Artie Langston has been a
professional musician all his life, performing with ensembles ranging from symphony
orchestras to jazz groups in over a dozen foreign countries, on several network television
specials, and at the US White House and Carnegie Hall. He's included in the book
New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album by Al Rose.
He has worked with artists such as Snookum Russell,
Louie Jordan, "Fatha" Hines, Lee Konitz , Eddie Harris, Cannonball Adderly,
Rassasahn Roland Kirk, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, Maryanne Price, Alan Toussaint, Stephan
Grapelli, Bob Wilbur, Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell, Pony Poindexter, Tony Horowitz, Al
Hirt, Buddy DeFranco, Woody Herman, Emily Remler, James Booker, Lisa Pollard, Dan Hicks,
Lucinda Williams, "Gatemouth" Brown, and New Orleans famous Olympia Brass Band to name but a
Besides performing, Artie has also taught music on
the university level, given jazz clinics and lectures, and been a music writer for several
newspapers and magazines. He works as a music copyist as well, using
Coda Finale software.
For most of his adult life,
Langston has lived in New Orleans, LA and San Francisco, CA.
Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in music,
holds a masters degree in Jazz Studies from Webster University, and
is an alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. A member of the American Federation of Musicians since
he also belongs to ASCAP, the National Academy of Recording Arts and
Association of Jazz Educators, American String Teachers Association, and
International Society of Bassists.
Artie is a licensed private pilot
(single engine land, seaplane and glider), holds amateur radio license KD0GY and is a rescue certified SCUBA diver.
What A Long Strange Trip It's Been!
Born in Fort Worth, TX, Artie
Langston was raised by his maternal grandparents in Jefferson City, MO, starting violin when
he was seven years old.
In high school, he began playing upright and electric bass, tuba, trombone, 'cello, alto
sax and piano.
Also showing a keen interest in science, aviation and electronics,
Artie won a special NASA High School Science Award. Washing dishes to pay for flying
lessons, he received his private pilot license upon turning 16 his junior year.
active in Scouting and DeMolay.
When he first heard the phenomenal bass playing
of Ray Brown, Langston knew exactly what he would be doing for the rest of
his life. At age 15, he had a chance to meet and get a lesson with Ray.
Brown was encouraging, and it galvanized
Artie to focus
on the bass, taking lessons with classmate Jim Hackman, a wonderful bassist who also
introduced him to the music of John Coltrane.
His grandfather had passed away,
but Artie's grandmother, Florine Langley, was incredibly supportive of his
musical career and continued to encourage him her whole life. Among fond high
school memories are attending the Stan Kenton Clinic in Los Angles,
and the Mid-West Music and Art Camp at the University of Kansas, where
Graduating from Jefferson City Senior High, Artie made his first real professional appearance
at 17 with Buddy DeFranco and the Glenn Miller
Orchestra, filling in on tour for Jim Widner.
His university studies began at Central Missouri
State University studying bass and 'cello with Dr. Robert Stuart, as well as
composition and piano with Dr. Donald Bohlen, a disciple of Roger Sessions.
Langston was selected a Kansas City Jazz Festival College
All-Star, and began doing steady gigs, shows and studio work with many of the top
players in Kansas City, including Mike Ning, Steve Lockwood, and The Pete
He was fortunate to meet and
get some lessons with Walter Booker, who was then bassist with the Cannonball Adderly
Quintet, and after hearing Artie play, Walter and Cannonball both encouraged Artie to pursue music
professionally. He was also
lucky enough to meet and play for another of his heroes,
Rassasahn Roland Kirk, who also offered his encouragement. Langston
decided to leave
university to perform full time in 1973.
Down and Yonder!
After touring with various bands, including a
short stint with Woody
Herman, Artie spent time in San Francisco, playing club dates with such artists as jazz
saxophonist Pony Poindexter and blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield. He studied doublebass with
Phil Karp, principal bassist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and classical
Indian music at the Ali Akbar Khan school. Langston also recorded duets with M. Koga, the
Japanese shakuhatchi flute master.
While performing in New Orleans in 1974,
Snookum Russell asked Artie to join his band, beginning a life-long love affair with the
French Quarter and the culture of the city that became his home town.
Russell had nurtured such great artists as Ray Brown, J.J. Johnson, Fats Navarro, and a score
of others. He was a musical father to Artie as well, encouraging him
to never quit playing, no matter what the adversity.
