Wow… chops, tone, feel… you’ve got it all!

George Koller, Toronto/International Bassist

They say “anyone can play bass… but only a few can play music on the bass.” I’d like to think that’s my approach. You may hear straight-up time, or deep groove… or melodies, chords and harmonics. It’s all music to me.

In the string department, I started high and ended up low. I held the illustrious chair of “special violin” in my youth orchestra at age ten. I was quickly removed to the cello, before settling on the bass at age 17. I played upright bass as a student at York University — and still have the blisters to prove it. I now play electric basses, including the six-string and the ever-feared fretless — and yes, I play it in tune. Early years spent “in the trenches” as a cruise-ship pit orchestra player gave me a strong foundation in multiple music styles, sightreading, on-the-spot flexibility, and a lifelong aversion to white pants and deck shoes.

As a bassist, I’ve played jazz with the FreePlay Duo, world fusion with autorickshaw and Kobena Aquaa-Harrison, R+B/Soul with the Soul Foundation and guitar-based roots music with Ray Montford. Performance highlights include the Stockholm International Jazz Festival, Toronto’s own Koerner Hall, an Irish Yoga retreat, and a former Rajah’s Palace in Jaipur, India.

Chapman Stick

After thirty years, I decided it was time to try a new instrument. I’ve aways been fascinated by the Chapman Stick: a two-handed tapping instrument that’s a crazy hybrid of bass, guitar… and a little piano thrown in. No wonder I love it.

I debuted my Stick playing as part of and Autorickshaw tour to India. I’m still slowly working on it… if you need a Tony Levin-type in your project, try me!