Steve Bailey Named Chair of Berklee's Bass Department

This influential fretless bass pioneer, educator, and author, succeeds Rich Appleman, who held the position for 40 years.

July 10, 2012

Berklee College of Music announces that Steve Bailey has been named chair of the college's Bass Department. Bailey, an influential six-string fretless bass pioneer, educator, and author, begins his tenure this summer. He succeeds Rich Appleman, who retired in May 2012 after holding the position for 40 years. 

A partial list of Bailey's extensive recording and performance credits include Paquito D'Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Lew Tabackin, Victor Wooten, Dave Liebman, Claudio Roditti, Hank Jones, Michel Camilo, the Rippingtons, David Benoit, Kilauea, Jethro Tull, Jon Anderson, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Larry Carlton, Emily Remler, Kitaro, Tab Benoit, Chris Duarte, Mel Torme, and Johnny Witherspoon.

Bailey brings to Berklee over 25 years of teaching experience, with faculty appointments at Musicians Institute, UNC Wilmington, and Coastal Carolina University. He is the author of six books and instructional DVDs on bass performance, and is an in-demand clinician and performer. He holds a B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami, with additional study at the University of North Texas. A mainstay in the bass community for decades, Bailey was twice recognized as runner-up Bass Player of the Year by Bass Player magazine and is cofounder of Bass Extremes, a collaboration with Victor Wooten. 

"Berklee is iconic. With a world-class faculty and over 400 bass students, I can't think of another music institution on the same scale," said Bailey. "To have the opportunity to build upon Rich Appleman's incredible 40-year legacy is truly special." 

Many of today's most successful bass players began their careers at Berklee—Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Andrews, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, Dwayne Burno, Ira Coleman, Lincoln Goines, Abraham Laboriel Sr., and others. Berklee's Bass Department offers a comprehensive bass education with innovative course work, private instruction, and a wide variety of instrumental labs and ensembles, such as Motown/Atlantic bass styles, finger-style R&B/fusion, John Coltrane bass lines, Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderley, and avant-garde. Visiting artists have included Victor Wooten, John Patittucci, Eddie Gomez, Charlie Haden, Christian McBride, Rufus Reid, and more.