 2001, she earned her Bachelor’s of Music degree under the tutelage of Patrick Neher at the University of Arizona. In 2005, Cielito returned to France and received a teaching diploma from François Rabbath’s l’Institut Internationale de Contrebasse de Paris.

François Rabbath and the inspiration for RILA

Cielito with her longtime teacher and mentor François Rabbath.

François Rabbath, a virtuoso double bassist and composer, has profoundly influenced the music world. Born in Syria in 1931, he moved to Paris in his twenties and became a key figure in the jazz scene. His unique approach revolutionized the double bass, making him a leading figure globally.

Rabbath’s book Nouvelle Technique, published in 1971, introduced a new method for the double bass, emphasizing technical foundation and musical expression. His teachings have inspired many bassists worldwide, who often travel to Paris to learn from him.

As a composer, Rabbath blends classical, jazz, and Middle Eastern styles, creating complex and rich music. Despite his accomplishments, he remains humble, continuing to teach and perform globally. His legacy of innovation and passion will influence music for generations.

Working with Francois during the workshop over Zoom.

2024 Faculty

In addition to Cielito and Jason, several other influential teachers and performers joined the faculty for the 2024 Bass Workshop.

Thierry Barbé

Thierry Barbé is ex-principal bass in the Paris National Opera Orchestra and double bass professor at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris. Born in Metz, eastern France, Barbé studied piano and double bass while simultaneously pursuing a degree in science, before devoting himself exclusively to music at the CNSMDP, where he earned degrees in Harmony, counterpoint, 1st prize music analysis, music history, and a first prize in double bass with JM Rollez.

Barbé likes to perform recitals with piano, plays all types of expressive music, with the “French touch” sound and sense of phrasing. He has played and featured in master classes in about 25 countries. He has taught double bass since 1982, notably at the Saint Maur conservatoire, near Paris, where he keeps advanced students from all over the world.

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He frequently performs his own compositions (his first CD, “Nomade”, was released in 1998, DVD “French Impressions” 2016). Barbé has experimented with numerous technical approaches to the double bass (all techniques Nanny, Rabbath, Romanian, left hand positions, and all kinds of bow grips French and German, bass regulations for all kinds of hands…). He likes to reconcile all of them in his pedagogy. Since 2001, Barbé is the French Bass Society president (ABCDF). He was a member of the International Society of Bassists board, and organized with Riccardo Del Fra a successful international bass convention in Paris in 2008. He was a board member of Bass Europe society in 2017. He is artistic director of the summer camp “Biarritz International Bass Academy”.

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John Clayton, Jr.

John Clayton is a natural born multitasker. The multiple roles in which he excels — composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, and yes, extraordinary bassist — garner him a number of challenging assignments and commissions. With a Grammy on his shelf and eight additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznavour vie for a spot on his crowded calendar.

He began his bass career in elementary school playing in strings class, junior orchestra, high school jazz band, orchestra, and soul/R&B groups. In 1969, at the age of 16, he enrolled in bassist Ray Brown’s jazz class at UCLA, beginning a close relationship that lasted more than three decades. After graduating from Indiana University’s School of Music with a degree in bass performance in 1975, he toured with the Monty Alexander Trio (1975-77), the Count Basie Orchestra (1977-79), and settled in as principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam, Netherlands (1980-85). He was also a bass instructor at The Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Holland from 1980-83.

In 1985 he returned to California, co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in 1986, rekindled the The Clayton Brothers quintet, and taught part-time bass at Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he taught until 2009. Now, in addition to individual clinics, workshops, and private students as schedule permits, John also directs the educational components associated with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Centrum Festival, and Vail Jazz Party.

Career highlights include arranging the ‘Star Spangled Banner” for Whitney Houston’s performance at Super Bowl 1990 (the recording went platinum), playing bass on PaulMcCartney’s CD “Kisses On The Bottom,” arranging and playing bass with Yo-Yo Ma and Friends on “Songs of Joy and Peace,” and arranging playing and conducting the 2009 CD “Charles Aznavour With the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra,” and numerous recordings with Diana Krall, the Clayton Brothers, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander and many others.

