Quotes"Take the high road. It's less traveled." —Ethan F. Bassford
Welcome! If you’re interested in my music, my writing, or my adventures, you’re in the right place. I stay pretty busy, so I’m constantly adding and updating things.
You can see where I’m playing live. If you want the next best thing, there are links to live performance videos on Youtube. You can marvel at the astonishing variety of artists with whom I have recorded. (Great fun for record geeks.) You can read my blog posts on various topics. (For example, here’s the Ten Commandments series of tips for young musicians.) You can also contact me, either about work or something you see on the site. Thanks for your interest!
Bulletins From A Working Musician
- I am back in town and gearing up for a weekend with Derrick Barnett & the Statement Band. Details here.
- On a sad note, my longtime colleague Mike Cacia has passed. Read about him here.
- Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express sold out all six shows at Ronnie Scott’s in London last week, as well as our show at the Tel Aviv Opera House in Israel the week before. A great honor!
- I’m getting down with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola all week. We have lots of special guests for this run, including Nyabinghi drummers Junior and Abba Wedderburn and Courtney Panton, vocalists Duane Stephenson and Wendell Ferraro, trombonists Andrae Murchison and Clark Gayton, keyboardist Earl Appleton, and guitarist Dan Wilson in addition to the regular crew. It’s a very crowded stage but I’m loving it. Details here.
- Next week we take the One World Groove Party with Monty and HKE to the Blue Note in Honolulu, Hawaii for six nights! Tickets here.
- I did a photo shoot for the cover of the upcoming solo project, and I’ve commissioned an artist as well. I did this instead of actually finishing the record, but in my defense I’ve been busy.
- Lots of great shows coming up with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express, Luciano, Marcia Griffiths, and Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band. I love to work! I will be going to Israel (for the first time), London, Hawaii, Manhattan, and Mount Vernon, among other places. I’m also performing with Monty at both the Newport and Montreux Jazz Festivals within weeks of each other. Since the first live jazz concert I ever saw was at Newport in 1969 (Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, John Mayall, and the Newport Jazz All-Stars with Tal Farlow), I’m pretty excited. Details here.
- Progress on my solo album has been delayed due to the aforementioned love of work. However, I have planned the front and back covers. (I will release the album in physical as well as digital form, just not sure what form yet. Maybe cassette?) The front will be a cartoon by a major league comic book artist, and the back will reference a classic guitar album. Intrigued? I hope so. That’s the idea. I haven’t decided on a label yet. My son Ethan Bassford‘s company, Bassford Holdings, is the employer of record.
- Photo shoot for the back cover is Saturday at Bassford Manor, the headquarters of Bassford World Enterprises, in the lovely borough of the Bronx, ancestral home of the Bassford family. The public is NOT invited.
- Tonight I’m at Birdland with the Robert Silverman Quartet, opening for Karin Allyson. Details here.
- I fought the IRS and the IRS won. You don’t want to know. I got zero work done on my album during the process. Anyway, they have their pounds of flesh.
- I’ll be appearing with Island Head at the Falcon, a terrific music venue in Marlboro, NY, on April 29th.
- A nice review of the Matt Anderson album I played on, “Honest Man,” here. It’s great stuff, a bit of a departure from what people know me for (and a departure for Matt, too). Buy it here.
- I’m trying to find time to finish up my album in the midst of tax season.
- I had a great mini-tour with Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band, backing Jamaican dancehall gospel artists Lieutenant Stitchie and Minister Marion Hall (formerly Lady Saw in her secular incarnation). You can see videos from the shows on my Facebook page. Add me as a friend while you’re at it!
- I’ll be playing Birdland with the Robert Silverman Quartet on April 14. Details here.
- Lots of appearances coming up with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express, including dates at the Newport Jazz Festival (where I saw live jazz for the first time in 1969), Dizzy’s in NYC, and Ronnie Scott’s in London.
- I visited Jakarta, Indonesia, and Bern, Switzerland with Monty Alexander. The Bern show featured Houston Person on sax and Herlin Riley on drums…the concert was almost as much fun as the dressing room hang! Jarkarta is an astonishing place…I will upload photos when I figure out my new iPhone.
- I finally bought an iPhone (see above). The learning curve is steeper than expected, but I’m proud to be part of the 21st century.
- Work on the solo album has been delayed due to gainful employment. I hope to have it done by tax time.
