Pino Palladino (17 October 1957 in Cardiff, Wales, UK) is a Welsh bass guitarist of Italian ancestry. Palladino rose to public notice playing primarily rock and roll, blues rock, and rhythm and blues music, although he has been lauded for his ability to play most genres of popular music, including jazz, neo soul, and funk. Adding to his eclectic grasp and melodic approach on his instrument, he has become one of the most sought-after session players on the bass in the music industry. He has played on a large number of recordings by some of the world's most successful entertainers, in part, by mastering a variety of techniques on both his late 1970s fretless Music Man StingRay bass guitar and later in his career, adding fretted Fender Precision and Jaguar basses. His playing has earned him custom instruments bearing his name.
Palladino has joined several bands and ensembles through which he is most visible. He joined jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove in forming The RH Factor, a band that mixes elements of soul, jazz, and R&B. He is a member of the John Mayer Trio, and was the first choice by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey to fill the position left by John Entwistle as the current bassist for The Who.
Palladino began playing the electric guitar at age 14. By age 17 he decided to play the bass guitar, and bought his first fretless bass one year later, playing mostly R&B, funk, and reggae within a rock and roll backbeat. His first professional gig was at a local television station in Cardiff, where he began playing in 1978. That same year, at age 20, he joined Jools Holland's band and recorded with Holland on his album entitled, Jools Holland and His Millionaires. Palladino toured with Jools to support the album, which gave him the opportunity to purchase his own Music Man StingRay Fretless Bass. Holland was touring with another new band; the Q-Tips, whose frontman, Paul Young made acquaintance with Palladino whilst they were on tour, who would, a year later offer Pino a place in his own backing band.