Life On The Road / 14 November 2017

Nathan Peck Talks Musician Parents, Proudest Achievements & Push Ups

Nathan Peck’s done all a jazz musician could dream of. He’s a first-call veteran of the New York City jazz scene, flaunting it all on his upright bass, but extends his gift for grooves into the R&B, funk, rock, and hip-hop realms on his electric bass guitar.

On the back of vividly reimagined covers and his breakout album, Nathan found some time off his busy schedule to talks push-ups and jazz legends. As you do!

What was the moment that made you want to be a musician?

I grew up with full time musician parents who were always playing and singing and rehearsing.  It was always something I was aware of and in awe of. As a kid I played piano, drums and saxophone in school band but I only got serious about music after my father got me my first bass. It was a matter of finding the instrument that was the most compelling to play. After that I was hooked!

Who were/are your musical heroes? 

My parents were my earliest musical heroes. My father is a jazz piano player and composer and my mother is a jazz singer. They were always playing and singing and hosting rehearsals and as a kid I so wanted to play with them! After I began playing bass I got my wish and I played gigs with them along with my brother and uncles on a regular basis for about the first 10 years of my career! We played jazz and pop and original music in clubs and at various social events while I was in high school.

Nathan’s Father, Skip, and Mother, Donna

My other heroes would have to include Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Ray Brown, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Chick Corea, John Patitucci, and the most obvious bass hero- the late great Jaco Pastorius. All of these people share one common trait- they have all composed some amazing music. I did get to tour with one of my long time heroes – trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.

What do you never leave home without when you’re on tour? 

A hat and a jacket! 

What’s your pre-gig ritual? 

10 slow push-ups to stretch my arms and hands then individual finger stretches side to side. Lots of water and slow breathing!

What accessory can’t you function without when playing live? 

Definitely my MONO strap! For upright bass, my Fishman platinum eq is a must. 

What MONO gear do you use at home, in the studio or on tour?

I use the Bass Sleeve, two in fact! And the MONO strap and Guitar Tick as well. The backpack is next on my list!

A post shared by Nathan Peck (@nathanpeckbass) on

What’s your proudest achievement?

Watching my 12-year-old daughter play bass in a high school musical!

What would be your fantasy band line-up? (choose any musicians from any genre to play together)

What an idea! Ok so, it would be something like this-

  • Saxophone – Sun Ra
  • Trumpet – Freddie Hubbard
  • Trombone – Frank Rosolino 
  • Keys – George Duke, Donald Fagen 
  • Organ – Chester Thompson 
  • Guitar – Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin
  • Bass – Jaco Pastorius, Charles Mingus
  • Drums – Elvin Jones, John Bonham
  • Vocals – John Lennon/David Clayton Thomas and a 77 piece orchestra conducted by John Williams. 

What’s your favourite album of all time?

Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness First Finale 

Who was the last band you saw live? 

Mark Guiliana Beat Music 

lead photo credit: Evelyn Steinweg Photographie

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