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Wed, Mar 13


Merrimans' Playhouse

Stephan Crump

Our Chamber Arts Series presents a solo bass performance. “Crump plays the bass with an effortless balance of molten flow and forceful power. For a listener, the result is another kind of healthy tension: between dynamic uncertainty and deep reassurance.” - The New York Times

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Stephan Crump
Stephan Crump

Time & Location

Mar 13, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. Concert is one long set. Concert end time is an estimate.

Chamber Arts Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, 

Our Chamber Arts Series presents Stephan Crump on bass.

Stephan’s solo performance, which explores his unique musical language through an expansive range of sonorities on the acoustic bass, is a culmination of decades of work as a bassist, composer, and improviser. Throughout the last year, he released monthly solo recordings in a fan-supported series via his Bandcamp page. The new album, Rocket Love, is curated from this body of work.

“Crump plays the bass with an effortless balance of molten flow and forceful power. For a listener, the result is another kind of healthy tension: between dynamic uncertainty and deep reassurance.” - The New York Times

“Crump coaxed from his bass the kind of striking, spectral sob that makes audiences want to erupt in applause” - L.A. Magazine

“As a bassist and composer, Mr. Crump avoids obvious routes but manages never to lose his way…” - The New York Times

My solo performance journey got a jump-start by Mark Dresser, who invited me to perform at the New Music Summit of the 2009 International Society of Bassists convention. Solo performance is a challenge I had been wanting to pursue for some time, so, although quite frightened, I jumped at the opportunity.

The program I put together is called Seven Improvisations: Modes of Expression and explores different points of departure for improvisation, from fully open to being based on melodic or rhythmic fragments, smaller structures to entire song forms. It is a richly rewarding and empowering experience to put on an entire concert alone with my bass while trying to make it a compelling journey for all involved. Ever since, I’ve tried to book solo performances semi-regularly and am starting to ponder the notion of making a solo album. We’ll see…

Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated, Echo Award-winning bassist/composer Stephan Crump is an active bandleader with twelve critically acclaimed album releases in addition to numerous film scoring contributions. Known for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity of magnetic pull, his focus on creative instrumental music has led to collaborations with many of the leading lights of his generation.

Transcending barriers of genre, Crump has performed and recorded with a diverse range of musicians, from Portishead's Dave McDonald, The Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, to Patti Austin, Jim Campilongo, Jorma Kaukonen, Lucy Kaplansky, Big Ass Truck, Sonny Fortune, and late blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland. Currently, he can be heard as a long-standing member of Vijay Iyer Trio and Sextet, Jen Chapin Band, Ches Smith Trio, Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, Liberty Ellman Sextet, Secret Keeper (with Mary Halvorson), his own Rosetta Trio, as well as groups with Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe, Eric McPherson, Mat Maneri, and Okkyung Lee.

Crump launched his solo performance career as an invited artist at the 2009 International Society of Bassists conference and has since released several recordings documenting his duo collaborations with alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, pianist James Carney, and guitarist Mary Halvorson.  His all-string Rosetta Trio, with Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman, just completed their fourth album, and his Rhombal quartet, with Tyshawn Sorey, Ellery Eskelin, and Adam O’Farrill, recently released its eponymous debut.

Stephan comes from a family of architects, sculptors, painters, storytellers, musicians, civic leaders, and craftsmen. He was raised in music and the arts by his Parisian mother, an amateur pianist, and his Memphian father, an architect, painter, and jazz drummer.  After six years of classical piano study and two years with the alto saxophone, he got his first bass guitar at age thirteen and spent his high school years playing in rock and funk bands around Memphis  During the summers, he worked in the studio of his uncle, Stephen, a wood sculptor.

Crump received his Bachelor of Music degree from Amherst College, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlin and was awarded the Sundquist Prize for performance and composition.  It was at Amherst that he began his acoustic bass journey, with a focus on classical training that culminated in a year of study in Paris with Gary Karr-protégé Patrick Hardouineau. His jazz studies at Amherst included work with Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Ray Drummond.

Over the last decade, Stephan has made teaching a growing part of his mission. In addition to offering lessons in his Brooklyn home, he regularly visits conservatories and universities to coach ensembles, teach bassists, and offer to all musicians his “On Magnetism” masterclass, originally developed for a residency at the Banff Jazz and Creative Music workshop. A passionate educator, Stephan has continued teaching throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He has run a regular series of group bass classes via Zoom that students from all over the globe have loved, as well as private lessons. His masterclass program, “On Magnetism," crystallizes his unique approach to musical interaction, connection, feel, and development in a way that students have described as insightful, informative, and inspiring. It is geared towards all musicians, not only bassists. In addition to or instead of a solo concert, he would be happy to present a masterclass and/or do one-on-one lessons.

Stephan has taught at: Indiana University, Penn State University, Kunst Uni Graz, International Society of Bassists Convention, Amherst College, Franklin & Marshall College, Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, Harvard University, California Jazz Conservatory, Humboldt State University, University of Wisconsin, Carl Maria von Weber College of Music Dresden, Sibelius Academy Helsinki, University of Memphis, Norwegian Academy of Music Oslo, University of Northern Iowa, Towson University, University of Michigan, Oberlin College and Conservatory, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Western Michigan University

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two boys.

Stephan is an enthusiastic endorser of Velvet strings, Aguilar bass amplifiers, AMT acoustic bass microphones, and David Gage Czech Ease travel bass.


  • Student

    $5 Student

    Sale ended
  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended



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