- Three continents in two weeks: Asia, Europe, and Mount Vernon! This week I appear with Jim Wacker & Collateral Damage, rocking out at Big Billy’s on Thursday and the Bayou on Saturday.
- Also on Saturday, I’m recording with the Brooklyn Attractors at the Relic Room, one of my favorite studios.
- My recording debut with reggae legend Horace Andy has just been reissued by VP Records. I find this absolutely incredible. The story of how I came to record with Horace is perhaps even more incredible, but I’m saving it for my book. Anyway, this reissue has his approval and full participation. You can, and should, buy with confidence that the artist is actually benefiting from your support.
- I am gathering myself for the next stage of my recording project. We’ve finished all the basic tracks. There is one song that requires a bunch of guitar parts, then we have to edit and mix. I recorded almost everything live, so there isn’t much to add. A number of gigs have come in, so my recording schedule may be pushed back a bit. I was hoping to have everything done by the end of March. It’s still possible but I’m not taking bets.
- I’m very excited about my upcoming trip to Indonesia with Monty Alexander. I am much less excited about the twenty-five hours plus it will take to get there.
- New post about my solo project here.
- The long-delayed followup album to my 1985 hit single “Skateland Rock” is well on its way to completion. We finished the final band tracking date on Saturday. I’ll be posting a short video from the session soon.
- Lots of appearances coming up with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express.
- I’m playing with Robert Silverman at the Sugar Bar in Manhattan this Friday. Details here.
- On Saturday, I will be performing at B.B. King’s in NYC with the Cannabis Cup Band at the 20th annual Bob Marley Birthday celebration.
- On Thursday 2/11 I will be appearing with South African singer Christine Vaindirlis at Lucille’s Grill, also in B.B. King’s NYC.
- I’m trying to schedule the final tracking session for my solo project at Eastside Sound before the end of the year. It will feature Clark Gayton and many other friends. Then, it’s time to finish overdubs (there aren’t many, we did it mostly live), edit, and mix. The amazing “Commissioner” Gordon Williams is helping me out on the technical end.
- I did some recording with Orrin Bolton this weekend. I can tell you that there is more than one singer in that family!
- New additions to my Discography and Performance Videos pages, including a highlight from my one night stand with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. (You can’t see me, except for my right foot under the piano, but you can hear me!)
- The next session for the solo project is this Monday at Eastside Sound. It will feature three of my favorite guitarists, George Naha, Al Street, and Mikey Chung as well as The Blue People and Sidney Mills of Steel Pulse. Big fun is expected!
- For more about the solo project, click here.
- I have a mammoth day of recording for my solo project scheduled for August 22. It will feature amazing talents on both sides of the glass.
- Of course, instead of writing charts for my album, I spent the last week recording with Matt Andersen, a terrific singer/songwriter from Nova Scotia. My longtime friend and colleague Commissioner Gordon produced.
- I’ve also been doing more studio work for hip hop artist Lanskey and reggae tracks for Tronic1 Records.
- I’ll be headed out west next week with the incredible Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express. We’re playing in Denver and LA, both of which are exciting prospects. Details here.
- Closer to home, I’m playing with Robert Silverman at the Sugar Bar in Manhattan this Friday and with Island Head at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY on August 20. Details here.
- The first sessions for my new record went well, I’ll be scheduling more this month. There will be notable special guests, and a large cast of characters. We’re tracking to 8-track analog. Fun!
- Upcoming shows with Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band, details to follow. We’ve been hiding in various studios in the Tri-State area for a while but we will be hitting the stage soon.
- Whew! After a whirlwind summer, things are slowing down a bit, which is just as well. Why? Because I’m working on my first solo album at the Relic Room.
- New additions to my discography.
- I added guitar to three different projects for Derrick Barnett’s Allman Town Productions on Sunday: a DB solo album, our Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band album, and another album by a legendary artist whose name I will not disclose now.
- More work for King Benj-I and Tronic1 Records this week.
- I did some weddings with Brooklyn stalwarts The Engagements and the EV Band, subbing for the amazing Matt Chertkoff on the latter gig.
- In spite of the fact that the volume of my session work has been way down for most of the year, I’ve started getting calls again. Praise the session gods with great praise! I’m finishing up King Benj-I’s latest album for Tronic1 Records, as well as a couple of other things I can’t talk about yet.
- I’m off to the south of France on Thursday for two shows with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express.
- The first session for my long-deferred solo album project is finally scheduled for September 19th at the Relic Room.
