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Gerald Veasley - Jazz Base
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Gerald Veasley Interview Page 3

Gerald Veasley - Jazz Musician

Smitty: It's great to have the kind of support that you mentioned earlier with Dave Love and the band. I'm sure that helps to retain the creative atmosphere of what you're feeling and what you're trying to convey with your music.
 
GV: It's a very interesting team, isn't it?
 
Smitty: Yes it is.
 
GV: I mean you have a band who are helping you on the creative side, you have an audience that gives you tremendous support and encouragement and feedback, and you have a label on the business side that gives you the resources and the permission and encouragement to do what you need to do. And then of course, people like you are an important part of the team too, spreading the word about what I'm doing. We're all in this together and I really appreciate you.

Smitty: Thank you very much that's nice of you to say that, it's always a pleasure. I've enjoyed your creative approach to making great music and sharing it with the world.
 
GV: Thank you for that.
 
Smitty: Love that six string bass man (laughing).
 
GV: I think its fun. You can do so much with a six string. I mean, I still have a lot more records in me because there are so many things that I haven't even shown that you can do with the bass, like it's almost to the point where we've got to find some other new formats for recording because the CD are just not long enough (both laughing). Perhaps I'll use my website for that, I'll put some snippets on there just for folks to hear. By the way, speaking of websites, for your listeners and readers, it's www.geraldveasley.com They can check it out, I have a journal up there where I talk about some of the things that I've been doing. I have some news about projects that I have, and there's a guest book in which we have some very interesting entries from, you know, places that we've been and places where the records have been, and we just really appreciate our fans. I really don't like the word fans, because it almost kind of signifies that you're on a different level from the people that enjoy your music. But there are no real accurate words, so I use words such as our good friends, or friends around the world who love the music, with the guest book they can come on and sign on and leave their comments and I'll respond.
 
Smitty: Nice. And you've got some great multimedia stuff on there, some video snippets too.
 
GV: Yes, we have some video stuff. We're actually going to be putting up some more stuff. We recorded a DVD and the actual recording of the CD; we call it our Official Bootleg (both laughing). We'll put some snippets from that up on the website.
 
Smitty: Are you still taking on more people for the Bass Boot Camp?
 
GV: Yes, the Bass Boot Camp is going strong. We have started registration for 2006 Bass Boot Camp and we also have a big prize giveaway this time around. People will have the opportunity to win tuition to the Bass Boot Camp, along with a special signature six string Gerald Veasley bass, amplifier, and some other goodies. So everybody has an opportunity to sign and win as well as being a part of the Bass Boot Camp which is so, so much fun.
 
Smitty: Wow, that's too cool. I may sign up for that six string baby (laughing).
 
GV: Yes, it's a six string. So I suggest you sign on up, but the Bass Boot Camp itself has been a great project the last few years, we bring in some great instructors, it varies from year to year but people like Victor Wooten, Gary Willis, Jimmy Haslip from the Yellow Jackets; just some great, great players who also are very generous in terms of sharing their knowledge. We do that for a whole weekend, it always happens in March during the Berks Jazz Festival, which is held in Reading, Pennsylvania. That whole weekend we just immerse these musicians, these bass players that come to us, immerse them in the world of bass, and it's intense, it's tiring, it's exhausting, but people leave with a smile on their face because they just can't imagine how they can get so back in tune to that love of the bass. People ask too, what kind of kids do you get there? What age of kids? Well, it's not just kids. The cool thing about it is that it's an inter-generational experience, we have some in there, youngsters as young as 15, 17, we have gotten some in their 20s, 30s and 40 sometimes make up the bulk of our students and guys who are quote on quote, weekend warriors. We have people who have responsibilities like being US attorneys or being surgeons, or being airline pilots during the week, and they play music on the weekends. That's the bulk of our audience. So, it's all ages, we have ladies that attend our Bass Boot Camp. So it's just an experience where people from all different walks of life come together with that one common love of the bass.
 
Smitty: That's fantastic! Well, talk about what a person will experience during the Bass Boot Camp that you can't get anywhere else.
 
GV: That's a great question. I think the camaraderie is something that's very, very special. In fact, in some ways these "campers" that have gone through the camp which by now we've taught about, it's close to 400 students. They have created their own community now, so it's their camp in a sense. They've endowed scholarships to the camp so the people who maybe don't have the means to come, so that they can come, so that money wouldn't be a factor. They've done that on their own. They've done things like establish a Yahoo group where they can communicate with each other about all kinds of issues; Whether it's career issues or recording ideas, or talk about bass players that they love and enjoy, or new records. That's been one of the unique things that I never would have expected, just how myself and my partners, we started this thing but really the energy of it has expanded to where students have taken ownership of it, which really says a lot about the success of the mission

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