Bass Mentor

Sean Conly

Born in Gunnison Colorado, Sean Conly started his love of music at a very young age.The son of a pianist and an artist Sean grew up around band rehearsals and concerts, experiencing the the early 70’s in the last glow of hippiedom. By the age of six He started playing guitar and writing songs trying to be in turn each of the Beatles.

Moving to Topeka Kansas at the age of six (where he stayed through high school) he gravitated to the drums  in the school band but as his teen years arrived He wanted to start a band. “There were several guys who already had drum sets and several guys with guitars so I decided to try bass.” Sean’s grandma bought him his first electric bass for christmas when he was 13.” I stayed up all night making my way through the book that came with the bass and the next day I went to tryouts for a band! It is like the jokes they always say about bass players!”

The bass soon became an obsession. Sean began playing gigs all around the region. ”At first I thought I wanted to be a rock star but I started going to this crappy record store and checking out different  stuff, basically anything I could find that looked interesting or records that I would hear about. In one summer I discovered Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Mingus, Ornette Coleman and The Revolutionary Ensemble With Sirone just by flipping through the bins at that store.That led to me listening to the college Station out of Lawrence (Kansas University)  and recording hours of jazz that I would listen to and try to figure out what was happening.” At the end of high school Sean choose to move to Kansas City Mo. to attend the U.M.K.C conservatory and study the contrabass,  but his real education happened on the bandstand with local legends such as Ahmad Aladeen, Tim Williams, Jay McShann, Claude “fiddler” Williams and many others. “I was really lucky to have a chance to learn from all these great older musicians something that is rare for a man in my generation. I got my butt kicked a lot!”

In 1992 Sean Decided to move east to study with Rufus  Reid and Todd Coolman at William Paterson University. It was a time of preparation in anticipation of moving to New York.  He arrived in the  big apple in the fall of 1994. Since then he has gone on to tour the world and/or record with such artists as Gregory Tardy, Freddie Hubbard, Regina Carter, Ray Barretto,  Charles Blenzig, Michael Franks, Tom Harrell, Andrew Hill, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris,Yoron Israel, Eric Lewis, Deidre Murray, John Mcneil, Timucin Sahin, James Moody , Mike Stern, Rick Margitza, Michael Attias, Tony Malaby , Myron Walden, Phillip Harper, Russ Lossing,  Anthony Coleman, Avishai Cohen (trpt), Ayelte Rose Gottleib, Vana Gehrig Trio, Darius Jones, Ken Vandermark/Steve Swell Quartet, GrassRoots with Darius jones Chad Taylor and Alex Harding, High Low Brow with Mike Pride and Mary Halvorson, Think Shadow with Michael Attias, and many others.

In 2000 Sean toured with The Newport Millenium  Celebration with Cedar Walton, Randy Brecker, Howard Alden , Lou Tobackin and others. Sean has also performed clinics in high schools and universities all over the world and taught at the Drummer’s Collective. “ I have always enjoyed the challenge of playing a wide variety of music as there is a lot you can learn from others, But at heart my favorite things is to compose and play my own music.” Sean writes almost every day and has composed hundreds of works for his and various others ensembles.