- On Sunday, August 9, we will NOT be appearing in Philadelphia with assorted I-Threes, et al, as previously announced. The show has been rescheduled to September 7th. Unfortunately I will be at the Detroit Jazz Festival with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express that day so I won’t be present…unless they reschedule the reschedule, which isn’t impossible. The working musician learns early on that NOTHING is guaranteed.
- I’ll be performing with two of the three I-Threes this weekend as part of Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band. We are at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT on Saturday, August 8, backing the legendary Judy Mowatt and opening for the equally legendary Beres Hammond and his great Harmony House band and singers. Details here. I opened for Beres in Newark and Brooklyn last weekend as part of Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express and he was spectacular both nights.
- On Sunday, August 9, we’ll be backing Judy again, along with fellow I-Three Marcia Griffiths and young reggae lions I-Wayne and Kenyatta Hill, at Trench Town Rock, Bob Marley’s 70th Birthday Celebration, in Philadelphia at Fairmount Park. Details here.
- I’m recording with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express in Brooklyn for four days! We’re working on two albums simultaneously; I’m sworn to secrecy as to the contents. The legendary Steve Jordan, drummer/producer extraordinaire, is helping us out with the production.
- Monty and HKE will be opening for the mighty Beres Hammond on July 31 at NJPAC in Newark and August 1 at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn. Details here.
- I will also be opening for Beres yet again on August 8, with a different group, Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band. We will be backing the legendary Judy Mowatt of the I-Threes at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Details here.
- The next day, August 9th, we back another legendary Jamaican songstress and I-Threes member Marcia Griffiths along with I-Wayne and Kenyatta Hill at the Philadelphia Jamaica Festival. Details here.
- Tonight and Friday, I’m playing with drummer Pat Van Dyke’s jazz/hip hop project PVD. This is a whole new area of music and musicians for me and I’m looking forward to it. Tonight is at City Life in Jersey City, Friday is at Duke’s Southern Table in Newark. Details here.
- I will be appearing at the Hartford Jazz Festival in Bushnell Park next Friday with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express. As a young musician, I regularly attended the free Monday night jazz concerts in Bushnell Park and wondered what it would be like to play there…now I’ll know! Best of all, it’s free.
- I played on a track for the excellent Japanese producer Fumibella on Sunday. The artist’s name is Hisatomi, no idea about the release date, but Fumi was in a hurry!
- Here’s a new post! About time.
- It happened too fast to post, but last Saturday I performed with the legendary Aretha Franklin at Caesar’s in Atlantic City. Video link here.
- Tomorrow I’ll be appearing at the Saratoga Springs Jazz Festival with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express.
- Sunday I’ll be appearing here with Judy Mowatt and Lieutenant Stitchie and a cast of thousands. I hear it’s sold out!
- A new addition (technically an update) to my discography!
- I have been back and forth to Europe a lot with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express recently. We will be appearing at the Saratoga Springs Jazz Festival on June 27.
- It looks I will be rejoining my old friend Derrick Barnett at Grooving In The Park 2015. Details to follow.
- This is a post from my friend Clark Gayton, one of the finest musicians I know, on an issue dear to my heart.
- I’m off to Europe on Sunday with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express for a week. We had a great time at the NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival last week, and I expect the party to continue. Find out about the shows, and other gigs I’m doing, here.
- Sessions for my solo album are proving difficult to schedule…
- I’m appearing with the Cannabis Cup Band tomorrow on the Rocks Off 4/20 Cruises. Go here and here for tickets and details.
- I will be appearing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at Koerner Hall in Toronto next Saturday and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30. More HKE dates are in the works, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Details here.
- The long-threatened AB solo album is in the works! I’m starting to schedule sessions for May. May of this year, wise guys. I don’t want to say too much about it now, other than it could be described as old wine in new bottles.
- I’m appearing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express this Thursday through Sunday at the Jazz Standard in New York City. We have shows twice nightly at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.
- We just played at the Burghausen Jazz Festival, Europe’s longest continuously running jazz festival. It was a wonderful experience, and was filmed for German television. Burghausen is a village of 18,000 people in Bavaria, on the Austrian border. How they came to host such a well-run and long-running event is a mystery to me, but it speaks to what a determined group of people can do if they put their minds to it.
- I’m appearing with the Robert Silverman Quartet at the Sugar Bar in NYC tomorrow night, and with Jim Wacker and Collateral Damage in Yonkers on Saturday. Details here. I’m also trying to figure out my newest (top secret) recording project…finances are always an issue, and never more so than in these days of nonexistent record sales.
