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The Latin Bass Issue – Daniel Maza

Daniel Maza, The Boss of Bass Candombe…

BMM Please share with us a little of your personal background… 

DM My name is Daniel Maza, and I am a bass player. I was born in South America in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay Eastern Republic. I currently live in Buenos Aires Argentina. My house was always very musical, my mother sang while cooking and my father recited poems and all the family would gather to celebrate and sing.  

I am self-taught, and first studied the guitar at age 10 and played Candombe percussion on the streets. It was inevitable that I become a musician; music is everything to me.  

BMM What was your first bass, and how did you come by it?

DM My first bass was a Jazz bass made in Uruguay that my mother gave me and took 36 months to pay off.

BMM Tell us about that very first day you had a bass in your hands.

DM I’ll never forget the first day with my bass; until that day my world was the guitar and from that first day, I fell in love with my bass. 

BMM  As a bassist born in Latin America, do you find this to be an advantage or disadvantage?

DM It is an advantage to be born in Latin America, in the melodic and harmonic WEALTH that is in all South American countries. In Uruguay you play a rhythm called Candombe everywhere; this rhythm of African slaves was born in Uruguay. Candombe is played with three reels; each has a different name and size, from smallest to biggest (CHICO, REPIQUE and PIANO).

BMM What are your main musical and bass influences? 

DM My influences are all Latin American rhythms. The bassists who have influenced me most include Jaco Pastorius, Abraham LaBoriel from Mexico, Salt Cuevas, Luizão Maia, Nico Assumpção from Brazil and Anthony Jackson.

BMM How do you define the music style you play?

DM World Music, Latin Jazz and Fusion.

BMM How important is reading and studying music theory?

DM It is very important; theoretical study of music and reading is the way we have to communicate with the musicians. In my case it is very important to master the written language, as I play with musicians from different countries. 

BMM What do you consider the differences that technology and the Internet have made for you as a musician, compared to the previous generations that didn’t have these tools?

DM The access we have to information today is wonderful, as we can also spread our music through YouTube, Facebook, etc. You can also be in your home taking classes online with another musician who is in another country.

BMM Tell us about your gear.

DM  My collection includes: Warrior Signature 5-String Bass with a Quilted bubinga top. Body wings, aged, air-dried swamp ash. Neck, 7-piece flame mahogany / purpleheart, with a 34” scale. Bone nut. Headstock, quilted bubinga. Fretboard, ebony inlay with mother-of-pearl stars. Pickups, 2 Bartolini Jazz. Finish, anointed oil. Electronics, 18-Volt Active preamp, with custom Mid-kit. Hardware, black and gold with wood trim package. 

EDEN WTX500, the true original lightweight bass amplifier. Not only is this little amp easy to transport, but has a maximum power output of 500W. Ampeg SVT HE410, Hartke 410TP – 4×10 Transporter Cabinet, with calibrated precision-tuned cabinet design, Four Hartke 10“ Aluminum-Cone Bass TP Drivers.

Pedals, Digitech Whammy and Boss FV-50. 

I am an endorsee of Martin Blust Strings, martinblust.de

BMM  Who are your favorite Latin American bassists?

DM Oscar Stagnaro from Peru, Arthur Maia from Brasil, Gustavo Giles from Argentina.

BMM  Please leave some motivational and encouraging words for the next generation of Latin American bassists.

DM I really feel comfortable playing any genre and I am a lover of music, its’ mysteries, the unknown that is in it. I encourage you to always search for more and really study music. Latin America has amazing music and bass is the best instrument of all. Big hug to all, as we say in Uruguay Vamo Arriba!

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