Connect with us

Features

The Latin Bass Issue – Pepe Hernandez

Published

on

Pepe Hernandez, Bass Player, Composer, Arranger, Producer and Groove Man…

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

PH My grandfather was a drummer and bass player, my father is a gifted drummer & arranger, two of my brothers are great piano players. I grew up in Acapulco Mexico, listening to all kinds of music from Count Basie to James Brown, Mexican Huapangos to Blood, Sweat & Tears and Tower of Power. Being around music all day it was an obvious choice to be a musician. 

I studied at the Puebla Conservatory of Music, The National Conservatory of Music, Escuela Libre de Musica and then moved to New York and studied at Drummers Collective with Rick Laird and private lessons with Lev Sagevinzky. I had the chance to meet and hang around Jaco for quite some time. 

In 1984, I started a career as a session musician. So far I’ve collaborated on over 520 records. I’ve produced 4 CD’s as a soloist and I have toured all over the place from the USA to all of Latin America, Europe, Japan and China. 

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

PH My father got me my first bass, it was a Yamaha, and was quite awful. Then I got my first Precision bass and after that I started caring about my sound. 

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

PH No doubt it was an exciting moment and I developed a love for the instrument from that first day. 

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

PH It’s absolutely an advantage. We are a step ahead because we are the result of a mixture of cultures, from Africa, Europe and of course, Indian, that makes our music very rich, melodically and rhythmically.

BMM What are your main musical and bass influences?

PH Jaco, Rocco, Stanley, Neils Petersen, Ron Carter, Ray Brown and of course Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea, besides my Latin roots.

BMM How do you define the music style you play?

PH As a side man, I have played just about every style, from Armenian to Brasilian to Funk, Soul, Pop and Jazz, so my music is “Mestiza.” Spaniards would say Mestizo, to the one born from an Indian woman and a White guy.

BMM How important is reading and studying music theory?

PH It’s absolutely necessary, it makes a big difference in your music.

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?

PH It has been a blessing. Before I would wait 3-4 months to get a book, now the information is right there; no doubt the best tool.  

BMM Tell us about your gear.

PH I’m obsessive with the sound, so I have plenty of basses and amps. I’m crazy about my new Paul Lairat fretless. Although I’m a Yamaha endorsee on session I also play my custom RKM Basses, GreyMan Basses, Fodera, Skjold Design, NS Design, all five-string tuned from high C to E; I’ve used this tuning for the last 25 years. I endorse TC Electronic and Phil Jones. 

BMM Who are your favorite Latin American bassists?

PH The greatest Latin bass player is Abe Laboriel, but I love Lalo Carillo’s playing, Agustín Bernal is a master contrabassist, Sal Cuevas is fantastic, Igor Saavedra and Christian Gálvez from Chile are great, Vadala from Argentina is cool. Nico Assumpção from Brasil and of course Carles Benavente from Spain and Alain Pérez from Cuba. They all have their own voice. 

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

PH I would say, never stop believing in what you do… if it grooves, it moves. Learn to listen and keep your low notes. 

Visit online at pepehernandezmusic.com

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Published

on

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Published

on

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Published

on

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Published

on

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Published

on

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

Continue Reading

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Facebook

Trending