ken weigand

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I've always thought of myself as a singer.  I lucked out and had several good voice instructors through the public school system.  I got to work with 3 people over the course of 18 years as I started in Kindergarten and had the same choir director through 6th grade.  I didn't really care for the solo stuff but I was pushed a little and basically things got out of control from there.  I always thought about how cool it was to always have your instrument ready and handy........and it never needed strings!  All through High School I lucked out by having several good music and voice teachers.....the training then is one main reason I'm
here sharing this with you.

Bass was my second instrument.  In 8th grade my first band formed with me and two guys from choir.  One guy played guitar a little and a ton of second chair trombone and piano and sang. I played nothing and doo-whopped for the first few gigs.  Begged my folks for a bass....Santa was the man that year.......rock on.  I took string bass in the school orchestra and hacked away for the rest of high school.

I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 19.  I sat on my parents porch during a summer with a chord book, a classical guitar book 1, and spent hours a day figuring out how to play well enough to sing over.  I felt if I could play just well enough to not be embarrassed I could wander the Earth with an acoustic and at the very least sing for my supper.  So now...way in the a strange way I do just that......sing, play guitar and bass for my dinner.  Strange how life works out sometimes.

Bamboo Music became a business, an idea, a philosophy of mine in 1996 as a way for me to formalize what I do as a musician, teacher,.......and basically all the things you will find around this web site.  My role as a teacher brought me the pleasure of witnessing people gain ground and develop into songwriters, performers, and fine musicians.  I felt an obligation to those that worked hard to try to provide them with the next layer or level in their efforts such as performing, recording, meeting and working with other talented people to get a taste of what all professional players enjoy.......beyond the glitter it's the relationships you develop and cultivate that remain a large part of your life as long as you live.  

As a professional player, having moved here for a day gig and knew nobody, I noticed that there was a ton of local super players that didn't seem to be household names. They played with everyone, in front of and behind the best...but nobody below a certain level musician knew who they were. All the hot dog and sweetheart players loved them and that told me enough about their character and personality......I heard them, got to work with them, and I could hear they had the goods.  

I set a path to try to bring my students together with these special musicians and give everyone a chance to share ideas, music, philosophy, and art with the concept that the up and comers could meet and interact with a high level musical niche to help them make good decisions and choices for their careers.....and to better understand what exactly they're dreaming about.  Thanks to the time and generosity of the professional musical community here in the Triangle area of North Carolina and beyond people are starting to dream big dreams.  Thanks to professionals like Dave Sardinha, owner of the Six String Cafe & Music Hall in Cary, young songwriters have a place to try out their material in a great venue...learning the ropes.  

I personally hear students and friends play original music, compositions, and arrangements every day of my life...musicians old and new that only me and a handful of people even know exist....and it's all mind bogglingly beautiful. Support is all they need to continue to sing, play, and write music.  A little money and a lot of time on everyone's part and everyone wins.  With everyone, at all levels connecting, some folks will beneifit from the wisdom and apply it to their find a focus for their work hard and dream big.

It will long as you, the public, wherever you live, will work just a little harder to support live music in your community.  Go out.......visit the clubs, the venues, and the shows that feature local musicians.  Keep the pipeline full of new artists and musicians that need to play out, need to be encouraged to stay focused and goal oriented.  An empty club is a sad and heartbreaking moment for a newbee........too many nights like that and most people will hang it up.......make an assumption that they stink as a musician........give up the dream because nobody but a few people support them.  

Consider this the next time you're going to drop another $75.00 per seat on another monster touring act coming through town that's been raking in the big dough for decades.......that don't need your money, or time, or fanatical allegiance......consider putting that money and evening into catching some new music....some new performers....a fabulous jazz gig at a nice venue for that matter.....or buying the new CD put out by a local band or songwriter that needs the money, needs your time, and really needs your fan support. Down the road you can tell your children and grand kids that you used to know that guy or girl when they were teenagers playing around town.......and that your money, time, and support helped push them over the top......helped motivate them to work harder, smile bigger, dream wilder dreams......and helped get them up the ladder high enough to draw the attention of the music industry.  

Local communities supporting local art and music........all levels getting to share ideas and success........that's the philosophy behind Bamboo Music. Make it out to hear some of the artists featured on this web site. Subscribe to the weekly bamboonews......the local e-newsletter that keeps you informed about who, what, and when to catch some of the coolest young and old musicians you'll ever meet or hear.  Be part of the future.......come back here often and listen to what's happening.


I thought a few images of my past musical lives might be a way to share where I came from and why music is such a bigger thing than just the notes and staff.  Laughing is allowed and encouraged.  Over time tapes might surface, I might figure a way to play some 45's and digitize them....plug in some audio.  I also think somewhere there are other short-lived bands and photos coming soon.

The Chessman  .  1964-66
the chessman
My first in the back left with my pride and joy Kent bass.  
Dave Bird beside musician.....super talent.  
Jeff Gintz on drums.....and Keith Widdon....on guitar.
Dave and I found Keith through a local music store......he came recommended
as a solid rhythm player who owned a fab National guitar.

