Bassist Gerald Veasley has performed and recorded with Grover Washington, Jr., Joe Zawinul and Odean Pope, has built his own career through a series of recordings on the Heads Up label, and has a nightclub named after him, but the accomplishment he seems most proud of is his special program to teach bass to adults. It’s called Gerald Veasley’s Bass Boot Camp and has been held at least once a year since 2002. The next session will be held on March 19-21, 2010 in Reading, Pa., as part of the Berks Jazz Fest.
For the inspiration of the program, Veasley credits a fellow bassist as well as a teaching experience overseas. “I had gone to Europe and done a series of workshops and classes, working with a small group of musicians over an extended period of time. And I realized that I saw much more of an effect with that intensive experience and thought, ‘Well, this would be a cool thing to do.’ After I got back, I was speaking with a student of mine and he mentioned that he had just attended Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature Camp. And it hit me that he was already doing what I wanted to do, but I thought that I could do something a little different. Not necessarily any better, but different.” Veasley added that he has enormous respect for Wooten, who has been very supportive as a friend and colleague. And the two have ended up teaching at each other’s camps.