Sam Rocha / Bass, Tuba, Vocals
A Fresno, California native, Sam Rocha showed an interest in music from a very early age. Beginning with piano lessons at age 4, his formal musical studies soon expanded to include the viola and bass guitar. At age 15, he fell in love with the acoustic string bass and has since identified himself as a bassist, playing his first professional gigs at 17 with Fresno’s Blue Street Jazz Band, among others. While largely self-taught on the string bass, Sam has closely studied such masters of the instrument as “Pops” Foster, Al Morgan, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Jimmy Blanton, Ray Brown, Walter Page, and Scott LaFaro. In addition to his in-depth study of classic bass playing, Sam has absorbed the nuances of classic jazz tuba, cornet, and guitar playing, and he regularly performs on those instruments as well. Quickly becoming one of the rising stars of the traditional jazz and gypsy swing circuit, Sam is known for his innate musicality and rhythm and for his inventive, melodic solos. While on tour, Sam plays a Chadwick Folding Bass with a hybrid set of gut and steel strings.