Thanks to acclaimed bass player Ethan Farmer aka E-Bassman, Jazz is no longer your father’s music. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ethan is the past, present and future of everything that Jazz is meant to be. Born into a musical family, he has a natural gift and ability, which combined with his passion and ear for music are what define him as a bass phenom. With a professional career that has afforded him the opportunity to work with an influential list of musical greats, the stage is set for his debut release “Wine & Strings” to change the rhythm of contemporary music.
Ethan was introduced to music early on, first picking up his father’s bass at the age of five and receiving his own at six. Always crediting “some of the most amazing musicians I know,” his first musical influences came from his family who had a well-known gospel group. At eight years old, he became the youngest member of the family group, The Amazing Farmer Singers, marking the beginning of a lifelong love and pursuit of music. Advanced beyond his years, by sixteen Ethan had toured the country with the family group and established himself in churches around Chicago. As he began to come into his own, he grew anxious to explore other genres of music and was instantly drawn to R&B, funk, and soul, and idolized artists including Prince and Michael Jackson.
By the age of seventeen he was already an impressive talent and began playing with choir groups including: Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, Mark Hubbard & The Voices, Ricky Dillard, and the Chicago Mass Choir. From there, he travelled to music festivals around the world including: the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Jakarta Jazz Festival.
By the time he relocated to Los Angeles in 1998, Ethan’s talent had garnered him recognition as a stellar bass player, but when he met celebrated gospel bass man Andre Gouche his career would take another turn. While Andrew would later become a great friend and mentor, it was that initial trust in Ethan’s potential which led to his first big break as a professional playing with Jody Watley on BET’s Planet Groove. From that point forward, Ethan’s career quickly gained momentum and E-Bassman was in demand. Throughout his career, Ethan has worked with hundreds of artists including Janet Jackson, Babyface, Patti LaBelle, Darius Rucker, and Hootie and the Blowfish.
Funk, Soul, Rock & Roll and all the best feelings of all the best music is what encompasses the essence of the music he plays. With a universal love for all music, Ethan’s style speaks to that, “It’s almost like segregation and religion, but we’re all serving that higher power, whatever you may call it so why can’t it be the same with good music? I want people to walk away from my show feeling like they did during Woodstock. Just a good feeling that people remember for generations and it was all about the music.”
The creative process never ends for Farmer who in addition to his own music is a member of two bands that he put together with friends. The Core is a Jazz-fusion band reminiscent of the Yellow Jackets meets the Weather Report with him providing the funk factor alongside Dave Nathan and Shawn Horton. Also creating music with drummer Gordon Campbell the E&G Band is another outlet of expression for E-Bassman. “I have so much music in me and my style and what I do with each band is different from what I do myself, but it helps me grow when I collaborate. I love to surround myself with great musicians.
Currently, Ethan is readying himself for a busy few months ahead and preparing to leave for the highly anticipated summer tour featuring New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. Having taken a break from touring to for the past two years, he has occupied himself playing and musical directing with artists including Christina Aguilera and Keri Hilson. In addition, he has dedicated himself to more personal projects including the long awaited release of his first album, "Wine & Strings” This offering of himself through his music is an odyssey that transports the listener to places in time that evoke feel good emotions that he wants to share with the universe. “People get caught up in trying to make the perfect record and for me there is no perfect record when you’re growing because it can be perfect today but then you learn so much more tomorrow which means yesterday isn’t perfect anymore. So I just record what I feel in that moment and that is what “Wine & Strings” is all about, what I was feeling in those moments. I believe if you feel good and your music is good then it’s going to make the people that support you feel good.