- Big news!! For those of you who have been asking when I will do an Andy Bassford record, I now have an answer for you. I just did! At least I’ve started it. Go here to buy!
- I’m appearing with Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band this Friday at A Place 2 Go, then on Saturday I’m off to Fort Lauderdale with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express to take part in the Jazz Cruise. (Sorry, it’s sold out!)
- After a thirty-year gap, I’m resuming my solo career. I’ve just mixed a solo acoustic 12-string version of “Rivers of Babylon,” which I will be releasing digitally as soon as I figure out how that works!
- The first post of the New Year! New year, new tablet-friendly website, new gigs with Monty Alexander‘s Harlem-Kingston Express! Tomorrow night we will be at the Miami Beach Jazz Fest. The last week of the month we will be part of the Jazz Cruise 2015, along with a truly jaw-dropping lineup.
- I’ve written my first tunes for my new group, Andy Bassford’s Jazz Conspiracy. We’ll be debuting them in February at the Jazz In’It series at Mystique Lounge in the Bronx.
- New tablet-friendly website coming soon! Now that I’ve had my website up for a couple of years, I’ve realized what parts of it people are responding to, and what parts have been replaced by such things as Facebook. It’s also a different viewing world now, so I need to adapt accordingly. Webmaster to the stars Jeff Macaluso is implementing my new vision, as he did the current one; I’m sure you’ll like it.
- I think I just set a personal record for distance traveled between consecutive one nighters. Here are the steps:
- Wednesday night show with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at the
Jazz Club in Bülach, Switzerland to hotel: .5 miles
- Thursday morning drive from hotel to Zurich airport: 7.1 miles
- Zurich airport to Amsterdam airport: 375.5 miles
- Distance between gates in Amsterdam airport: .5 miles
- Amsterdam airport to JFK terminal 4: 3637.9 miles
- JFK terminal 4 to JFK long term parking: 3.9 miles
- JFK long term parking to the venue, Treme in Islip, NY in time for a Thursday night show with Island Head: 37.1 miles.
- Wednesday night show with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at the
This brings us to a grand total of 4062.5 miles by car, train, and plane. I’m not complaining, I love what I do! But there is a certain amount of effort involved behind the scenes.
- New additions to my discography. These include the newly released New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble’s “Free As A Bird,” which you can buy here.
- Sad news from Jamaica: The great Roots Radics drummer Lincoln Valentine “Style” Scott is dead. My memories of him are here.
- A quiet week coming up, after ten HKE shows at Dizzy’s, I’ll take it!
- It’s ON! Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express will be appearing at Dizzy’s Clup Coca-Cola, one of the world’s great jazz venues, this week from Wednesday through Sunday night. Get details here.
- After the last show I will be racing up to the Country Kitchen in Pelham Manor to sit in with my group the Jazz Conspiracy. The wonderful George Naha will be subbing for me. Details here.
- We had a wonderful show in Salt Lake City on Saturday. The JazzSLC Foundation, led by Gordon Hanks, did a fine job and the Capitol Theater reminds me of the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, where I saw dozens of concerts growing up. Gordon is a lovely man who does great work to bring the music to a place that you don’t normally think of as a jazz mecca. I look forward to going back some day.
- Tonight! Island Head at my favorite venue, A Place 2 Go! The legendary Mikey Chung will be rejoining us on guitar. Our show last night at Treme was great fun, and very well attended. Thanks to everyone who came out.
- Lots of new gigs with with Monty Alexander and others coming up.
- The long-threatened tablet-friendly website design has taken another step towards completion, courtesy of Jeff Macaluso, web designer to the stars.
- A lovely review of Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express here. Thanks!
- Our tour of the Medical Marijuana States continues with a show in Vail on Thursday, two nights in Aspen on Friday and Saturday, and San Jose on Sunday. Then we end at the Marciac Jazz Festival in France. Details here.
- Tonight! A rare live Island Head live show at my favorite venue, A Place 2 Go! We are still getting regular airplay on Sirius XM The Joint.
- My band The Blue People is now available for booking here, along with many other great acts.
- Here I am live at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express!
- Playing live at the Westchester Tavern with Jim Wacker and Collateral Damage for Jim’s CD release party on Saturday. Buy it here so you can sing along!
- Here’s a very nice article about Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express albums. Thanks!
