Kai Eckhardt

Kai Eckhardt, a Liberian/German bassist and composer is best known for his contributions to the John Mclaughlin Troo in the 80’s and Billy Cobham’s International Quartet in 1990’s. He also created the Garaj Mahal band in the new Millennium. Kai has recorded and performed with Trilok Gurtu and Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter and Patrice Rushen. Kai Eckhardt has been a performer at prestigious venues all over the world, including the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Philharmonic in Munich. Festival appearances include the Montreal Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival at the Haque, Womad Music Festival in Spain and Summer of Love at Golden Gate Park. Kai has been a well-known bassist and composer in the Eastern region, including Oman, Qatar, Oman and China. Kai is an active performer and a passionate music educator. He teaches online and privately while also being a faculty member of both the Jazz School Institute in Berkeley, and the University of California at Berkeley. Kai has taught master classes and clinics worldwide at the Berklee School of Music, New York, and the Bass Collective. He also had engagements at the Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, the Anton Bruckner Conservatory, Amsterdam Conservatory, and Victor Wooten’s Bass andNature camp in Austria. The Golden Gate Bass camp San Francisco and the Subbulakshmi Institute, Chennai. Kai Eckhardt was raised in Mainz, Germany by his German mother until he was six years old. Kai joined his African father and moved to Monrovia in Liberia. There he attended a West African middle school for four years. He was placed in foster care in Germany after he left Africa in 1970. Kai excelled in track, gymnastics, and diving during this time. Kai was named the “junior district champion” for the three-meter board diving competitions in 1972. Kai quit competitive sports after sustaining a series injuries and turned his attention to music. Kai was gifted a bass guitar by a friend from school and began to practice seriously. Kai was a strong believer in academics. Kai graduated from high school in Germany with the second-highest grade point average. Kai objected to the German army in 1982. After being interviewed by a military court, Kai was freed from the draft. Kai was substituted for army training and became a nurse’s aid at the Children’s Neurological Institute, Mainz/ Germany. He cares for severely handicapped patients. Kai was steadfast to his bass guitar throughout his service. Kai moved to Boston in 1983 to study music at Berklee College of Music after he was awarded a scholarship. Kai started his active touring career as a composer, clinician, and bassist after he graduated with high honors in 1987. Since then, he has been touring. He performs between 100-120 shows per year. Kai is passionate about music and social justice. Kai has worked with the homeless and organized rallies for green-collar jobs. He also helped to create poetry projects that included socially conscious messages. He has worked with Julia Butterfly Hill and Majora Carter, as well as Alli Chagi Starr, Deb Delman, Van Jones, Van Jones, and Alli Chagi Starr. Kai Eckhardt is now the leader of his group for the first time. He has a new concept that combines the worlds music, activism, and environmental awareness. Kai Eckhardt lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and their two children. From www.kaizone.com

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