San Francisco Winter Bass Bash 2017

Student groups from all over the Bay Area performed at Davies Hall (the home of the San Francisco Symphony) in the morning.

With Richard Duke · San Francisco, CA

It was such a pleasure to be the featured artist for the 2017 San Francisco Winter Bass Bash! I had the chance to check out the 2016 Bash and was inspired by what I saw.

The afternoon consisted of an outstanding recital featuring bassists from the San Francisco Symphony, a new work for bass and cello by Shinji Eshima, and a master class with Joe Lescher of the San Francisco Opera.

What I Love About Events Like These

As a musician, I live for events like these. They leave me feeling energized and full of new ideas. As a newcomer to the Bay Area, I was particularly impressed by the camaraderie between bassists in the San Francisco Symphony and Opera, the private teachers, school directors, students, and parents. It was obvious to me that good things were happening in the world of the bass in San Francisco.

My Getting Involved for 2017

Richard Duke, director for both the Golden Gate Bass Camp and the Bass Bash, asked me if I’d like to be the featured guest for the 2017 Bash. I was thrilled to participate, of course, and I thought that it would be cool to feature my wife on harp. We had played together several times in the past, but it had been years since we played a full-fledged recital together.

What Happens at the SF Winter Bass Bash

This event is a cool collaboration between the San Francisco Symphony’s education program and the Northern California Chamber Music Academy, a new nonprofit organization here in the Bay Area. Bassists in several San Francisco public schools are coached throughout the year by local bass teachers, and the Bass Bash is an opportunity to showcase the work they’ve been doing throughout the year.

In addition to performing, these students get a chance to see a performance and observe/participate in a master class. What a cool set of activities for students, and what a great way to bring the Bay Area bass community together!

The 2017 SF Winter Bass Bash took place on February 26, with a dress rehearsal for the school groups on February 24th. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to hear and coach the groups.

Richard Duke, Dave Horn, and Eric Price coach many of the student groups that perform at the Bass Bash. It has been great spending time with these guys and getting to hear their students.

For my wife and me, the big question was…

…would the bass and harp both fit in our Honda Element?

The answer was yes, but just barely!

For bass and harp, we played the Monti Czardas, Massenet Meditation, the bass and harp variation from Ginastera’s Variations Concertante, and Siete de Julio by Andrés Martín. I also played Ilmarinen by David Heyes (dedicated to me!), Rabbath’s Ode D’Espagne, Tom Johnson’s Failing, and Jon Deak’s BB Wolf.

It was an honor to be the featured performer for this vibrant and longstanding Bay Area double bass event. I can’t wait check out the 2018 Bash!

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