- I had an amazing time at Groovin In The Park this Sunday, backing L.U.S.T. along with the rest of Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band. Air Supply, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Marcia Griffiths, Bob Andy, Judy Mowatt, Ken Boothe, Tony Gregory, and lots of my old Kingston musician friends were in attendance. My Facebook page has pix of some of the fun.
- My band, The Blue People, is available for summer bookings. Check us out here.
- Wow! Too busy to update! I just got back from Ronnie Scott’s in London with Monty Alexander. A good time was had by all.
- My band, The Blue People, is appearing this Thursday at a benefit for these folks. Details here and here.
- I’ll be with Derrick Barnett at A Place To Go this Friday and we’ll be backing L.U.S.T. at Groovin’ In The Park on Sunday.
- Lots of recording and performing recently, two of my favorite things. I’ll be with Derrick Barnett at A Place To Go this Friday, playing with The Engagements at a private event on Saturday, and with my new group, finally named Andy Bassford’s Jazz Conspiracy, on Sunday. Click here for details.
- I’ve also been in the studio with Michael Tate’s 3D, roots producer Fatta, and Howard Erskine for Trackheadz Entertainment.
- I removed a lot of older entries from this page, in preparation for the tablet-friendly redesign of this site, now in progress.
- The trip to Tokyo with Monty Alexander was a blast! St. Lucia Jazz Festival in two weeks.
- I’ve updated the Performance Videos and Video Jukebox pages, cleaning up broken links and including dub versions where available.
- The second “Jazz In’it” concert at the Wembley Athletic Club in the Bronx, featuring my new project, Andy Bassford’s Jazz Conspiracy, was a success. The wonderful George Naha filled in for me until I could get there from my 4/20 boat ride with the legendary Cannabis Cup Band. We’ll be doing it again on May 18th and June 15th.
- Here’s an interview I did about the genesis of “Boxing” by Cornell Campbell, a record that people still listen to.
- More dates with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express! It looks like I’ll be traveling more this summer than I have in a while. Fine with me! I love the Bronx but it’s nice to get out and about to see what the rest of the world outside the NYC Metro area is doing.
- I just recorded an EP with the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. Look for it to be released soon.
- I’m going to Japan with Monty Alexander! Details here.
- The new Monty Alexander album is out, meaning that I have updated my discography. You can buy it here.
- Before that, I’m on a boat with the Cannabis Cup Band for 4/19 and 4/20. Details as above.
- We’re doing a Blue People video shoot next week for the AFM Local 802 booking agency. The group recently did a private party at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, a new area for us.
- My new jazz project, Andy Bassford’s Jazz Conspiracy, will be performing in the Bronx at the Wembley AC. I’ll be joining them as soon as I can get there after the CCB boatride. Again, see here for details.
- I will be appearing with Monty and the crew at Brooklyn College tomorrow night. Details here.
- My gig at Xpressions was a blast, and more dates as a leader are coming up soon.
- I’ll be all over the map with Monty Alexander this summer. So far we have confirmed dates in Japan, London, NYC, Colorado, Seattle, St. Lucia, France, and Italy! Details to follow.
- I have my own gig as a leader!! I’ll be playing jazz this Sunday night in the Bronx at Club Xpressions from 7 to 11 p.m. with some great friends and musicians. Go here for details.
- The new Monty Alexander Harlem Kingston Express 2: The River Rolls On album, on which I played, is coming out in April, but you can preview and preorder it here.
- I will be appearing with Monty and the crew at Brooklyn College next Saturday night. Details here. Plus we’ll be on the road a lot this summer, so more of you will have a chance to see us. There’s nothing like playing an NYC jazz club, but I’ve been off the road for a while and look forward to doing it again.
- The design for the more tablet-friendly www.andybassford.com site is coming along well. Soon we’ll be smaller and more mobile. I wish I could say the same about myself!
- For the last two days and nights, the New York City reggae community has been celebrating the life of the late great Philip Smart, who passed a few days ago. This is an incredible loss to all of us, and in honor of his memory I wrote a tribute to him here.
- Gigs! See here! Including Island Head‘s second live show ever! We are still getting regular airplay on Sirius XM The Joint.
- I seem to be developing a parallel career as a panelist/radio guest. I appeared at the Coalition to Preserve Reggae’s panel discussion on the music’s future last Thursday evening in Brooklyn, and I have another offer to appear on a TV show, which I am trying to fit into my schedule. Strange, but not unpleasant.
- The redesign of the website is still in progress…
- Lots more Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express shows in the pipeline.