Next.......the band morphed into the

Royal Chessman
. 1966-69

royal chessman

We added a new drummer, the cute, the charming, the white shirted
good guy Rich Bellanco and Dave's bro Rodney....bottom right on keys and sax.  Bunch 'a posers huh!?  We had a good band........we opened for Cream, the Young Rascals, the Association, Vanilla Fudge, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Neil Diamond, and a dozen hot big rock groups and had 5 part vocals knocked.  We did all the rock and all the Mo-town...and
had an original tune that got some air play regionally.

We had a good management team, ate, slept, and breathed music.  We traveled
a lot....covered 8 states......we were 16.  My high school days were kinda unusual.  We did a lot of TV dance shows where you have to 'mime' the performance over a canned track blasted onto the stage set.  Acting cool, enthused, and matching your jaw movements isn't easy at first........and in front of maybe 100 dancing teens....sometimes taped....sometimes live it just can feel really weird.  I have a million road stories associated with this band......not many of which anyone will ever hear.

This is Suite:  1969-73

Me left as the front man singer. Grant Casper on Hammond B3...loud....probably gave me some hearing loss and brain damage as I stood singing next to him.  Greg Erb on bass and screamin harmony....seated is Jam Master Jim of the first total package musicians/talents I got to work with.  He could play any instrument well and could sing well.  Mike Breahl on drums on the end was nothing but fun and a good guy.  We could cover anyone from dead on Kansas to Yes to Eagles as we had big skill,
cared about the music, and had five part vocals that were honkin.

That's me down left with the headband and the attitude.

Buckwheat  .  1974

Major, major fun and some super vocal stuff.  Greg Erb on bass (left), me on vocals,
Carl Dreher
on drums, he'll kill me for forgetting his name but he played keys and guitar, Grant Casper on organ, and Dan Gribble on lead guitar.

Cookin  .  1978-81


Ron Powers, Dawn Boles, and you-know-who tearing up the Tampa Bay area. 
Nice trio doing music from Dan Hicks
and the Hot Licks, to Eagles, to Riki Lee Jones. 
Ron played guitar and sang.  Dawn sang the front a bunch and Ron and I would harmonize.
I sang, played guitar and bass. We always had a good time and a good crowd.

Cosmos's Swing  .  1994-97

cosmos's swing

Jim Savage . right . was the songwriter and inspiration behind the band.
Bill Poole on drums . left . then Frayda Bluestein on vocals,
me in the back and
Vhondy Strickland on sax had a great time playing and recording Jims tunes.  

Swingtime  .  1996-99


Phil Franklin . center . ran this band of  loose cannons  and great players.  
Jazz piano man Billy Farmer on the left.  Me on bass.  Jazz critic and horn man
Owen Cordel behind the Swing Time banner.
Vibe, keys, drum dude Steve Clemmons
on the right.
Of all the musical experiences I've had this was one of  the most rewarding
for me as a musician and as an adult man. 
The band was all seasoned players with
rich historys with
dozens and dozens of storys to tell during breaks in the back hallway.
I truly felt privileged to play with them and to get to know them.

Big Mama E & the Cool  .  1995

big mama E & the cool

My rock and roll soul get's it's fix with this band.
Emma Davis . center . brings us all together under one rockin roof.
Mike Edwards . left . on lead guitar.  Dan Davis...drums.  Emma.  
Olly Roberts is next on bass, guitar, and vocals.
Then me on the right with guitar, bass, and vocals.
Click the pic and visit the site.

Tony Thompson Trio  .  2000

tony thompson trio
Tony Thompson . center . piano has pursued jazz
his entire life.  A veteran player....Tony has pushed his own writing
and arranging over the past decade or so.  It's a pleasure to be around
someone writing jazz tunes.  It's drummer Eric Weaver on the left and me
looking happy on the right.  Heck......when I started to play bass at 13 being in a group doing what I get to do with Tony was a large vision for the future. Here I am....having a blast.

crooked smile band  .  2004

jim crew ( l ) dave dyer, me, allyn love, fran dyer
what a bunch of dudes......the band surrounds the music of dave dyer and
does everything from daves music, to hank sr., to talking heads.  everybody has a
long musical history with a wide range of makes for great fun and freat music.

For now..................that's a wrap for my magic history tour.
As with the entire web site.....keep watching for changes and up-dates and thanks for being here and supporting live music.

....and now....the story behind the name........

The company namesake....Bamboo.
This cat was 17 when he kicked.  I had him when I lived in Tampa
back in the late 70's.  I have never met a cooler cat.
I meet and work with a lot of 'cool cats' but this guy took the cake.
I decided the word Bamboo was fun to say....sort of a drum rhythm.
I had also gotten tired of answering if he was a he or a she when
he was a kitten.  I decided who really cares besides another cat.
I chose the name to confuse people a little more.
The image of actual bamboo growing....lush, cool, mysterious,
exotic....the multiple uses for's beauty and form all
added to this chilled out fuzzy black cat.

I felt by naming the business after him
I would never forget him.  He brought me a lot of
pleasure, comfort, and peace....with a few scratches along
the way.  The image of the name, of the plant, the cool cat, my concept
seemed to gell in my mind.

All the above gelled for Wendy Savage as well
when she designed the bamboo music logo.
The large image captured everything I felt and imagined.
Her signature "chop" placed on the logo....on all of her work...
completed the entire picture.


© copyright 2000-2005 ken weigand  .  bamboo music