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Ethan Farmer, a native of Chicago, Illinois, has established himself as an incredible talent amongst bass players in the industry today. Born into a musical family, he has a natural gift and ability, however his passion and ear for music are what define him as a bass phenom. While his talent speaks volumes on its own, his charisma and authenticity have propelled his career; affording him opportunities to work with a diverse range of artists traveling and performing around the world.
Ethan was introduced to music early on, first picking up his father’s bass at the age of five and receiving his own at six. Always crediting “some of the most amazing musicians I know,” his first musical influences came from his family who had a well-known gospel group. At eight years old, he became the youngest member of the family group, The Amazing Farmer Singers, marking the beginning of a life long love and pursuit of music. Advanced beyond his years, by sixteen Ethan had toured the country with the family group and established himself in churches around Chicago. As he began to come into his own, he grew anxious to explore other genres of music and was instantly drawn to R&B, funk, and soul, and idolized artists including Prince and Michael Jackson. Spending time with his uncles, who are distinguished musicians, Ethan was introduced to many of the major cats in Chicago who affirmed his talent and encouraged him to pursue greater opportunities.
At seventeen he received his first big break outside of The Amazing Farmer Singers, playing with choir groups including: Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, Mark Hubbard & The Voices, Ricky Dillard, and the Chicago Mass Choir. From there, he travelled to music festivals around the world including: the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Jakarta Jazz Festival. Through travel he took advantage of all the opportunities to study his craft and develop himself as a musician. His confidence growing, Ethan began to see his professional potential as a musician.
In 1998, he moved to Los Angeles ready to prove his talent in a larger market. He felt confident in his decision early on when he began to see many of his heroes playing in “regular” bars and clubs around LA. With such tangible inspiration, he began sitting in at all of the clubs awaiting any opportunity to jam with the cats. He struggled to make it in LA for a year until he met Andrew Gouche, a prominent gospel bass player, who gave him the chance he had been waiting for. While Andrew would later become a great friend and mentor, it was that initial trust in Ethan’s potential which led to his first big break as a professional playing with Jody Watley on BET’s Planet Groove. From that point forward, Ethan’s career quickly gained momentum as people often wanted to know, “Who was that young kid playing bass?” Since then he has become a household name in the music industry playing, touring, writing, producing and recording with various artists encompassing all genres of music. Throughout his career, Ethan has worked with hundreds of artists including Janet Jackson, Babyface, Patti LaBelle, Darius Rucker, and Hootie and the Blowfish.
Currently, Ethan is readying himself for a busy few months ahead and preparing to leave for the highly anticipated summer tour featuring New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. Having taken a break from touring to for the past two years, he has occupied himself playing and musical directing with artists including Christina Aguilera and Keri Hilson. In addition, he has dedicated himself to more personal projects including the long awaited release of his first album, "Wine & Strings," as well as new albums with his groups, The Gospel Wonders and The Core. Though he is always juggling multiple projects, most importantly, Ethan is passionate about pursuing his own music.
While his resume speaks for itself, many attribute the foundation of Ethan's success to his chameleon like ability; adjusting his style to suit the artist while maintaining his own unique sound. A humble character, even with great success he continues to nurture his craft playing in the same local clubs that initially exposed him and helped launch his career, as well as offering advice and mentorship to hopeful musicians. Apart from being an excellent bassist and an all around "nice guy," he has confirmed his position as a well respected musician in the industry through hard work, dedication, and most importantly, a strong foundation of faith.