Bakithi Kumalo 

Paul Simon bassist tells us about his mentoring program and offers tips for beginners

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
May 18, 2020

By David Sands

Grammy-winning bassist Bakithi Kumalo is probably most famous for contributing the electric fretless bass parts to Paul Simon’s 1986 album, Graceland. The world renowned musician, composer and vocalist got his professional start at just seven years old in his native South Africa, filling in for the bass player in his uncle’s band. He spent his early years as a highly sought after session and touring bassist for South African acts, before rising to international acclaim for his work with Simon on Graceland. Since that time, Kumalo has enjoyed a long-running working relationship with Simon, and also collaborated with the likes of Sting, Gloria Estefan, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Laurie Anderson, Randy Brecker, Bob James and Angelique Kidjo. As a solo artist, he’s released several of his own albums, most recently 2016’s After All These Years.

During a meetup at this year’s Winter NAMM show, FBPO’s Jon Liebman spoke with Kumalo about his youth mentoring efforts, longtime relationship with Ned Steinberger and tips for aspiring bass.

Watch our interview with Bakithi here!


See Jon’s blog, with key takeaways from this interview, here.

Steinberger, the just-released biography of Ned Steinberger, by Jim Reilly, is available now through the FBPO store. 






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