At this time
Bourbon Street was alive with Jazz and Rhythm & Blues and abounded with steady gigs and late
night jam sessions. Many of the
masters of the New Orleans Jazz scene
Artie worked with became friends, such as Danny Barker,
Louis Cotrell, Alvin Alcorn, "Frog" Joseph, Plas and Justin Adams, Teddy Riley,
Earl Turbington, Freddie Lonzo, George Brunis, Wallace Davenport, and Freddy
Kohlman. He also worked occasionally with guitarist Emily Remler, and with R&B greats such as
Professor Longhair, David Lastie, Smokey Johnson, Lloyd Price, and Ernie K. Doe.
Langston was one
of the few musicians to work regularly with New Orleans famous Olympia Brass Band,
playing dozens of authentic jazz funerals.
After a year, at Snookum's urging,
Langston joined Louie Jordan, who was
opening a new show in New Orleans with trumpeter Wallace Davenport, of
Count Basie and Ray Charles fame, as musical director. Truly a living legend, Louie
had wonderful stories to tell of
playing with Chick Webb, singing with Ella Fitzgerald, and
his many years as one of music's biggest stars with his Timpani Five.
Louie's show closed,
Artie worked with pianist Maurice Waller (son of Fats Waller and a fine
musician in his own right), toured with the
Dukes of Dixieland, played the Bourbon Street clubs and riverboats, and did shows and
recording sessions, including several major motion pictures and network television
specials. During this time, he studied bass with Robert Rhoe, principal
bass of the New Orleans
Symphony Orchestra, and with guitarist/bassist Bill Huntington.
Langston sometimes returned to San
Francisco, playing clubs dates and doing recording sessions or pit orchestra
work. He also performed with the popular "Bourbon Street Irregulars", playing street
music for hundreds of people.
between New Orleans and San Francisco,
Artie continued performing and recording with various artists, as well as teaching privately,
through the 70's and 80's in the US, Europe, Japan, and the Caribbean. He also studied
doublebass with Jim Knutson, principal bass, The Minnesota Orchestra, Ron Simon
principal bass, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and with jazz great Richard Davis.
The Journey Continues!
In order to be closer to his grandmother, who
was then nearly 90 years old, Artie Langston returned to Missouri and finished
the bachelors degree in
doublebass performance in 1988 from the University of Missouri, Columbia, studying with
During this time he continued to perform and travel as well,
doing tours of Europe, Japan and the U.S. with various artists.
For several years, he
assisted Ms. Stubbs in conducting the Missouri Bass Camp, a summer
music workshop and master class for young bassists.
In 1990 Langston received a
masters degree in Jazz Studies from Webster University, St. Louis, where
he was also an
adjunct professor. There he studied with Henry Lowe, principal bassist with the St. Louis
Symphony Orchestra, taught privately, and performed.
Following a six week tour of Japan with Wes Mix, and
a trip to Great Britain with Stella Parton, Artie did a brief stint in Branson, MO,
accompanying such artists as Patty Page, Rudy Gatlin, The Four Lads, The Ink Spots, and
others. Langston then left (or escaped!), to do a season as a featured performer
along with Phil Urso (of Chet Baker fame) on Holland
America Line's "Salute to Jazz" cruises, on the ships Maasdam and
Artie Langston held the position of Instructor of Jazz Bass at the University of Texas, Austin, and did
Ph.D. work there, studying bass with Dr. David Neubert.
While in Austin,
Artie taught many
private students and worked with trumpeter Martin Banks, singer Maryanne Price, blues
great "Long John" Hunter, Dan Hicks and the Acoustic Warriors, and others, while
continuing to tour with The Ink Spots.
Artie also recorded the CD "First Day of
Spring" with jazz violinist Sabastian
Campesi, and several other jazz and blues
recordings for Catfish Records.
Artie is playing professionally, teaching
privately, and presenting jazz lecture-performances as a clinician.
new solo CD "Triumvirate" with the Artie Langston Trio, just released, features pianist Bobby Schiff, and
Tony Horowitz on
trumpet. Also, volume one
and two of
his new book
of practical jazz bass line theory for bass, tuba and synthesizer Jazz
and Swing Bass Fundamentals is coming out soon.
If you would like Artie
Langston to perform, teach as an
artist/clinician, or give a workshop on computer music software, you may contact