In This Section

California musician wins International Bass Competition

October 11, 2005

Jeff Schmidt, who only started taking bass playing seriously two years ago, won the inaugural International Bass Extremes Competition held Friday at Coastal Carolina Universitys Wheelwright Auditorium.

Schmidt, 37, of San Rafael, Calif., creative director for radio stations KFOG and KSAN in the San Francisco area, won prizes and cash totaling more than $10,000.

Schmidt competed with three other finalists who were selected as the best new bass musicians in the world. Zuzo Moussawer of Brazil won second place, Boris Kozlov of Russia won third and Robert Riegler of Austria, who was unable to compete due to a transit strike in Paris, was named fourth runner-up.

Nearly 140 musicians from 19 different countries entered the competition whose mission was to discover new solo bass players who are inventing and exploring new techniques that have contributed to making the bass a solo instrument.

The musicians who adjudicated the premiere event are themselves well-known virtuoso bassists: Steve Bailey, artist-in-residence at Coastal and a highly respected session bass player; Victor Wooten, a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; Will Lee, a musician with the CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman; Anthony Jackson, inventor of the six-string contrabass; and drummer Gregg Bissonette, who has toured with Ringo Starr.