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Erik Applegate

Professor of Jazz Bass at the University of Northern Colorado

A man of many passions, Erik Applegate is a jazz bassist, a composer, and a songwriter. Current projects include recording and touring with Born To Wander (an indie jazz & Americana band) and the Dana Landry Trio & Quartet, composing a jazz opera based in part on events surrounding pianist Billy Tipton, crafting movements of the upcoming jazz orchestra “Romeo and Juliet” project, and writing songs.

Called “a top-notch acoustic bass performer” by JazzReview.com, Applegate has performed throughout the U.S. with jazz artists including the Bob Mintzer Big Band, Nnenna Freelon, Milt Jackson, Jeff Coffin, Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Daniels, Dick Oatts, George Garzone, Tom Harrell, Clay Jenkins, Ron Miles, Jack Walrath, Dave Pietro, Deborah Brown, Marlena Shaw, Bob Dorough, Billy Pierce, Alan Dawson, and others.  He toured with renowned pianist James Williams and in a trio with Harold Mabern and Ed Thigpen, and has appeared at jazz festivals, clubs, and concert series throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Australia, and China.

Red Skies, Applegate’s first CD as a leader, reached #2 on the Roots Music Report chart, and he can also be heard on charting albums including Born To Wander’s self-titled debut, Dana Landry’s Grammy-nominated Journey Home, 7ON7’s Back When It Was Fun, Don Aliquo’s Another Reply, and others by Ken Watters, Dan Gailey, Steve Owen, and Wil Swindler.

A versatile composer and arranger, Applegate has written commissions for jazz artists, university jazz and classical ensembles, and professional chamber groups, and he was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts for his “Walt Whitman Jazz Suite.” More recent premieres include pieces for symphony and wind ensemble.

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