Born: January 6, 1985 Primary Instrument: Bass
Tim Wolfe, Jr. began playing the double bass to avoid getting caught in a lie, and luckily for him, it turned into a long and wonderful love affair.
Wolfe recounts the story: “When I was in the 10th grade, my high school’s concert band and string orchestra announced that they were going to attend Busch Garden’s Music In The Parks. Most of my friends were going and I wanted to go. I had been playing electric bass (which I started in the 8th grade after a failed stint with the saxophone) in the jazz band and the pit orchestra for musicals. When the band director told me that he couldn’t have an electric bass in the concert band, I looked at a beat up double bass sitting in the corner, and having never touched the instrument before in my life, pointed at it and blurted out, ‘I can play that.’”
That lie, along with countless hours of practicing, has led Wolfe and his bass to great places, among them the opportunity to perform at The Novosibirsk Jazz Festival in Siberia. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Double Bass performance from Lebanon Valley College, where he was principal bassist of the Symphony Orchestra (a testament to hard work, he earned this spot after getting kicked out of the orchestra his freshman year!) and as a member of the touring jazz band. Immediately following graduation, Wolfe enrolled in the graduate program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he earned a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies.
Wolfe realized early on during his college days that, while studying the academic side of music is essential, practical application through performance is critical. While earning his degrees, he earned another, equally important education attending jam sessions and working regularly as a freelance musician, gaining knowledge and experience from a wealth of veteran players. Adds Wolfe, “there’s nothing quite like a threat from a seasoned jazz veteran to get you motivated to practice!”
Wolfe’s success has led him to play over 100 dates a year throughout the mid-Atlantic, including performances at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Chris’ Jazz Cafe (Philadelphia), Mt. St. Mary’s University, The Hershey Theatre, National Underground (New York), and The Note (West Chester). He also maintains an active teaching schedule, and regularly conducts clinics in the public school system on topics including jazz rhythms, improvisation, and the blues. He is currently in the process of developing a curriculum for bringing composition and improvisation to elementary school students, using non-traditional notation.
The Dirt Party, Vol. 1
The Dirt Party
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
M.M. Jazz Studies, The University of the Arts; B.A. Music, Lebanon Valley College