Since May, we’ve been on the hunt for our Bassist of the Year 2019 - powered by Orange - and we can now reveal our three finalists will be Andreas Oxholm, Leo De Santi and Marine Courtin.
We invited entrants to submit a video of their playing, before creating a shortlist to be reviewed by our stellar line-up of star judges, including Robert Trujillo, Mark King, Stu Hamm and Vulfpeck’s Joe Dart.
Our four celebrity judges graded the players on technicality, originality, musicality and feel and now the top-rated bassists will be appearing at the the live final at the UK Guitar Show on 21 September.
The winner will be crowned Bassist of the Year 2019 and take home a prize package from sponsors Orange, details of which will be revealed soon.
Now, in alphabetical order, let us introduce you to this year’s finalists...
Norwegian bassist Andreas Oxholm stood out due to an emotive solo bass performance of his song Relapse. Having picked up the bass aged 15/16, he says it was a solo groove from Victor Wooten that set him on his current path to righteousness.
“It feels surreal to have made it to the final,” he tells us. “I generally don’t like music being something to compete with, but what made me be a part of this competition is because it is a great arena to showcase my music. I hope with this final that more people will listen to my albums and like what they hear.”
Leo De Santi
Our second finalist Leo De Santi hails from Italy and wowed us with his composition Ananda. He cites a broad range of musicians and artists as influences, including Tommy Emmanuel and Stu Hamm. “To me, there’s no such thing as ‘being a bassist’ or ‘being a guitarist’,” he says. “It’s just being a musician who chose an instrument that suits his needs best.”
Marine Courtin is a groove-laden French bassist who was first inspired by Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme, but also pays tribute to Paul McCartney and Jamiroquai stalwarts, Stuart Zender and Paul Turner, among others.
“When I play, I lose all notion of time. The bass taught me rigour and discipline and to never give up on the objective you choose,” says Marine. “I never thought I’d make it to the final. I shared some of my videos, telling myself that a lot of better bassists will post more technical stuff, but I made it!”
Want to watch the live final?
The Bassist of the Year 2019 final will take place on Saturday 21 September at the UK Guitar Show, held at London’s Business Design Centre. Visit the UK Guitar Show website for tickets.