Tom Knific

Double Bass, Guitar, Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Composition, Western Jazz Quartet


Tom Knific

Tom Knific has performed with many of the great jazz and classical artists of our time on tour and on record. They include Gene Bertoncini, Billy Hart, Randy Brecker, Dave Brubeck, Fred Hersch, and others. He and Eric Marienthal co-led the “Dream Band” with Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner and Harvey Mason in the first live interactive concert multi-cast over the Internet. As a classical artist, he has recorded with Pepe Romero, Andre Watts, Philippe Entremont, and the Merling Trio. He as appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. and has performed as principal bassist with orchestras and chamber orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. He has appeared at chamber music festivals throughout North America and Europe and is a founding member, bassist and composer for the contemporary music group, OPUS 21. Tom is professor of double bass and director of jazz studies at Western Michigan University. He has also taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan State University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and has presented over a hundred master classes worldwide.

As a composer, Tom has written over a dozen works in a variety of idioms. He has been commissioned by OPUS 21, the International Society of Bassists, and leading instrumentalists. He has received numerous grants and awards for his writing. His music may be heard on six CD’s, and is published by Editions Delatour, Paris, and ISB Publications, Dallas. In contemporary music, Tom has worked with John Cage, Donald Erb, Mario Davidovsky, Eve Beglarian, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Curtis Curtis-Smith, Chen Yi, Tania Leon, and others.

A renown educator, Tom’s students have toured and recorded with Betty Carter, Vincent Herring, Cedar Walton, John Scofield, and perform in orchestras on three continents. In addition, he received the Down Beat magazine Achievement in Jazz Education award in 2004. Tom is leader of the Western Jazz Quartet. The WJQ has appeared on four continents and has received rave reviews for their five CD’s of original music.  He has released over two dozen recordings including three solo CD’s, Home Bass, 1998, Siena, 2004, Lines of Influence, 2009, and released A Bridge for Mostar featuring Fred Hersch, in 2012. He has recorded on the Universal, Mercury, Koch International, SMR, Centaur, Sea Breeze, Jazzheads, Azica, and Polonia labels. Tom is Past President of the International Society of Bassists and hosted the 2005 world convention in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Recent highlights include tours of Europe, a tour of South America, and master classes and concerts at the China Conservatory, Beijing.

Tom Knific Quartet at the Union Cabaret and Grille

With Gene Bertoncini

Andy LaVerne, Tom and John Abercrombie in the studio

The Baron from “Siena”