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Willem von Hombracht

Willem von Hombracht (San Francisco,1960), contrabass and bass guitar.

Willem has been a bassist for almost 30 years now, contrabass since 1983. Studied at the Arnhem conservatory of music in the Netherlands, 1984-1988. Studied privately from 1990-1992 with Buell Neidlinger and Charlie Haden.

Through the years he has worked in quite a wide variety of musical situations, easily moving from one style to another. He has played in orchestral and chamber groups, both classical and modern; folk music from around the world, including, for example, Hungarian and Romanian gypsy music, Russian folk music, traditional Persian music, West African music, traditional Cuban and salsa, Caribbean calypso, Brazilian samba and Argentine tango; various rock and blues bands; and has in recent years been much in demand as a jazz bassist, in styles ranging from traditional to bebop to free form improvisation. He also collaborates on projects with poets, dancers and actors.

Playing credits include: Billy Higgins, Andrew Hill, John Hicks, Ritchie Cole, Herb Jeffries, Petula Clark, Eddie Harris, Gary Foster, Vinnie Golia, Bobby Shew, Don Preston, Ray Pizzi, Jay Migliori, Gary Wittner, Howard Johnson, Mark Elf, Dick de Graaf, Willie Matthews and Chuck McPherson.

In 1995 Willem moved to St.Louis, where he was soon established as an important member of the local music scene. He can regularly be heard accompanying many great St.Louis performers, including Willie Akins, Jeanne Trevor, Freddie Washington, Mae Wheeler, Ptah Williams, Paul DeMarinis, Dave Black, Gary Sykes, Kenny Rice and Rob Block.

Willem is the leader of the St. Louis New Jazz X-tet, a group which varies in size between 4 and 7 members, and which performs mostly original music. He is a frequent accompanist to Ms. Jeanne Trevor, and was a member of the Willie Akins Quartet from 1995 through 2004, as well as a member of the Ptah Williams Trio from 2001 - 2006. He is also frequently called upon to accompany musical theater productions.

Willem is adjunct professor of jazz studies at Webster University in St. Louis. He has also taught several bass masterclasses and jazz/improvisation workshops, in the USA as well as in Europe. In addition, he is a faculty member of the International Summer Jazz Academy (ISJA) in Krakow, Poland.


Jean Auray contrabass


Primary Instrument



20+ years teaching experience, beginning to advanced levels, including children and adult beginners. Private bass lessons, contrabass and/or bass guitar. Combo and band direction. Theory classes. Jazz history classes. Currently adjunct professor of jazz studies at Webster University, since 2004. Also on faculty of International Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow, Poland (every year in July), since 2001. Formerly adjunct professorships at Lindenwood University, St Charles Comm. College, Jefferson Comm. College. Adjudicator at various high school band competitions. Hours and rates variable, please contact.


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