Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, Tom Covello began playing the electric bass as a teenager, performing in rock bands before becoming interested in jazz. While studying with Peter Compo in New York, he enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where he studied with John Neves and Bruce Gertz. Tom received his Bachelor's degree in 1980. Following his education he went on to perform with a wide variety of musicians in many genres of music.


Playing on a local and regional level, Tom has opened for artist such as Hal Galper, Don Lanphere, Albert King, Marcia Ball, John Hammond, Bobby Shew and Delfeayo Marsalis. He has also shared the stage with artists such as James Williams, Don Braden, Kenwood Dennard, The Les Elgart Orchestra, Tony Joe White, J.P. Pennington (Exile), The Drifters, and The Platters. His musical experiences have given him the opportunity to perform and record coast to coast with many great local, regional and international musicians.

 

In the interest of creating a unique voice in jazz, Tom became interested in extended range electric basses. Starting with a 7 string bass, it quickly became evident that the instrument had capabilities beyond the typical 4 or 5 string basses he had been playing. In addition to a new range of harmonics available, it also provided the ability to voice complex chords. With the addition of the 9 string bass, the possibilities in terms of range, voicings and harmonics expanded even more. Both the 7 string and 9 string basses he plays are from Conklin Guitars Custom Shop.

 

Drawing from many influences, he holds the groove sacred and strives to complement his fellow musicians with a solid foundation, whether it's jazz, funk, R&B, blues or classic rock. With this said, his philosophy is that it's not necessarily the notes you choose to play, but how you interpret the space that you put in between them.

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