Double bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons was destined to create music that spans genres and borders: He was born in France to a family with roots in the Catalonia region of Spain, and he's fluent in French, Spanish and English. Classical, jazz and flamenco represent equal parts of his musical DNA, and his technique reflects the delicate arco stylings of concert halls, the deep groove of jazz and the raw vitality of flamenco.
This appearance behind Bob Boilen's desk captures more than just Garcia-Fons' masterful technique. His musical vision can be heard in the digital loops of rhythm and sound that he generates entirely from his upright bass. He thumps, strums and pokes as he mines the sonic possibilities of not just his bass, but also his imagination.
Garcia-Fons isn't always such a lone wolf; his collaborators include symphony orchestras, jazz groups and an amazing trio that practically defines the concept of world music. If you only knew him through one genre, you'd be surprised to discover these other sides to his skills.
For one fortunate group of NPR staffers, we had him all alone with just his bass and creativity.
- "Aqua Jan"
- "Hacía Compostela"
- "Rock Wandering"
Producers: Van Williamson and Felix Contreras; Editor: Bob Boilen; Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Mike Katzif/NPR