UK-based Cai Marle-Garcia, aka 'MR. EARS', is the driving new force on the international bass scene. Adept on both fretted bass and his favoured fretless bass, the 23-year- old has experience of performing and recording jazz, funk, pop, soul, r’n’b, hip-hop, rock, latin, fusion and world music. From leading his own jazz/rock fusion group with original compositions to recording a spontaneous but highly successful and effervescent debut solo album in 2008/2009, Cai’s journey is certainly one of self-discovery as well as a quest to breathe new life into the jazz scene.
Cai’s love for jazz only started to blossom when he joined the renowned Weekend Arts College (WAC) aged 16. Under the tutelage of saxophone legend Tim Whitehead (Nucleus, The Homemade Orchestra), the weekly workshops honed Cai’s soloing, arranging and composition skills alongside many other talented young musicians. Here, he followed in the footsteps of other music luminaries associated with WAC, including Ian Carr, Julian Joseph, Mark and Michael Mondesir, Abram Wilson and Courtney Pine. Cai received four major awards from the scheme and was recognised as a promising talent.
In 2005, an enlightening trip to Australia with guitarist Ollie Haydon-Mulligan produced an album for their acid-jazz trio 'Maladaption'. The pair came back to the UK to perform their original material at venues including London’s Jazz Cafe. Cai began working on a group in the role of bandleader and composer and ‘The Mr. Ears Project’ was born. Influenced greatly by his love for the jazz/fusion super-group Weather Report, Cai recorded a demo with his three other band-members in 2006 and by 2007 the group were performing at a variety of notable venues, including the Vortex Jazz Club, Camden Town’s Green Note, The Bulls Head and the 2007 Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival.