215 – Damian Erskine: The Portland Scene, Playing with Uncle Peter, The “Strength of Ego” to Play Simply
Damian Erskine is known for his ability to fit into most any musical situation, extraordinary reading and improvising skills as well as being an educator and columnist. He has played in the studio or on the stage with Peter Erskine, Gino Vannelli, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Bob Sheppard, John Beasley, Jeff Lorber, The Buddy Rich Alumni All-Star Band, Antonio Hart, Charmaine Neville, and many others as well as being featured on the GospelChops.com “Shed Sessionz Vol. 1” DVD.
Damian is an adjunct professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he regularly teaches abroad with JAE (Jazz Education Abroad) in Shanghai, Beirut, Cyprus, and Bangkok as well as teaching camps in the US at • Gerald Veasley’s Bass Bootcamp, the National Guitar Workshop, and Berklee College of Music’s Guitar Week.
Damian has written for Bass Player Magazine, Bass Musician Magazine, as well as continuing to maintain a popular weekly column at NoTreble.com.
In this episode, Damian talks about:
- The Portland/Pacific Northwest scene, and what keeps him busy there
- Starting on drums, moving to bass
- How the competitive environment of Berklee didn’t inspire or motivate him
- Growing up and playing with Peter Erskine, and how Peter influenced his bass playing
- The pros and cons of having a “drummer brain” as a bassist
- His take on Peter’s “tough love” style of mentorship
- Staying up on the Portland scene and forming new relationships with younger players
Damian Erskine endorses Skjold basses, Aguilar amplification, Groove Gear, MXR pedals, D’Addario strings, Reunion Blues gig bags, and Pig Hog cables.