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David Friesen

A cursory glance through the vast discography of double bassist David Friesen reads like a 'Who's Who' of Jazz. With an excess of fifty recordings as either leader or co-leader and countless sessions, David has played with far too many artists to list, but randomly pulling a few names out of the hat would give such players as Ralph Towner, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Paul Horn and Mal Waldron.

Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1942, David began his life of music at the age of ten with Accordion and ukulele, before moving on to guitar professionally at sixteen. It was a while later that David became addicted to the double bass, and I began our conversation by asking him what turned him onto the instrument.

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”Once in a great while, a musician emerges with such authority and such seemingly effortless originality that his place in the front ranks of his instrument is unquestioned. So it is with David.” —Nat Hentoff

”David Friesen is doing for the bass what Pythagoras did for triangles.” —Patrick Hinely/Jazz Magazine

”Bassist David Friesen is a Phenomenon, a player whose musicianship, tone, time and imagination are uncategorizable.” —Nat Hentoff

”One of the most eminent exponents of the instrument, he maintains an astonishing level of virtuosity.” —Leonard Feather/Los Angeles Times

”David Friesen's music is extremely complex while retaining a simple beauty, it's liltingly melodic, full of open space, and refreshingly peaceful.” —Lee Hildebrand/San Francisco Music Express

”Anyone who was lucky enough to see David Friesen live on stage, who could see how he bends in near contemplation over his unique instrument which has been manufactured in Austria, how he strikes the strings with his left(!) hand in order to drum complex rhythms on the body of the instrument with his right hand, now begins to understand: A creative search has come to its destination with great feeling

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Primary Instrument

Bass, acoustic

Willing to teach

Advanced only


David Friesen is now accepting bass students for lessons and students on any instrument for workshops. Goals of the Lessons and Workshops The lessons and workshops offer hope, encouragement, eliminate fears, improve technical skills and establish confidence in the student's musical life style. Each student will gain self respect and confidence in their playing and will be a more musical player with more depth. The intent is to help broaden the student's ability and vision of music by explaining: What to Practice How to organize a practice schedule Practice techniques Composing How to reveal the special qualities and uniqueness of each individual student/musician Overcoming fears while playing music Establishing confidence How to listen and what to listen for Strengthening the time feel How to participate in a small group format, where the music becomes the focus of attention rather than the individual Purpose and Commitment

Clinic/Workshop Information

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