LAMA Bass Department Chair Jerry Watts Jr. today announced Andrew Gouche will join Juan Alderete, Abe Laboriel Sr. and Lee Sklar as Artists-in-Residence at LAMA, effective immediately. Gouche, considered to be a premiere gospel bassist (who also plays across many other genres), has more than 30 years of experience. He is best known for playing or recording with Reverend James Cleveland, Prince, Chaka Khan (also music director), Madonna, Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston and many others as well as for his production work on Kelly Clarkson’s Grammy-winning album Thankful.
We’re ecstatic to have Andrew on board. Read the entire press release on LAMA’s site here: http://bit.ly/10kYN3R
LAMA’s Bass Department Jerry Watts was featured on For Bass Players Only, doing an exclusive interview with writer Jon Liebman. Watts chats about his musical upbringing, playing bass, LAMA and his first instrument, the accordion! Get the complete lowdown, here: http://www.forbassplayersonly.com/Interviews/Jerry-Watts.html.
We asked LAMA alumni and current LAMA private instructor Peter Boskovich to answer a few questions about his role at LAMA and what it was like studying at the school in Los Angeles. He also offers some great advice and tips for any music student or individual thinking of pursuing their music degree.
1. What is your current role at LAMA?
I’m a private instructor in the bass and producer department (producer students also take a quarter of bass and guitar lessons) and am an accompanist in Tierney Sutton’s ‘instrumentalist point of view’ classes, Ralph Humphrey’s ‘style and analysis’ and ‘contemporary’ classes among many others.
2. You attended LAMA, and graduated from the bass department. When was that and can you tell us more about your experience?
Graduated 2004. My experience in the bass department and as a student in general was a very special one. I was fortunate to be surrounded by other very eager and determined students who pushed and inspired me to give it my all to tackle the curriculum and absorb the information as quickly as I could. I remember the atmosphere of ‘friendly competition’ that drove us to play our best in every class. By the end of my enrollment I can honestly say I was ready to get out and start gigging, although I have had a few bruises and bumps along the way, but overall I felt prepared. I’ve played with many players all over the city coming from all over the world and I couldn’t have done it without the preparation I received at LAMA.
3. What advice do you have for young musicians looking to get their music degree at LAMA?
Don’t hesitate for one, and when you decide to commit to this institution as your place of learning, give it more than 110% like I did and you won’t regret a thing. I still work with many of the dear friends I met as a student while at LAMA and continue to grow as a musician in the many professional settings afforded me by them. The musical circles I work in all have many ties to the school even though the musicians might not have studied here. LAMA is a great stepping-stone to get out into the city and start making musical relationships. Also, it is important that you learn how you absorb information while in school, as we all learn in different ways. I feel the curriculum along with the ensemble workshops are structured in a way that allows each student both the time and varied situations to absorb the material in ways that accommodate their levels of understanding.
4. What is the best part about studying music in Los Angeles?
It’s LA man! Come one. I love this city with all of its diversity and varied cultural offerings. There is no excuse for boredom in a town like this. World-class players left and right, and myriad of venues in which to do so. You can find inspiration any night of the week with all that is going on musically in this town.
5. Why did you start playing music?
I started playing music because I hated football so much. It was exhausting and it hurt a lot when I’d get leveled on the field. Music was much nicer, and I was much better at it. You also don’t have to wear those funny uniforms and instead get to look cool in front of a lot of people.
6. Tell us about your current musical projects etc.:
I’m actively gigging as a sideman in several jazz trio’s and quartets at the moment. I have a project called Splice The Mainbrace with fellow teacher/instructor Jackson Allen that has started to play out. We are both very excited about it and feel it an honest representation of our musical tastes and ambitions at the moment.
I am also (and this might sound strange) working on an album of my own original tunes with me singing while playing chordal accompaniment on the bass. I’ve explored chordal approaches to bass playing, and have also developed a deep appreciation for the songwriting idiom. Between these two projects, and an endless list of things to practice and prepare for, I’m very excited about life and where it might take me.