Bassist Gerald Veasley is a member of the faculty at UArts where he teaches bass and directs ensembles; he holds the rank of Master Lecturer. Gerald is well regarded as a composer, producer, artist, and educator. His varied musical career has allowed him to reach out to an ever growing legion of fans. Gerald has been appreciated by fans and fellow musicians alike for his virtuosity yet soulful approach to music making. Meanwhile, critics have also noticed this six string bassist's work. He's been voted “Best Electric Bassist” by Jazziz Magazine and named in both Downbeat Magazine's Critic's and Reader's Polls.
Gerald's love of music started as a 12 year old with a bass his father bought him for Christmas. With private lessons, and endless practice, he developed his skills quickly and was drawn to the idea of being in a band. He found other young musicians in his Philadelphia neighborhood and they began copying the music they heard and loved, Earth Wind and Fire, Santana and War. Eventually, though, Gerald discovered the Miles Davis record, Kind of Blue. He was instantly attracted to sound of jazz. He encountered other great records by jazz artists such as Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderly and Weather Report that would be the soundtrack to his teenage years.
Musical ability and a love of jazz, however, was not enough to convince Gerald that a career in music was a viable choice. With more sober dreams of becoming a lawyer, Gerald enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania. He put music on the back burner until, his father died. Looking for solace, he found it in the bass he had put aside. Realizing the power of music, he decided to dedicate his life to sharing that power with others.
Collaboration has been an important feature of Gerald's musical career. He had a long and fruitful association with Grover Washington, Jr., and Joe Zawinul. He not only toured and recorded with those two masters, but he also contributed songs to their repertoire. Gerald's also worked with such important jazz artists as: Pat Martino, Special EFX , Pieces of a Dream and the Jaco Pasorius Big Band. His appreciation of all-star collaborations led him to create concert events featuring leading contemporary jazz artists such as Kirk Whalum, Najee, Chuck Loeb, Kim Waters, Maysa, and Bobby Lyle. Though he's known as a contemporary jazz musician, the versatile bassist has never been content working in one genre. He's also worked with R&B legend, Gerald Levert, jazz diva, Nnenna Freelon, the soulful Teddy Pendergrass, gospel icons Dixie Hummingbirds, straight ahead piano giant McCoy Tyner and many other diverse artists.
Though bassists are rarely thought of as recording artists, Gerald has seven CDs to his credit including, On The Fast Track, which featured the top ten hit, “Do I Do”. On his recording projects, in addition to his long-time touring band, he's enlisted the talents of Dianne Reeves, Phillip Bailey, Rick Braun and John Legend, among others. The 2008 release, Your Move, represents Gerald's most recent collaboration, with award winning guitarist Chuck Loeb, who produced four tracks.
Gerald's live CD, At The Jazz Base, was recorded at Gerald's jazz club, Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base, in Reading, PA. In addition to being a creative base for his various projects, the Jazz Base has presented: Acoustic Alchemy, The Yellowjackets, Vital Information, Freddie Cole and more.
Having a desire to share his love of music with others has kept Gerald very active in music education. He is also Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Bass BootCamp, an annual seminar that has taught bass players of all levels from around the world.
When he isn't making music or teaching music, Gerald's reaching out to music lovers in other ways. He's written articles for Jazz Times and Bass Player magazines. He also reaches jazz fans over the airwaves by hosting a popular radio show on Philadelphia's WJJZ . Finally, he also serves the music community as a Trustee and Chapter President with the Recording Academy. Clearly, the power of music continues to touch Gerald Veasley and he's still discovering ways to touch others.
Class Schedule, Fall 2013
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