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About Gary Willis

Gary Willis is an American bassist and composer, primarily known as the co-founder of the jazz fusion band Tribal Tech. Aside from his work in Tribal Tech, Willis has risen to fame working with numerous other jazz musicians including Wayne Shorter, Dennis Chambers and Allan Holdsworth.

Through the years, Willis has played with some of the hottest musicians around as well as being the co-leader of Tribal Tech with guitarist Scott Henderson. With Tribal Tech, Willis has released ten critically acclaimed albums while at the same time being massively productive with both his own solo career and countless projects and collaborations. Also in demand as an educator, Gary Willis has conducted clinics and master classes in over 21 different countries and released several books and the popular video 'Progressive Bassics'.

Willis, a Texas native, studied arranging and improvisation as part of the legendary jazz program at North Texas State University. It was there that he made the switch to exclusively studying bass after years of studying both guitar and bass.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, he became a course leader at Musicians Institute in Hollywood and taught at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

In 2004, Willis became a Barcelona, Spain resident and spends part of his time teaching composition, arranging, improvisation and bass at Barcelona's prestigious Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya conservatory.

Willis launched his solo career with the 1996 release of 'No Sweat', featuring incredible performances by Dennis Chambers on drums, Scott Kinsey on keyboards, and Steve Tavaglione on woodwinds and EWI. The 1998 follow-up 'Bent' lives up to its title and takes the 'rules' of jazz, through dynamic compositions and rhythm-defying improvisation, and bends reality to fit the talent of easily the most musically monstrous lineup on the scene today.

The third solo album 'Actual Fiction' was released in 2007. Early reviews of 'Actual Fiction' describe that it's 'everything you've ever liked about his work with Tribal Tech and leaps forward a few light years', while being 'wide open from the very first note and will test your neck vertebrae with the powerful rhythms all through this recording.'

On his latest solo effort 'Retro', Gary Willis has returned to his jazz roots. His new trio features the incredible Gergo Borlai on drums and the acclaimed Catalan pianist Albert Bover on keyboards. A mix of vintage jazz with the energetic twist that Willis always brings, as well as a melodic side that has been seen in smaller doses throughout his career.

Gary Willis created two super cool and innovative TonePrints for the Hall of Fame Reverb. 'The Cloud' is a full on effect that makes for very nice swells, and the 'Solo Space' is a great sounding plate reverb that's perfect for soloing.

TonePrints by Gary Willis

Videos with Gary Willis

Gary Willis creates his TonePrint for Hall Of Fame Reverb - The Cloud