Since moving to San Francisco in 1999, Sam Bevan has established himself as one of the most versatile and creative bassists in the Bay Area. Bevan is able to canvas a large musical landscape where jazz, funk, R&B, folk and Afro-Cuban disciplines joyously intermingle. His sound is in response to the history of modern jazz, yet it’s his composer’s ear which informs his overall concept. Bevan explains, “Since I began my musical life as a pianist, including experiences composing and arranging for pop/rock, jazz and salsa bands, I have gained a much broader sense of the role of the bass. I am very content providing support and feel as a part of the rhythm section, as well as listening for appropriate moments to push the music into new territory. My goal is to introduce interpretations of the music which are interesting and creative without compromising the lead melodic instrument.”
The foundation was laid for Bevan’s career where he began classical piano lessons at the age of four. Sam’s adoption of the electric and acoustic bass followed periods playing jazz and classical piano, singing professionally and getting a BA in French. After attending college in Salt Lake City, he now resides a few miles from where he was born in Oakland, California.
Throughout his professional life, Sam has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of artists including: David Grisman, Roswell Rudd, Joshua Redman, Kenny Washington, Stacey Kent, Jim Kweskin, Maria Muldaur, Geoff Muldaur, Joe Craven, Houston Person, Zigaboo Modeliste, Joe Locke, Jackie Ryan, Jacqui Naylor, Jesus Diaz, Fito Reinoso, Louie Romero, Karl Perazzo, Carlos Caro, Jackie Rago, The VNote Ensemble, Marco Granados, Matt Flinner, Scott Nygaard, Roberta Donnay, Meklit Hadero, Lisa Engelken, Industrial Jazz Group, Mamadou Sidibe, Monk’s Music Trio, the Kin, Stevie Coyle, Calaveras, Telepathy, Mercury Falls, Mestiza, Nathan Clevenger Group, New Pickle Family Circus, Chelle & Friends, Bjorkestra, Fil Lorenz Orchestra and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.
Bay Area jazzman Bevan is a bassist for all occasions, as his quintet session bounces easily from hard-bop to groove-oriented jazz rock. It’s Bevan’s combination of tone, swing and chops that makes this line so fine.”
-JD Constantine, Guitar World’s Bass Guitar
Articulate, focused and highly musical, Bevan’s sense of melody and rhythmic thrust showcase his talent. Tight arrangements and well conceived writing goes to show that Bevan is a multi-dimensional artist with much to offer.”
-Randy McElligot, Jazzreview
Bassist Sam Bevan does not disappoint…Bevan’s heavy bass work provides a strong foundation not only on this track, but throughout the entire album.”
-Jonah Berman, Jazz Times
Sam Bevan was out-of-sight. His bass-playing was steady, yet extremely snappy, upbeat and somehow exciting as hell. His distinct style is a combination of his unconventional phrasing and his tendency to play the bottom end in a higher register than most funk players.”
-Rob Winkler, Jambase
Photo by John Tinger