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“Whether you regard him as a singer-songwriter, a soulful vocalist,

or a superb and innovative bassist, his talent is undeniable.” 

- Timeout Magazine

 
 

John Lester

Singer-Songwriter-Bassist-Guitarist

 

 

John is an award winning songwriter who has, throughout his career, had one foot in the rock/acoustic music scene and the other in jazz. As a songwriter, John was awarded the “Song of the Year Award” from the West Coast Songwriter’s Association on two occasions (for The Ways of a Woman and Both a Blessing and a Curse). The title track from his 2007 release, So Many Reasons, was also the winner of the WCS International Songwriting Award for “Best Jazz Song” and he also won their “Best Humorous Song Award” for his tongue-in-cheek ditty, Beware La Merde, about a bit of advice to tourists in Paris.

 

“John doesn’t just have a great voice, he is a voice! Great songs that really communicate.”

- Russ Jennings, KPFA

 

As a solo performer, John has created a unique show featuring his 100-year-old upright bass named Sarah (after Sarah Vaughan, for her lovely vocal-like quality). He also plays acoustic and electric bass guitars, as well as baritone steel string guitar, nylon string guitar, and ukulele, at times utilizing a loop recorder to create live tracks for his songs and improvisations.

 

“Lester’s USP is his supreme mastery of all possible varieties of basses and his use of them as lead instruments…his understated virtuosity demands attention!”

- Maverick Magazine

 

John has released five albums to date: “Live at the Freight and Salvage” in 1999, “Big Dreams and the Bottom Line” in 2003, and “So Many Reasons” in 2007, "Jazz?" in 2013, and "Live" earlier this year. John’s 2012 release, “Jazz?”, set ten modern rock cover songs into a late 1950’s jazz context and brought together John’s love for both great contemporary songwriting and the open improvisation of a jazz quartet. Released on October 2, 2012, the album steadily climbed the JazzWeek charts, entering the Top 100 in November 2012 and reaching #80 in January 2013.  It also reached #13 on the Roots Music Report jazz chart.

 

“His takes on rock and pop standards with great jazz sensibility and penchant for swing, makes this a wonderful and fresh approach in the canon of improvised music."

- Jim Bennet, KCSM

 

John recently release a live album with his European touring partner Paul Tiernan. John and Paul have been touring together since meeting at the Rochefortes En Accords Festival on the Atlantic coast of France in 2005. After ten years of touring a live recording was finally captured on their 2014 US West Coast Tour. The album features 7 songs by each artist and was released in January 2015.

 

“The interaction that goes on between them, both overtly and covertly, is something that’s subtle and sensational, voices and instruments intertwining and blending to weave songs of influence and poise”.

- FolkWords

 

John is currently in the studio working on his next album set for release in early 2017. The album will feature 10 original tunes in an acoustic format with John on vocals, bass, guitar, and ukulele with Paul Tiernan on guitar and Tim Bulkley on drums. Special guests include electric bass virtuoso Michael Manring, additional drums by Michael Urbano (drummer for Neil Finn, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow), plus piano and accordion by Barry Walsh. Gretchen Peters, whom John has toured with as bassist and support act, will guest on background vocals on the albums first single. 

 

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ShoWS

 

SUNDAY, Aug 28 - BASS BUREAUCRACY AT DRAKES, SAN LEANDRO, CA

1933 Davis Street #177, San Leandro, CA  2pm-5pm (3 sets)

Bass Bureaucracy is my all bass and beats looping project with special guests. I'll playing 4 and 6 string acoustic and electric basses and building live loops for my songs and improvisations. Special guest Daniel Berkman on electronic drums and percussion.

THURSDAY, SEPT 15 - "In-The-Round" at hopmonk sebastopol

230 Petaluma Avenue, Sebastopol, CA

I've been invited to join in an in-the-round concerts in The Abbey at HopMonk Sebastopol. This event is hosted by local singer-songwriter ukulele player Jon Gonzales and will feature myself with three other songwriters (Tabitha Antoinette, Hilary Marckz, and Jessica Malone), all on stage at the same time, playing songs one at a time. I love the in-the-round format, especially as a bassist. The event is in the wonderful old stone Abbey. Tickets only $8.

THURSDAY, SEPT 22 - SOLO SHOW AT BAY OF PINES, MONTEREY, CA

150 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey, CA  8pm-10pm  $10 at the door

After a very successful Monterey show in January, I've been invited back for a solo show. This is a dinner show at the new downtown Bay of Pines. I'll play two sets on guitar, bass, and my little ukulele starting at 8pm. Reservations recommended.

FRIDAY, SEPT 23 - SOLO SHOW LAGUNA BEACH AMPHITHEATRE

Beach Amphitheatre, Laguna Beach

I've been invited to play a September music series in beautiful Laguna Beach by local radio personality and singer-songwriter Jason Freddy at KX935. I'll be playing a solo set in the amphitheatre overlooking the ocean. More details tba.

SATURDAY, SEPT 24 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT

 

SUNDAY, SEPT 25 - SOLO SHOW LOS ANGELES COUNTY FAIR

LA County Fairgrounds 1101 West McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA

I've been invited to play at the Tiny Homes stage by Kevin Polk. I met Kevin in January when he an his wife hosted a house concert with Steve Lawson and I. It's always great to meet new people through the house concert work. I learned "Tiny Houses", a project that Kevin has started that could help displaced and unaffordable-housed Los Angeles residents find their place again. He'll be hosting a stage at the fair and I'll perform solo on closing day. More info to be announced.

 

saturday, oct 1 - private house concert - double bill with kenon chen

This event is for invited guests of the host only. Interested in hosting a house concert yourself? Write to info@johnlestermusic.com

 

 

Now booking - double bill european tour with Paul Tiernan from Nov. 3 to Nov. 19

(more details to be annouced)

THURSDAY, NOV 3 - PRIVATE CONCERT - BOCHUM, GERMANY

FRIDAY, NOV 4 - KULTURKONSUM - ORANIENBERG, BERLIN, GERMANY

SATURDAY, NOV 5 - OBENDOEF, GERMANY

SUNDAY, NOV 6 - ALTABONOFF - FRIEDENAU, BERLIN, GERMANY

MONDAY, NOV 7 - HOUSE CONCERT - WERL, GERMANY

WEDNESDAY, NOV 9 - KANAPEE - HANNOVER, GERMANY

THURSDAY, NOV 10 - PRIMAVISTA - BADEN, SWITZERLAND

FRIDAY THRU SUNDAY, NOV 11-13 - SWITZERLAND - tba

TUESDAY, NOV 15 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

WEDNESDAY, NOV 16 - tba

THURSDAY, NOV 17 - tba

FRIDAY, NOV 18 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT, MONNICKENDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

SATURDAY, NOV 19 - PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT, BERLIN, GERMANY

 

 

    

 

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