James Simonson


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Born in 1976, I've been blessed with an exciting lifestyle as a full time American Bass Player living in Detroit. I'm into Soul, Afro Beat, Brazilian, Cuban, some traditional Country/Americana mixed with Weather Report and various Jazz styles from the 70's and early 80's. I collect vinyl. I'm currently studying the music of Cameroon. 


If you have a need for bass tracks, upright or electric, please send me a message. I'd be more than happy to check out what you have going on and get files back to you quickly.


Besides currently traveling and performing around the world as Music Director for Verve/Universal artist Bettye Lavette, being 2019’s headliner for the Chicago Blues Fest. James is also the jazz upright and electric bassist for the Detroit Symphony, and has performed with Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Patti Smith, Robert Gordon and spent a year traveling with the worlds best-selling stage show, The Lion King. He has also backed Jeff Lorber, David Sanborn, Bob James, Earl Klugh, and Larry Carlton via Alexander Zonjic. Was recently used as principal bassist for The Who’s 2019 Orchestra Tour and will be backing Stanley Clarke at this year’s Detroit Jazz Fest.  A performer on the final week of the David Letterman show with Bettye LaVette. Latest recordings include most of Motown guitarist  Dennis Coffey's latest dbl. LP,  last 2 albums from Jeremy Spencer (Fleetwood Mac) a dbl. LP release as well. The last 3 albums with Detroit Blues Legend, Johnnie Bassett. The "Honest Woman" album for Thornetta Davis, and various jingles for Ford Trucks. James is a member of Sean Blackman's world fusion "In Transit" band and is a founding member of multi award winning band, The Brothers Groove. Other various projects with Detroit band AUDIO : BIRDS and a recent major label release with guitarist, Joanne Shaw Taylor. 

James uses Ernie Ball Music Man Basses and Ampeg Bass Amps. 

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I endorse Ernie Ball Music Man basses and strings because Music Man makes America's best production instrument. Period. 

Not only is it made in the smartest, most intelligent way, but the people that work there are totally cool.

I'm still in awe that Music Man made me a bass with features that are not available. It's incredibly nice, a joy to play, and gets a lot of attention. I plan to devote a page here to it and go over all the special details.

Thank You Derek Brooks!


A shout goes out to Al Sutton from Acme Audio. Chief engineer and developer of the Motown DI, the finest passive DI on the market. I felt honored to beta test this all passive, fat sounding transformer that recreates the A11J from Motown and other classic soul studios. I just received Al’s prototype recreation of the original, all tube, Motown channel strip. It’s remarkable. There’s nothing like it out there. 



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