KCBASS bio: Chris has been sponsoring young bass players tuition fees because he loves the mission of KCBassworkshop.This has allowed many students to attend past workshops and of course helps the workshop continue on its mission. His generosity without hesitation is just another amazing aspect of the bass family. We are excited to have him play and talk about his amazing bass playing and how he got into making his wonderful basses. Please don’t hesitate to thank Chris for all the things he does for the bass family.
Born in Davenport, Iowa, Chris’ father had a beautiful singing voice and gatherings with his family usually included people singing while Aunt Dorothy played piano. Chris’ mother has a terrible singing voice, but will always perform her special rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ for everyone’s birthday – a tradition she is passing on from her mother. Chris is the youngest of five (and his mom’s favorite) and his incredible son has finished his first year of college with grades that earned him spots on the dean’s list and the president’s list.
Chris started playing the double bass at age nine. Mr. Brusen was the orchestra teacher and when Mr. Brusen brought out the double bass, Chris knew that was the instrument for him.
Chris performed with the Quad City Youth Symphony in high school and the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Symphony, and the Quad City Orchestra in college and he won awards in state music competitions.
He earned a full scholarship to the University of Iowa where he studied under Eldon Obrecht and earned a Bachelor of Music in String Bass Performance. He enjoys playing electric bass as well – and has performed with Dave Moore, Michele Solberg and many bands during his career, ranging from jazz to blues to folk in communities as far ranging as Nagoya, Japan and Austin, Texas.
Chris moved to Albuquerque, NM to learn how to repair basses. While working at Robertson & Sons, Chris learned how to perform neck grafts and repair cracks, and he developed many original techniques, including a new design for low B & C extension gates/levers.
Chris has been building basses of his own design since 2003, with 5 models to choose from. Several musicians have won professional jobs, including two Principal Bass positions performing their auditions on his basses. He has basses in several major symphonies, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Met, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Miami New World Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Denver Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Salt Lake Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and London Symphonia. One of his basses toured with Barbra Streisand. Two basses performed on stage in Shea Stadium for Billy Joel’s final concert and two of his basses are on the soundtrack of the Cohen Brothers’ remake of True Grit.
Chris’ latest creations include a cello, a custom tailpiece, and he will soon be selling bass guitars.