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Bozeman Bass Bash - October 3-7, 2006

The Bozeman Bass Bash
For the 15th consecutive year, Bozeman, Montana will host the world's longest-running, bass-related event from October 3 - 7. The Bozeman Bass Bash is an annual, non-profit educational workshop where bassists of all playing levels and musical backgrounds can gather to take part in clinics led by bass greats, gain insightful tips to utilizing equipment through tech-based seminars, and witness live performances with world-class bassists. In addition to these presentations, attendees can discuss the latest innovations in bass gear with product representatives from major music corporations, and registered participants also have the opportunity to take home thousands of dollars worth of giveaway prizes.

In the following interview, the Bozeman Bass Bash event organizer, Geno Kreis, talks about this year's show.

How did the Bozeman Bass Bash begin?

The Bozeman Bass Bash (B.B.B.) started many years ago when a local bass player named Galen McAllister decided to bring Anthony Cox to teach some of the local upright players in a masterclass-type format. Rob Kohler and Kelly Roberty were also present and taught. This is initially how the bass bash began, and then it just naturally evolved into an annual event. After a few years, Galen passed the torch to me, and I've been organizing it ever since. We've been lucky to have many great players here such as Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Berlin, Victor Bailey, Carol Kaye, Adam Nitti, Michael Manring, and Bill Dickens to just name a few.

Where does the B.B.B. take place?

We hold all the events at Music Villa on 539 E. Main in Bozeman except for the live radio show that we broadcast from the local KGLT radio studio. Over the years, we have taken over larger theaters, schools, coffee houses, and other venues, but now we are lucky to have a great stage inside a killer music store so we can keep everything right in one place.

Who will be the featured clinicians for this year's event?

Billy Sheehan is returning this year, and he should be familiar to everyone. He's been a member of Mr. Big, David Lee Roth's band, Talas, Niacin with Dennis Chambers, and Steve Vai's band.

Bob Babbitt will be here this year as well. Bob was the master behind over 200 top 40 hits and was featured in the movie "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

Rob Kohler is returning to teach after being absent for four years. Rob is currently the education director at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Rob was one of our original teachers and has a long history with the bash.

Manny Yanes has played with the Neville Brothers, Patti LaBelle, and Arturo Sandoval. His knowledge of Afro-Cuban bass will be really fun to have at the bash this year.

What is the cost to attend the B.B.B., and where can those who are interested purchase tickets?

Our charge this year is $60, and that fee includes a B.B.B. t-shirt. Those interested in attending can contact Music Villa at 406-587-4761 or e-mail us at There are only 60 seats available so don't wait too long! Many times clinicians have merchandise available so it's a good idea to bring some extra money, too.

Can you outline the schedule of events?

The most up-to-date schedule is always available on the Bozeman Bass Bash web site, but basically we have a 30-minute radio show on Tuesday night that features performances by staff members, group lessons on Thursday evening, an early evening of clinics and concerts on Friday, and a full day of clinics during the main event on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 3 - KGLT Studio
6:30 PM - Livewire KGLT Radio Show

Thursday, October 5 - Music Villa
6:00 PM - Group Bass Lessons

Friday, October 6 - Music Villa
12:00 PM � Kyle Kovalik from Sennheiser USA Technical Lab
6:00 PM � Locals Concert

Saturday, October 7 - Music Villa
10:00 AM - Rob Kohler
12:00 PM - Manny Yanes
2:00 PM - Bob Babbitt
4:00 PM - Billy Sheehan
5:00 PM - All-Star Jam

Should bassists bring their own instruments in order to participate in the clinics?

It's never a bad idea to carry your bass around. Every artist is different in how they format they clinic, and we've had everything from 40 people plugged into a mixing board to no one with a bass out. We never know until the clinics start. I would recommend bringing your bass and a note book.

Who is sponsoring this year's bash?

This bass bash is sponsored by DiMarzio, Music Villa, Ibanez, D'Addario, Lakland, SWR, Ampeg, Peavey, and Insty Prints of Bozeman.

Which items do registered participants have an opportunity of winning?

We're giving away an Ibanez bass amp, an SWR LA-10 amp, a Peavey Millenium bass, and a lot of t-shirts, hats, and strings from the rest of our sponsors.

Are there any exhibits planned to be on display?

Generally, Ibanez sends about 25 basses of varying models. I'm still talking with our supporters this year to see who will be on hand for the actual event and what they will be bringing. Music Villa is a fantastic bass shop with over 70 basses on the wall at most times. Even with nothing added, it's a fun place to see many great instruments.

Will the performances that are aired on the local radio station also be broadcast over the internet?

I'm not currently aware if there will be a live internet broadcast or not. That would probably be up to KGLT, but I will get with my web guy and see if that's something we could do.

How do the free bass lessons work, and what kind of material will the instructors be teaching?

The group lessons have been some of my favorite nights. We usually get a feel for where everyone's playing level and level of interest is at. We break into small groups and start working. We've had people purchase their first bass and break off with another attendee for their very first lesson. We've had advanced stuff on chord substitutions and counterpoint melody, slapping, tapping, false harmonics, and all other aspects of technique. Part of the reason this is so popular is due to the collaboration between staff, guest teachers, and attendees spontaneously deciding where the center of interest is focused. It's much like improvising through a tune for the first time.

Contact Information

The Bozeman Bass Bash
Web Site:

© 2006 The IIB