James Genus

Herbie Hancock bassist opens up about Herbie, Brecker Bros. and SNL

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
September 23, 2019

By David Sands

One of the more respected bassists on the jazz scene today, James Genus’ career highlights are enough to make anyone’s head spin. Currently the bassist for Herbie Hancock’s band, he’s played with a slew of jazz greats like The Brecker Brothers, Horace Silver, John McLaughlin, Bob Berg, Bob James, Chick Corea, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Nat Adderley and Branford Marsalis. Beyond that, the electric and upright bassist has also worked with Anita Baker, Vanessa Williams and the art-rock group Elysian Fields, has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band and Makoto Ozone’s trio and appeared on Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning Random Access Memories album. He’s also a teacher and clinician who’s served as an instructor with the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

FBPO’s Jon Liebman recently spoke with Genus at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit about his early years in Virginia and New York, playing with the Brecker Brothers and the SNL band and his advice for newer bassists.

Watch our interview with James!


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

Comments on James Genus

  1. Randy Clere says:

    I just LOVE James!! He is one of THE most incredible bassists on the planet. You won’t find a more groovy, deep in the pocket bassist than him!!! ALso, what an incredible soloist. But really what stands out is HE MAKES ANYONE HE PLAYS WITH SOUND BETTER.. and did I mention he was a nice humble guy as well. Bravo! Jon!!

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