As told to BMM Creative Director, Raul Amador
Bass Immersion Day was conceived by Mike Visceglia and recently has been incorporated into a larger bass education entity called “Bass Remedies” with fellow low-enders Patrick Pfeiffer and Ronal Sanchez – visit www.bassremedies.com. Mike has been the bass player and musical director for singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega for nearly 25 years and his other recording and touring credits include Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Phoebe Snow and Bette Midler.
Bass Immersion Day is presented as an alternative to the numerous bass education camps around the country. In contrast to those environments, “B.I.D.” is a 1-day schedule of specifically designed bass clinics followed by performances by the clinicians. The clinicians are chosen not only for their prestigious careers but also for the diversity of their styles and concepts that they bring to a 1-day bass-heavy event. The classes run 90 minutes long with 30 minute breaks in between. They are for bassists of all levels and are run with a comfortable degree of informality where attendees can meet and greet the pros feel part of the bass community. Mike serves as the host and facilitator.
The first B.I.D. this past April featured clinics by Patrick Pfeiffer, Leo Traversa, Will Lee and Tim LeFebvre. It was held at Euphoria Studios on W27th Street. Patrick, educator and author of “Bass Guitar For Dummies,” conducted a class on “Groove and Fretless Bass.” To demonstrate his concepts he was accompanied by drummer Mike D’agostino and guitarist Sean Harkness. Will Lee did a “Beatles” clinic and showed the remarkable inventiveness of Paul McCartney’s playing and sound accompanied by recordings, his Hofner and Rickenbacker basses and fascinating anecdotes about the recording history of the Fab Four. Tim Lefebvre followed with a demonstration of his concepts of bass processing and vintage pedal technique. Lastly, Leo Traversa, a specialist in world beat music, held a clinic on African and South American grooves.
At 8PM, the performances commenced at the Bitter End club on Bleecker Street in Manhattan. Patrick played with his band PHX, Tim Played with guitar icon Wayne Krantz and Zak Danziger, Mike played with his group- The Jill Stevenson Band and Leo performed with the NY/African All Stars. The event was covered by Bass Player Magazine and filmed by documentarian Melissa Kinsky.
Here is what the Clinicians had to say:
“I can’t imagine how the students took it all in that day, but it was so great to have the super-hip, inquisitive ears that made their way into the packed rooms on the day BID was launched. With the help of Mr. Visceglia and Mr. Pfeiffer, the rooms had all the requested specs for playing as well as the teaching aids that made the time go efficiently and smoothly. It was as if they had been doing this for years- a well-oiled machine from day one!!!!” Will Lee
“That was my first solo clinic ever. Have to say Mike V and Patrick did a great job recruiting clinicians and attendees. It was well done all-around. I feel like everyone got something positive from the day.” Tim LeFebvre
“It really was Bass Immersion Day! Once again, Mike Visceglia gathered the bass community of NYC to explore, discuss and enjoy all the aspects of the bass. What could be better? It was an incredible amount of information, all in one day for the attendees. Everything was well paced, organized and interesting and the band performances that night were a blast…” Leo Traversa
Bass Immersion Day 2 will be held on Sunday, October 11 at 10:30AM. This time the event will be sponsored by Aguilar Amplification and will be held at their NY headquarters – 599 Broadway (at Houston St. 7th floor.) The featured artists for B.I.D.2 are Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), Chris Tarry (Juno Award winning bassist and clinician), Patrick Pfeiffer and Lincoln Goines (Mike Stern, Carly Simon.) I will once again serve as the host and MC. Bakithi will conduct an “African Bass Clinic,” Chris Tarry’s clinic is titled “Electric Bass in the Jazz Setting,” Lincoln’s class is “Working With the Language of Rhythm,” and Patrick’s will be on “Soloing.”
Once again the clinics will go until 6PM and the performances will begin at 8PM at the Bitter End where Bakithi, Patrick, Chris and Mike will play with their respective bands. There will also be gift bags from DR Strings, Aguilar and D’addario Strings. The cost for the day’s proceedings – ALL INCLUSIVE- is $200.00. The price of the performances alone will be $15.00 at the door. This is a one price for ALL 4 shows. If any of you are interested in reserving a place for the day, please contact Mike Visceglia at MVBassman@gmail.com