Uli Schneider

Uli Schneider teaches double bass pedagogy and double bass at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln/ Wuppertal and at the public music schools of Cologne, Solingen and Langenfeld. His students, ranging from age 4 to professional musicians, have won numerous prizes at national and international competitions.

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He is also the co-founder and president of the Northrhine-Westphalia Bass teachers’ Association.

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As an orchestra musician, he plays regularly with the WDR Rundfunkorchester, Duisburger Philharmoniker, the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal. He also performs as a soloist and chamber musician, and is often invited to teach at the Bavarian Bassdays, Biarritz International Bass Academy, Malta Bass Festival, Lucca Bass Festival and Artave International Masterclasses.

Ted Botsford

Ted joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in August of 2017. Prior to his appointment in LA, he spent time in the beautifully rainy Pacific Northwest, playing two seasons with the Seattle Symphony and five as Assistant Principal Bass and Acting Principal Bass of the Oregon Symphony. He always reserves time during the summer to dive into contemporary works, performing as Principal Bass of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz.

Between degrees at Rice University (B.M. and M.M. with Paul Ellison), Ted made the pilgrimage to study with François Rabbath in Paris. When he wasn’t partaking in the abundance of cultural activities there, he spent his time practicing Bach cello suites and working through Rabbath’s sizable catalog of solo music. At the end of the year, Ted walked away with the Diplôme and Teaching Certificate in Rabbath’s method and a wealth of inspiration.

Barry Green

Barry Green, a native Californian, served as Principal Bassist of the Cincinnati Symphony for 28 years. As former Executive Director of the International Society of Bassists, and Formerly professor of bass at The Ohio State University, the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Cincinnati CCM. Green has also written 3 bass method books and many solo recordings. As a bass soloist, Green has created three multimedia productions called Anna’s Way, Anna’s Gift, and Anna’s Promise composed by Andres Martin and based on inspirational stories for solo bass with combos, bands or orchestra. Green’s latest multimedia concert program is a documentary style concert of Russian music called: Music from Ukraine and a new multi-media narrated program based on the Four Elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

Green is author of three books dealing with the philosophy of music, the mind, body and spirit: The Inner Game of Music (Doubleday, 1986), The Mastery of Music, Ten Pathways to True Artistry (Broadway/Doubleday 2003) and Bringing Music to Life! (GIA, 2009). Barry’s most recent projects include an eight part video series with co-host Jason Heath called Buckeye Bass Bashes, and a popular video string method called Stringersize, and the formation of the Bass Club Cincinnati that includes programs with local and Internationally known guest artists for the Cincinnati community,

Schedule for the week

This event packs in an afternoon’s worth of double bass explorations each day.

This is the schedule for the first four days of the Institute:

  • 12:30: Doors open for check-in
  • 1:00-1:45: Warm-up and technique class
  • 2:00-3:00: Small group sessions, mini-private lessons, and masterclasses
  • 3:00-3:45: Technique class and bass topic discussion
  • 4:00-4:45: Bass orchestra rehearsal
  • 5:00-5:30: Faculty recital

During the warm-up and technique class, attendees did exercises and drills to improve their playing and technical skills.

In the small group sessions, mini-private lessons, and masterclasses, attendees worked closely with faculty members to get personalized instruction and feedback on their playing.

During the technique class and bass topic discussion, attendees talked about specific techniques or aspects of playing the bass.

The bass orchestra rehearsal allowed attendees to practice playing together as a group, while the faculty recitals showcased performances by the event’s faculty members.

Bass Orchestra Concert

The Bass Workshop wrapped up on Friday with a bass orchestra recital, which was open to the public.

Faculty members kicked off the recital with some bass ensemble pieces, and the Institute concluded with several pieces from the Bass Orchestra ranging in style and mood.

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The faculty had some excellent explorations of Long Beach each day after the workshop.

Learn more about the Rabbath Institute Los Angeles on their website, and check out their YouTube Channel and Facebook page for videos of performances, additional photos, and more!

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Rabbath Institute Los Angeles 2024

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