is a Liberian / German bassist known through his work with guitarist John McLaughlin in the late 80's, Billy Cobham in the 90's and Garaj Mahal in the new millennium. Other career highlights include performances and recordings with:
Trilok Gurtu, Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, Donald Byrd, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Robert Walter, Karl Denson, Michael Franti, Larry Coryell, Warren Hill, Al Di Meola, Zakir Hussain, Vital Information , John Scofield and Bill Frisell.
His active career spans 3 decades. Kai is currently a professor at the Jazz School Institute in Berkeley, CA who frequently teaches clinics and workshops world wide. Teaching engagements include the Berklee School of Music in Boston, the Bass Collective in New York City, BIT in Hollywood, the Anton Bruckner Conservatory in Austria, the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, the Amsterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands and Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature camp.
Kai Eckhardt’s current projects:
-Fusion Band Garaj Mahal, winner of the 2007 Independent Music Awards, and Chicago Music Awards nominee for 2009.
-San Francisco Rock Band Kbrandow
-Indian Jazz Band Summit featuring George Brooks and Zakir Hussain
-Funk Band RAD featuring Prince keyboardist Rose Ann Dimalanta
-Euro-fusion trio with Alex Machacek and Marco Minneman.
-Turkish singer Sertab Erener
More Information, CD Quality Downloads and discography at www.kaizone.com. Listening examples at www.myspace.com/kaieckhardt.
Kai Eckhardt was born the year of 1961 in Mainz/ Germany, raised by his German mother in the town of Bingen until the age of six. Joining his African father, Kai moved to Monrovia, Liberia where he spent four years attending West African middle school. In 1970 he returned to Germany into foster care. During this period Kai developed a talent in competitive sports, excelling in track, gymnastics and diving. In 1972, Kai won the title “junior district champion” in the one-and three meter board diving competitions. After a series of injuries Kai turned away from competitive sports and discovered music. A bass guitar was given to him by a school mate and he began practicing seriously.
Besides music, academics where an important factor in Kai’s life. Kai received his German high school diploma in 1980, finishing with the second best grade point average of his class. In 1982 Kai conscientiously objected to the German army. After being interviewed at a military court, he was released from the draft. In substitution for the army training, Kai became a nurse’s assistant at the Children’s Neurological Institute in Mainz Germany, caring for severely handicapped inpatients. Throughout his service Kai remained faithful to his instrument, the bass guitar.
After receiving a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Kai left Germany to attend music college in Boston, MA in the year of 1983. After graduating with honors in 1987, Kai began his active touring life as a bassist, clinician and composer. He has been on the road ever since. averaging between 100 and 120 shows a year.
Besides music, Kai has developed a strong interest in social justice and environmental issues. In the past he has helped put together benefits for the homeless, rallies for green collar jobs and poetry projects featuring socially conscious messages. He has collaborated on projects with activists Julia Butterfly Hill, Deb Delman, Alli Chagi-Starr, Van Jones and Majora Carter among others.
Kai is a proud member and supporter of “Green for All”.
Today Kai Eckhardt resides in Berkeley, California, married with two children.
His wife Regina is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and his children Danilo and Naima are growing up tri-lingual, speaking Portuguese, English and German.
(See album covers, 52 in all)
sky is the limit
Smiths Vital Information
me to you
Mc Laughlin Trio
at the Royal Festival Hall
Mc Laughlin Trio
Mustafa Zadeh with Al di Meola
S. & the Vibe Tribe
Brewer and Paul Mc Candless
on the lake
(feat. Bela Fleck)
and other tales
James and Kai Eckhardt
with Bob Moses
Simplicity, Respect the Flow
Coryell and Steve Marcus
Vol. 1,2, & 3
||I'm in the right track
|A Tribute to Weather Report
||Visions of an inner mounting Apocalypse
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Feature Articles & Interviews
about Kai Eckhardt have appeared in the following publications:
und Bass -- Germany
Bass Bote -- Germany
Podium -- Germany
& Bass -- France
Times -- Inida
Jazz times -- Turkey