Various Authors noon, Jan. 26
Musician Profile : Gunnar Biggs
Carlsbad doublebassist Gunnar Biggs has lived in San Diego since the age of 5, and has been an important part of the jazz scene here for over 30 years.
Biggs was talented enough as a high school student to be accepted as a student by the iconic Bert Turetzky. After graduation, he enrolled at North Texas State University. Biggs moved back to San Diego, then joined drum legend Buddy Rich's big band on the recommendation of Bob Magnusson.
Biggs counts the Rich experience as an important period of learning as well as a tumultuous roller-coaster ride due to the drummer's famous temper tantrums.
Coming back off the road with Rich, the bassist began making important local connections that have lasted years with elite players like Charles McPherson and Peter Sprague.
Equally employable as a classical and Latin musician, Biggs has also taught at Palomar College and San Diego State for many years. The bassist has also played with dozens of big-name musicians who hire him when visiting from out of town. Pianist / vocalist Mose Allison has come to rely exclusively on Biggs for support, and he has also paired with vocalist Sheila Jordan in an intimate duet format.
Support is a religious concept for the bassist, who enjoys laying down rock-solid time as much as grabbing the spotlight. "I could play all night, never take a solo, and be happy," said Biggs.
Gunnar can be heard in his duo with mandolin specialist Bill Bradbury, MandoBasso, and as a member of the Peter Sprague Trio.
photo by Anthony Cecena