Kai Eckhardt is a
Liberian/ German bassist and composer best known for his contribution
John Mclaughlin Trio in the 80's, Billy Cobham’s International
Quartet in the
90's and the band Garaj Mahal in the new Millennium. Kai has also
and performed with Trilok Gurtu, Stanley
Clarke, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, George
Brooks, Donald Byrd, Bela
Maria Joao, Dino Saluzzi, Sertab Erener, Palle Mikkelborg, Victor
Wooten, Alphonse Mouzon, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh,
Franti, Larry Coryell, Warren Hill, Al Di Meola, Zakir Hussain, Steve
John Scofield , Bill Frisell, George Benson, and Mike Stern.
Eckhardt has appeared at distinguished venues around the globe such as:
Royal Festival Hall in London, the
in Munich and the Esplanade in Singapore.
Festival engagements include Montreal Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz
Festival in the Haque, Womad World Music Festival in Spain,
Summer of Love at Golden Gate
Park and Glastonbury
in the U.K.
recent years, Kai began to distinguish himself as a first call bassist
composer for artistic collaborations with musicians from the Eastern
such as Dubai, Qatar, Oman,
India, China, Turkey,
and the former Soviet Union.
being an active performer, Kai is a passionate and experienced music
who teaches privately and online while being a faculty member of the
School Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has taught clinics and master classes
world-wide with engagements ranging from Berklee School of Music in
Bass Collective in New York, the Musician’s Institute in
Hollywood, the Anton
Bruckner Conservatory in Austria, Amsterdam Conservatory in the
Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature camp.
Career highlights 2009/2010:
shows performed with Garaj Mahal across the US
Tour with keyboard diva RAD (formerly
Tour with Alex Machacek and Marco Minnemann
performer at the symposium “Bioneers conference” in San Rafael
in Qatar, Oman
United Arab Emirats
with Trilok Gurtu and Theodossi Spassov in Bulgaria
Jazz Festival Istanbul
at the Asian Games in Guangzhu,
at the 2010 Liberian Awards
Career highlights 2011:
TV broadcast in Istanbul/
with the Turkophony Allstars.
performer at Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia
-Tour of Germany
with Garaj Mahal
performer and instructor at “Jazzaar” Switzerland
and recording with Turkish fretless guitarist Cenk
show at the Indian embassy in Muscat
artist at the Rocky
Mountain bass bash
in Boulder Colorado
artist and instructor at Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature camp
shows with Ray Manzarek and Michael Mclure
shows with Linda Tillery, George Brooks and Barbara Higbie
official launching of the Kai Eckhardt Band.
Eckhardt was born the year of 1961 in Mainz/ Germany, raised by his German mother in the town of Bingen until the
six. In joining his African father, Kai moved
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,
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
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.
1982 Kai conscientiously objected to the German army.
After being interviewed at a military court,
he was released from the draft.
substitution for the army training, Kai
became a nurse’s assistant at the
Children’s Neurological Institute in Mainz/
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,
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
averaging between 100 and 120 shows a year.
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
Hill, Deb Delman, Alli Chagi-Starr, Van Jones and Majora Carter among
others. For the first time
as leader of his own group, Kai is developing
a concept bringing together the worlds of music, environmental
activism. Stay tuned!
Kai Eckhardt resides in Berkeley,
married with two
children. His Regina wife is from Sao Paulo, Brazil
and his children Danilo (15) and Naima (11) are
growing up tri-lingual,
speaking Portuguese, English and German. Kai
have just released their first album together which is a duet of poetry