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The Latin Bass Issue – Jaime David Vazquez

Jaime David Vazquez, The Four-String Warrior…

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

JDV I was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to Jaime Vazquez Delvis Matos and Elizabeth Troche Andujar, and have a younger sister, Elizabeth Alexandra Vazquez Troche. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in instrumental music education from the Inter American University, San German campus, Puerto Rico; my main instrument is the double-bass. My hobbies are photography, technology, reading, watching series and movies, going to concerts, spending time at the beach, playing with my pets, and finally, sharing time with my loved ones.

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

JDV My first bass was a Steinberger Spirit. I saw one and was very interested in it and had the chance to try one. It was different, yet comfortable, with a great sound, so, I bought it from a catalog of musical instruments.

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

JDV Wow, for me it was a very intense and emotional experience. It was like love at first sight and from that moment I knew that I wanted to be a bass player. I was hanging out with some musicians and we met a friend, who is a bass player. He had an old Fender Jazz bass. The bass was in excellent condition. Until this point, I had been a guitarist and keyboard player. I found the bass easy to play and we jammed for hours… Good memories!

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

JDV For me it was a breakthrough. Being a Latin American Bassist has opened the doors to other markets interested in our music, and I have had the chance to introduce our culture and our music to the world. 

BMM What are your main musical and bass influences? 

JDV I would say that every musical style and all bass players influence my playing everyday!  My main musical influences are Jazz Fusion, Classical, Progressive, Funk, Rock,Blues and World music.  My main bass influences are Jaco, Jeff Berlin, Stanley Clarke, Brian Bromberg, Victor Wooten, Carol Kaye, Esperanza Spalding, James Jamerson, Billy Sheehan, Rocco Prestia, Paul Chambers, Domenico Dragonetti, Randy Coven, Stuart Hamm, Alain Caron, Adam Nitti, Michael Manring, John Patitucci, Steve Bailey, Cachao, Jack Bruce, Bunny Brunel, Uriah Duffy, Bathiki Kumalo, Richard Bona and Geddy Lee. I know, there are a lot! 

BMM How do you define the music style you play?

JDV Due to regional circumstances, I have always had the need to play different styles of music in order to have employment opportunities. Therefore, it has expanded my musical appreciation, my performance, and musical philosophy, etc. So, if I’m going to define the music that I play, I would say that it is diverse, full of energy, innovative, passionate, grooving, full bass attack!

BMM How important is reading and studying music theory?

JDV Reading and studying music theory is essential for all musicians.  It is the basis for your development and offers the tools to become a better musician.  It will open the doors for better opportunities in the music business. Knowledge is power!

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? 

JDV It’s simple, globalization is in everything and technology and the Internet have opened the doors to the world. They allowed me to develop my musical career so quickly and in all areas, as I have all the resources at hand.  Compared to the previous generations, they didn’t have the easy access to the world, with all the benefits and resources that now we have.  Definitely, this generation is privileged… social networks, websites, video channels, etc.  Now you can share your music and sell it easily, you can do recordings faster than ever; it is a revolution. I know, everything has pros and cons, but the best thing to do is to educate yourself and take advantage of all these benefits.

BMM Tell us about your gear.

JDV I have the privilege to be endorsed by a countless number of big brands. 

Bass is the MTD Kingston Saratoga, customized with the JMVC 4 FE/M2 Delano pickups. 

Bass strings are the SIT Rock Brights Nickel/Stainless (RB-45105L – MEDIUM LIGHT). 

Hipshot’s GB7 Bass Xtender, Scratch Pad guitar finish protectors, JDV custom design & signature bass straps, iGIG G525 Limited Edition gig bags/cases. 

Gruv Gear’s Fretwraps, Club Bag and the V-Cart Solo. 

Analysis Plus Yellow Oval with OVERMOLD plug instrument cables & the Clear Oval Speaker Cables. 

Eventide Stompboxes, Radial Bassbone preamp/D.I., Ashdown Bass Magnifier – 1000 Watts RMS amp together with my custom design & signature JDV SERIES bass cabs loaded with Eminence speakers (1×15/2×10 with tweeter).

BMM Who are your favorite Latin American bassists?

JDV There are many great Latin American bassists, but some of my favorites are Cachao, Eddie Gómez, Bobby Valentín, Oskar Cartaya, Carlos Del Puerto, as well as many others.

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

JDV To all of my Latin-American brothers… Keep studying your instrument and the music in general. Learn all styles, but never forget to develop and expose our music to the world. You will be surprised how much they like our music and how interested they are in it. We are a culture that has not exploited their music globally and I understand that this is the right time to do it. We must unite and open the doors to other markets to expand our horizons. We have excellent musicians. The time is now! Keep grooving!

Visit online at jaimedavidvazquez.com

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