Bassist Gregg August spans the jazz, Latin jazz, classical and avant-garde scenes. A sought-after composer and arranger, celebrated for his versatility, breadth and intelligence, Gregg has been an active member of the New York music scene for over ten years.
Originally a drummer, while spending two years at SUNY Albany, studying percussion with Richard Albagli, Gregg learned the bass. After transferring to The Eastman School of Music, August began studying jazz composition with renowned arranger Ray Wright and performance with pianist Bill Dobbins. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he promptly made the move to New York City, receiving his Master’s from The Juilliard School, where he studied with legendary bass teacher, Homer Mensch. Soon after graduation, August won the Principal bass position with La Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona in Spain, which he held for two years. After spending some time freelancing as a jazz bassist in Paris, Gregg found himself hungry to return to the challenging New York scene. Upon arriving back in New York, armed with a wealth of experience in Spanish culture and language, Gregg became extremely inspired by latin music. His interest then led him to Cuba and Brazil and to becoming a student of master latin bass player, Andy Gonzalez. It wasn’t long before he was touring and recording with Ray Barretto’s New World Spirit.
August has played with Ray Barretto, Ornette Coleman, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, James Moody, The Chico O’Farrill Big Band, The Lincoln Center's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Ochun among others. As a classical bassist he frequently performs with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Mark Morris Dance Group, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the American Composer’s Orchestra. He’s also a faculty member at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute at MassMoca in North Adams, Mass. In July 2007, The Bang on the Can All Stars premiered his Cuban Son inspired composition “Oriente”. The Boston Globe review admires that the piece “deftly contrasts languorous atmospheric writing with the kind of hard-driving and rhythmically charged music that the All-stars eat for breakfast“. He was also recently commissioned by the flute, harp and percussion trio, Maya, who recently debuted the works on their first CD In the Spirit.
In 2003 Gregg formed his own sextet which has recorded two critically acclaimed albums; Late August (Iacuessa Records, 2005) and his most recent, One Peace (Iacuessa Records, 2007), which was selected as one of the Top Ten recordings of 2007 by Paul Blair of Hot House magazine. The sextet performs regularly in the NYC area.
August is a member of the JD Allen Trio and Assistant Principal bass with the Brooklyn Philharmonic.