Bob Magnusson

Double Bass

  • Adjunct Faculty - Double Bass


"Magnusson's classical training and years as a busy Los Angeles studio player allow him to finesse any piece of music on sight. He can drive an up-tempo bebop tune, deliver a delicate bowed solo on a ballad or slip easily into a samba....His uniqueness is a startling mix of force and gentleness, a quiet attack that declares how fully the lower octaves can be lifted firmly to the framework."   - Jim Merod, Jazz Now

Bob Magnusson, much in demand as a jazz, pop, and classical bassist, also is a great string bass teacher. His extensive studio work, making jazz recordings, television spots, film scores, and jingles, includes a personal discography in excess of 150 albums and CDs. Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "His solos are models of creative, spontaneous artistry. His tone is full, rich and consistent; he is one of those masters who can achieve effortlessly any phrase that comes to his mind. His basic function as a rhythm player is fulfilled no less resourcefully when the others solo..."

In addition to stints in the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony, Bob also has performed with many pop and jazz greats, including Buddy Rich, Sara Vaughan, Jimmy Cobb, Art Pepper Quartet, Benny Golson Quartet, Joe Farrell Quartet, Linda Ronstadt, Natalie Cole, Neil Diamond, Bonnie Raitt, 10,000 Maniacs, Madonna, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Heath, Art Farmer, Kenny Barron, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Billy Higgins, Carl Fontana, Tommy Flanagan, Mike Wofford, Holly Hofmann, Kenny Burrell, Roger Kellaway, Randy Porter, Ernie Watts, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Peter Erskine, Bobby Shew, Bill Mays, Shorty Rogers, Bob cooper, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Jordan, George Cables, Victor Lewis, Joe Pass, Laurindo Almeida, Bud Shank. In addition to his many appearances in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego, Bob has done extensive traveling, performing in many of the world's finest concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has made many trips to Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Central and South America with various artists.

Bob also has received notoriety as a teacher and clinician. He was an active faculty member of Musician's Institute in Hollywood, California from 1977-1996. In 1998 he joined the faculty at San Diego Mesa Community College and the Coronado School of the Arts where he teaches high school and college students about harmony and theory, jazz improvisation, etc. He also enjoys working with private students. Bob has been an instructor at the Centrum School of Creative Arts in Port Townsend, Washington. 

Selected Quotations:

"Magnusson, an exceptional player..."
"Startlingly virtuosic bass work by Bob Magnusson..."
"Technically impeccable solos..."
"Bob Magnusson, whose upright bass solos were richly inventive..."

Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times

"The work of bassist Bob Magnusson has long been recognized in this town as being some of jazz music's best. He is clearly one of the more inventive players, with unflappable instincts and an awesome technique, who consistently provides the necessary support demanded of him by a variety of jazz."

James Liska, Daily News

"When you mention jazz bassists who live in California, Bob Magnusson is one of the first on everyone's mind."

Joe Rothmann, West Coast Jazz Party


"The Art of the Walking Bass," Hal Leonard Publishing , 1999.