Tony Levin is one of the most recognizable bass players in Rock Music. Born June 6, 1946 as Anthony Frederick Levin he is renowned for specializing in electric bass, mastering and popularizing the Chapman Stick and upright bass.
The Tony Levin Band, Tony Levin Band, featuring Jerry Marotta, Larry Fast and Jesse Gress, played at Bearsville Theater on April 27, 2002. Their set featured as Episode 2 on our Bearsville Uncut Series.
He also sings and plays synthesizers and is best known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, and was also a member of Liquid Tension Experience, Bruford Levin Upper Extremeties, ProjeKct One, HoBoLeMe and ProjeKct Four. He also led his own band, Stick Men. As a prolific session musician since the 1970’s Tony Levin has played on over 500 albums in his career, including Cher, Asia, Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Dire Straits, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Joan Armatrading, The Roches, Todd Rundgren, Bryan Ferry and many more.
Levin is well known to have popularized the Chapman Stick, an instrument, few musicians have mastered. The Chapman Stick is an electrical musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970’s. A Stick looks like a wide version of the fretboard of an electric guitar, but with 8, 10 or 12 strings and is used to play bass lines, melody lines, chords or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously. Levin also created funk fingers; modified drumsticks attached to fingers used to hit the bass strings (which sounds similar to slap style bass).