Todd Coolman

Upon graduating from the Indiana University School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Doublebass Performance in 1975, I had $30, a bass, a ’66 Volvo and a job offer from the Orquestra Symphonica Nationale de Mexico in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Naturally, I took the job. Overall, it was a great experience.

After a year I had saved a small nest egg and moved to Chicago (near where I was raised) and began a fledgling career as a free-lance bassist. Ironically, my first job offer was to play electric bass three nights a week with a Brazilian band in a Mexican restaurant! Over the course of the next two years, I gradually became more involved in the Chicago jazz scene and gained a great deal of valuable experience as a member of a “house trio” at a jazz club where a different “big name” would come to town and perform with us. During a nine month period I was in this “jazz university” I performed with some real masters including, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, and the like. I was 22 years of age and extremely lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.

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