Victoria Grossi aka Vicky the Bassplayer, performer, composer, band leader, and music-seeker, supports, leads, and influences countless San Francisco Bay Area bands and musicians. She is intuitively melodic, seriously syncopated, skillful and fun to watch. Although her training is extensive, she is best described as playing by feel.
Born in San Francisco, California, Vicky started violin lessons at six years old, but didn't know she wanted to be a musician until a Feetwood Mac concert when she was eight. Intensely studying the violin offered scholarships for private school, but she really wanted to be a singer. From six to sixteen, like many, Vicky was a pop-music fanatic.
Toward the end of high school, her family moved, and Vicky took time off from everything to have fun. Friends would ask her, "what are you going to be?" She would say "a musician." When they asked her what she played, she would say, "Nothing."
Vicky decided to go to college, and attended UC Berkeley as a pre-med major in 1990. Two years later she couldn't bear the thought of not perusing music. She changed majors and played violin and viola in the music program, eventually getting her degree. Music major friends needed to practice jazz standards, and threw the bass in her hands because she could read the changes. That was the start of bass and jazz, simultaneously. Then she practiced and took every playing opportunity for years and years. By 1999, she was playing bass full time.
The warm, acoustic-friendly sound on her fretless FBass blends with the drums, and has developed into a unique voice over years of jazz shows and gigs. She has collaborated and worked for Carl Lockett, Vince Wallace, Bishop Norman Williams and many others, playing jazz standards and originals. She has also recorded five CD's with her own group, The Blue and Tan; The Rhapsody in Tan, a collection of five interrelated songs for Jazz quartet, is her largest work to date. The piece reaches almost forty-five minutes, and offers many interesting melodic and rhythmic motifs, appearing in surprising recaps throughout. The Blue and Tan features many of her compositions, and includes long stints of recording and gigs with Andre Bush, Mitch Marcus, Alex Skolnik, Rob Rhodes, Joe Brigandi and many other great musicians.
These days Vicky works on, and seeks out groove playing in many forms. Her band, Slydini, explores odd meters and double time signatures, all the while holding danceable, sing able, fun music in the highest regard. With the great drummer Jan Jackson, saxophonist John Ingle, and guitarist Bill Wolter, this band is fantastic.
A member of Bitches Brew (voted San Francisco's best jazz group 2002), her playing experience includes countless funk and disco cover bands, plus a few more: Casino Royale (60's Go-Go), Kiss My Brass (Tower of Power), The Marshall Law Band (blues), West Coast Road Show (country). She loves many genres music. Most recently, she plays frequently with the Charles Unger Experience, and young Manuel Romero (Latin Grammy nominee 2002), and First Lady Orchestra.
Vicky often plays in two improvisational settings. Duo Referral, a high energy, electric duo with Moe! Staiano, and Moe!kestra, a large ensemble of forty, plus, conducted by Moe! Staiano.
She believes an incredible groove actually suspends time, and we don't even age in those moments.