Contrabassist Carl Royce
He is based in Monrovia, California, situated in the San Gabriel Mountains’ foothills, just East of Pasadena.
Carl still recalls his first encounter with the beautiful sound and massive form of the contrabass at a performance by a local symphony orchestra when he was four years old. A few years later, his family relocated to the island of Puerto Rico, and he discovered the Spanish guitar and the Puertorican cuatro. This eventually led to a thirty-year trajectory in NYC as a freelance guitarist/cuatrista and composer, with headquarters in a sunny railroad flat in Hell’s Kitchen. During this time, Royce interfaced with many colorful, talented creatives (see Cohorts and Collaborators below.) He served as composer-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts and taught music at Johnny Colon’s East Harlem Music School.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Carl relocated to Los Angeles with his wife and two-year-old daughter. An obsessive and stubborn autodidact, Carl seized this ‘reset’ opportunity to explore the contrabass’ vast range of timbres and possibilities. He underwent studies with renowned contrabassists Putter Smith and Gary Peacock, among others.
Royce has served as contrabassist in the experimental jazz group The Stratos Ensemble. He is a founding member of improvisational ambient jazz quartet Baker’s Brew, as well as the alt-jazz trio DBC Unit, performing regularly in experimental music and jazz venues. Recordings of Royce’s compositions, performances, and collaborations can be found here.
Cohorts and Collaborators
- Singer/songwriters Roy Brown and Zoraida Santigo from Aires Bucaneros.
- Keyboardist/songwriter Andrew Hindes, of The Waitresses and Jalloon July.
- Multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Royce of The Wildparty Sheiks
- Bassist Melvin Gibbs and vocalist D.K. Dyson of Eye and I.
- Drummer Richie Harrison aka Rah Harrison.
- Guitarist Gary Poulson of Eye and I and Zawinul Syndicate.
- NYC’s Black Rock Coalition.
- Guitarist Vernon Reid.
- Coppertone Studio on the 5th floor of The Music Building on 38th and 8th, NYC.
- Mexican Pop-Star Leonardo De Lozanne of Fobia fame.
- Percussionist Daniel Sadownik.
- Pianist/composer Steve Sandberg.
- Drummer Robbie Ameen.
- Bassist Jeff Fuller.
- Drummer/composer Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants.
- Sax player/keyboardist/composer Jim Goetsch aka Subversive Element.
- Guitarist Daniel Coffeng aka Daniel Coffeng
- Drummer/percussionist/composer Maury Baker.
- Electric Violinist David Strother.
- Drummer/percussionist/composer/multi-medium artist Breeze Smith.
- Keyboardist and visionary Dean De Benedictis.
- Electric violinist Michael Zentner of Zenland.
- Guitarist Andy Abad of The Blue Agave.
- Keyboardist Christian Boyd.
- Drummer Stephen Foster.
- Keyboardist/audio engineer Steve Robbins.
- Jazz guitarist/zither-whisperer EdWing Sankey.
- Songstress Shelly Peiken.
- Singer/songwriter/performance artist Andy Jordan aka Least Weasel