Click on each person's name to learn more.
Jon Hamar is a versatile artist whose ability to find a tasteful, unique voice in any musical situation has made him a staple in the music scene. Hamar’s work ethic and discipline have kept him busy over his career that spans more than twenty years.
He was born and raised in Kennewick, Washington and grew up in a musical family. He began playing the string bass at age 11 and continued through public school playing in orchestra, jazz band and the local youth symphony.
Jon earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Double Bass Performance from Eastern Washington University under the tutelage of Russian bassist Roma Vayspapir. While in Spokane Hamar played in university ensembles as well as the Spokane Symphony and the Bob Curnow Big Band. Hamar continued on to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media in 2001. While at Eastman, he studied the bass with Jeff Campbell and James VanDemark and worked closely with Harold Danko, Fred Sturm and Clay Jenkins.
Jon has performed with Ernestine Anderson, Benny Golson, Terell Stafford, Pete Christlieb the Jeff Hamilton Trio, and the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
In 2012, he joined the faculty at the Centrum Jazz Workshop under artistic director John Clayton and, in 2015, joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee. Hamar is currently assistant professor of bass at the Nathalie L. Haslam School of Music in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He began performing with the Jeff Hamilton Trio in July of 2018 and recently toured Europe with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Jeff Hamilton and John Clayton, featuring renowned vocalist Cecil McLaren Salvant.
During Randy's formative years, growing up in northern California, he began playing bass as well as taking woodshop classes. Pursuit of the two came naturally together years after focusing on playing and teaching bass. Always intrigued with the idea of making a bass, the opportunity arose when Zeta Music Systems in Oakland, CA hired Randy to help in the building of their electric basses, cellos and violins. After moving to Nashville, Williams Fine Violins on Music Row, a popular bass destination, had a bench opening allowing Randy more opportunity to gain experience in upright bass set up, repair and restoration. Continually striving to sharpen his skills by building upon his knowledge of repair, craft and acoustics of the instrument, Randy attends the Violin Society of America's Oberlin Bass making/repair workshops during the summers. Additionally he attends conventions such as the International Society of Bassists (ISB), where makers get the rare chance to be building basses and relationships with some of the best luthiers around the world. Randy also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance from the Mannes/New School Conservatory in New York City.