Musician finds good groove

Jazz: Keyboard player David Bach enjoys his full schedule, which includes a show this month at the Columbia Lakefront.

Howard Live

July 20, 2000|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Things are really starting to take off for David Bach.

The Baltimore-based musician is booking shows as fast as he can answer the phone. Bach will be performing with his group at the Columbia Lakefront this month.

Staying busy, Bach said, suits him just fine.

"The thing has started to take on a life of its own," he said. "We are playing weddings, corporate parties, traveling engagements and tons of stuff locally."

Bach's band, known as the David Bach Consort, is a core group of five musicians who perform a blend of jazz and new age. His self-produced, self-released compact disc, "Window on the West," has sold about 4,000 copies locally, and Bach said he hopes to sell more as he travels the Maryland and Washington areas playing his brand of rhythmic jazz.

"We have been doing this live for almost two years now," Bach said. "When I first started, I was writing these tunes as solo piano pieces, but then I began to see how it could be expanded."

Bach, who has dubbed his style of music "new world jazz," has been playing music for more than three decades. He grew up in a military family and credits traveling from base to base for his wide variety of musical tastes.

"I lived in Europe for seven years and in Japan for two years," said Bach, whose father was an officer in the Air Force. "That's the reason why my music doesn't sound at all generic. I draw on influences from around the world."

An accomplished keyboardist and composer, he boasts an impressive resume. He has scored music for the Discovery Channel and Fox Television, appeared on Black Entertainment Television's "Jazz Discovery Showcase" and received a 1998 nomination in the Washington Area Music Award's categories for best instrumentalists and best compact disc.

And there's touring and studio work when he can get it. Bach has played for artists such as Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias and acid-jazz artist Fishbelly Black, and on a re-mix of the Janet Jackson tune "When I Think Of You."

He counts as a career highlight co-writing "Is It For Me" with Crystal Waters for her "Story Teller" album. On "Window on the West," he plays with such acclaimed musicians as Bobby Read, who has played saxophone for Bruce Hornsby, and Ju Ju House, a drummer who has worked with soul diva Chaka Khan and hip-hop group Arrested Development.

Success is all the sweeter, Bach said, because he has made it virtually on his own. Frustration with the record industry led him to form his own company, Integrity Music, and he has created a Web site, www.davidbachmusic.com, to help get the word out.

"I was being offered these horrible deals that entry-level artists get offered," Bach said. "There are tons of musicians out there, but only the ones who have their own voice are the ones who are getting recognized."

Nick Sharp, co-owner of Sharp Marucci Artists Management, said he has booked close to 50 dates for Bach during the past few years. Sharp, whose company is in Glenelg, said Bach's music appeals to a wide range of listeners.

"They are an excellent group, and David has great talent on his keyboard," said Sharp, who has booked acts across the country and in Europe. "This area has culturally enlightened people who appreciate a wide variety of the arts."

One fan is Jan Morrison, manager of Historic Oakland. Morrison said she heard Bach perform at a wedding two years ago and immediately invited him to perform at the Columbia mansion as part of its music series.

"Aside from being a super-nice guy, he makes beautiful, beautiful music," Morrison said of Bach. "People had a great response to his music, and he will be performing again for us in February."

Until then, Bach is busying himself with writing tunes for a new album and several concert dates, including ArtScape in Baltimore on Sunday. He also headlined at the Fort DuPont Summer Theater Concert Series in Washington last weekend.

The David Bach Consort will perform from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 30 at the Columbia Lakefront .

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