Ke-Nekt concert to feature renowned jazz bassist Larry Grenadier


February 22, 2016

Larry Grenadier, one of contemporary jazz’s most accomplished and in-demand bassists, will play with the Oswego Jazz Project—and in three duets with SUNY Oswego’s own award-winning upright bassist Danny Ziemann—at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in Sheldon Hall ballroom.

A pre-concert talk for the Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series performance is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Grenadier’s coming appearance has Ziemann, a student of his, speaking in superlatives about a man Ziemann calls “more of a mentoring figure for me—he’s been a huge influence on me.”

“He’s a tour de force in life,” Ziemann said. “He’s one of the most incredible, versatile bass players of the 21st century.”

Among the tunes in Grenadier’s repertoire with the college music department’s Oswego Jazz Project are “Spiral,” from the John Coltrane album “Giant Steps,” “Laverne Walk” from 1930s bassist Oscar Pettiford and “Dance” from the late jazz drummer Paul Motian. Two Grenadier compositions, “JJ” and “State of the Union,” are on the list.

Ziemann said he and Grenadier—a fixture in the bands of pianist Brad Mehldau and guitarist Pat Metheny, and a frequent recording artist with them and other jazz luminaries—have yet to work out their repertoire of duets. He said, however, that having two upright bassists onstage is a rare treat.

“It is very niche to have two upright bassists together. You rarely see it,” said Ziemann, who teaches private lessons at SUNY Oswego and Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

‘Intuition, emotion’

Ziemann said one of the keys to the global respect musicians have for Grenadier is his ideology: He seeks always to be as supportive as possible of others in the combo. He has a unique tone and ability as a sideman to blend musically with other performers, the Oswego bassist said.

In Grenadier’s own words, from his official biography: “Having access to technique is useful in being able to communicate and express yourself musically. But music is about intuition and emotion. Compassion, strength, flexibility and stamina are all important qualities in playing music, but the most important thing is the ability to listen.”

Grenadier recently played “sideman” for Ziemann’s contribution to the literature of the upright bass—also known as the double bass—writing the forward for the Oswego instructor’s text “The Low Down: A Guide to Creating Supportive Jazz Bass Lines.”

Besides Ziemann, members of the Oswego Jazz Project include Robert Auler on piano, Trevor Jorgensen on saxophone and Eric Schmitz on drums.

Tickets for this and other Ke-Nekt concerts are $15 ($5 for students) and are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 315-312-2141. Parking is included in the price of a ticket in the employee and commuter lots adjacent to Sheldon Hall and across Washington Boulevard from it.

People with disabilities needing assistance should call 315-312-2141 in advance of the performance.

PHOTO CAPTION: Renowned sideman—Accomplished and in-demand bassist Larry Grenadier will join the Oswego Jazz Project—and play several duets with one of its members, award-winning SUNY Oswego bass instructor Danny Ziemann—in a Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in Sheldon Hall ballroom.