Richard Trevor, Contrabass

Richard Trevor, Contrabass

Like many kids, Rich started playing guitar after hearing the Beatles on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” But Rich stuck with it, switching to bass guitar and playing in rock bands through junior high and high school in Chicago. He then went to University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, majoring in political science while continuing to play and working in record stores. “They had a really good, diverse musical education program. A lot of fine musicians came from there.”

Rich joined the Chicogo Blues scene, playing in rhythm and blues bands for a few years, most notably with J.B. Hutto, a slide guitarist and vocalist now in the Blues Hall of Fame. He toured with the bands, mainly through the mid-West. Rich moved to the Bay Area in 1978, taking courses in computer programming, which became his day job. He got involved in the blues scene here as a member of the house band at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland (originally a blues club and record label). While there, he backed up the likes of Jimmy McCracklin (West Coast Blues, Jump Blues and R&B) and Lowell Fulson (West Coast Blues, in the Blues Hall of Fame). During that time he also met Karl Sevareid (see below) and “I decided that as a professional I should also play acoustic bass,” he says. So he picked it up and played jazz mostly. Then, of all things, he joined Baguette Quartette on acoustic bass, playing the accordion-based music heard in Paris between 1920 and 1940 on street corners and in cafes. Its repertoire includes tangos, valses musettes, pasos dobles, fox trots and marches ( Rich played with them for 20 years.

In 1996, Rich and his family moved next door to Aaron Paul (Prometheus horn player) who encouraged him to join the orchestra. “I had never played classical music and barely knew how to read it, let alone follow a conductor. It’s been a real music education for me here.” He points to the cohesion and synergy of the section, helping each other play better. “Bass players tend to play all sorts of music. We just play!” In addition to Prometheus, Rich plays with the Piedmont Light Orchestra (with Bruce Von Kuglegen, trombone), codes, and still picks up rhythm and blues gigs now and then.

~Joyce Vollmer

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