Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Goldsby, John (Mark)

Goldsby, John (Mark), bass, composer, educator; b. Louisville, KY, 10 December 1958. His parents are Hugh Goldsby and Eloise (Landers) Goldsby. He has two sisters, Carol (Goldsby) Ward and Gail (Goldsby) Reid. He is married to Robin Meloy (Rawsthorne) Goldsby, piano, composer (b. Nov 26, 1957). They have two children, Curtis Meloy Goldsby (b. Dec 1, 1992) and Julia Meloy Goldsby (b. June 10, 1996). He studied with Daniel Spurlock (principle bassist, Louisville Orch, 1975 - 1977), Rufus Reid (clinics), Wayne Darling (clinics), Ron McClure (clinics), Todd Coolman (clinics), in New York, Michael Moore (1982-84) and Dave Holland (1984-85). Red Mitchell was a friend and mentor in the mid-late 80's.

The son of a Baptist minister, John was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He played piano, guitar, and electric bass before taking up the double bass at age 18. His early musical experiences include work with hometown jazz greats Jimmy Raney, Helen Humes, and Jamey Aebersold. In 1979, John got the gig with the house trio at a jazz club in Louisville that brought in famous jazz soloists to play with the trio. For almost one year, John played with some of the legends of jazz including: Jay McShann, Buddy Tate, Johnny Hartman, Barney Kessel, Tom Harrell, Dave Liebman, Buddy DeFranco, and others. When this gig ended, John knew he had to move to New York. In 1980, he put the bass in the car and made his move.

After moving to New York, John found himself in good company with all of the other young players on the scene. His first experiences with the established New York elite included gigs with Albert Dailey, Sal Nestico, John Hicks, Benny Bailey and Bob Wilber.

Since 1994, John Goldsby has been a member of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Big Band (the Cologne Radio Big Band). From 1980 to 1994, John lived in New York City and was an active fixture on the New York jazz scene, performing everywhere from Carnegie Hall, to the nightclubs of Greenwich Village, to concert stages around the world. John is actively involved in the jazz scene as a bassist, bandleader, composer, teacher, clinician and author.

John Goldsby is well-known as a jazz educator and currently teaches at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. In the past, he has taught at the Cologne, Germany Musik Hochschule, William Paterson College, Long Island University, and Columbia University. Mr. Goldsby also teaches at Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Clinics and he has recorded many educational jazz records for Mr. Aebersold.

The Jazz Bass Book is Mr. Goldsby's most recent book, documenting jazz bass players and their techniques from a historical perspective. This first-of-its-kind work is filled with transcriptions, historical and technical information, discographys, and Goldsby's insightful and inspiring writing. A play-along CD is included for the reader/student to use with written etudes, patterns, scales, and improvised solos and bass lines. Also on the CD are several performances tracks for listening or play-along. The CD features Goldsby on bass along with the masterful assistance of Bill Dobbins (piano) and Hans Dekker drums).

Goldsby has written two other instructional method books, Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist and Bass Notes. Bass Player magazine says, "Bass Notes is an excellent resource for intermediate to advanced jazz bassist." The National Association of Jazz Educators says, "Bowing Techniques should be a required publication for upright bassists!" Since 1990, John Goldsby has been a featured writer for Bass Player Magazine with his columns "The Tradition," "Mastering Jazz," and "Jazz Concepts." Mr. Goldsby received jazz performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988, 1990, and 1993. The "John Goldsby Plays Oscar Pettiford" concert, which was funded by the 1990 grant, received much critical acclaim from the New York Times, Jazz Times, and the Village Voice.

John Goldsby is currently working with the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) Big Band on projects with artists such as Clark Terry, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Phil Woods, Mike Manieri, Jon Faddis, Alex Acuna, Paquito D'Rivera, Jack Walrath, Bernard Purdie, Gil Goldstein, Ray Brown, Christian McBride, John Clayton, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, John Riley, Dennis Makrell and arrangers such as Bill Holman, Vince Mendoza, Bob Brookmeyer, and Bill Dobbins. The WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) is the television and radio station in the Nordrhein-Westphalia area of Germany. It is run as a "public" radio station, but with a much broader scope than the PBS in the United States. In addition to the Big Band, the WDR also employs two full-time symphony orchestras and a choir. John lives in Germany (near Cologne) with his wife Robin and their two children.

Tale of the Fingers (1993); Viewpoint (2002)
As sideperson:
American Jazz Orchestra: Ellington Classics (with John Lewis), Music of Jimmie Lunceford; Patti Austin For Ella; Eden Atwood: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Charlie Byrd: It's a Wonderful World (with Scott Hamilton); Martin Classen: Cereal; Soundtrack: The Cotton Club; Janice Friedman: Finger Paintings; Andy Fusco: Big Man Blues (with Renee Rosnes, Billy Drummond); The Great Guitars: The Return of the Great Guitars (with Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Larry Coryell); Roger Kellaway: In Japan; The Bill Mays Trio: An Ellington Affair; The Manhattan Chamber Jazz Ensemble: The Nutcracker Suite; John Marshall: Keep On Keepin' On, Dreamin' On The Hudson; Mark Murphy: Kerouac; Susannah McCorkle: No More Blues; Hubert Nuss: The Shimmering Colours of the Stained Glass; Ken Peplowski: Double Exposure, Sonnyside, Ken Peplowski & Friends; Olivier Peters: What Is New; Rolf Roemer: Tesoro; Hans Peter Salentin: All John; Joachim Schoenecker: In The Moment; Joachim Schoenecker: Common Language; Loren Schoenberg: S'posin, Just A-Settin and A-Rockin, Manhattan Work Song; Randy Sandke: New York Stories (with  Michael Brecker, Kenny Washington), I Hear Music, Get Happy, The Chase (with Michael Brecker, Smitty Smith); Louis Stewart/Heiner Franz: I Wished On The Moon; Frank Vignola: Off Broadway (with Roland Hanna, Frank Wess, Randy Sandke), Appel Direct, Let It Happen; Frank Vignola & Unit Four: Look Right, Jog Left; WDR Big Band: Prism, Get Hit In Your Soul, Pussy Cat Dues (with Kevin Mahoghany, Jimmy Knepper, Charles McPherson), Gillespiana (with Lalo Schifrin, Jon Faddis, Paquito D'Rivera, John Riley), Jazz Mass (with Lalo Schifrin, Tom Scott, Joe LaBarbera), Bernard Purdie's Soul to Jazz; Bob Wilbur's Bechet Legacy: Live at the Vineyard Theater

Radio and TV broadcasts:
TV: 1986 Tonight Show w/ Claude Bolling / Hubert Laws
From 1994 - present, as bassist of the WDR Big Band, numerous TV and radio appearances for the WDR radio/TV station in Cologne Germany with a huge array of jazz artists.

Cotton Club movie soundtrack / Bob Wilber

3 times National Endowment for the Arts

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