Gonzalo Teppa, Double Bass
BM, MM, University of Colorado at Boulder
Gonzalo Teppa began to study music at eight years old at the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory in his home state of Lara, Venezuela. Mr. Teppa studied with Carmen Alvarado, who chose him as soloist for the Choir of the State of Lara in Venezuela. Mr. Teppa began to study the Double Bass with Luís Guillermo Pérez and in June of 1995 traveled to Spain to study for the summer with the renowned teacher Ludwig Streicher in the city of Santander. In the fall of 1995, he returned to Caracas where he continued and finished his double bass studies at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory with Nestor Blanco. From 1991 to 1995, he was a member of the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Lara in Venezuela. In September of 1995, he joined the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, with which he played with for seven years. The maestro José Antonio Abreu who created “El Sistema” guided these orchestras.
In 2002, he traveled to the USA to study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he obtained his degree under the guidance of Mr. Paul Erhard. Mr. Teppa worked as a Teacher’s Assistant while completing his Master’s degree at the University of Colorado. In 2007, he finished his Master’s Degree in Jazz studies and bass performance with Professor Mark Simon. Mr. Teppa also played with the Boulder Philharmonic while at CU. In 2012, Teppa returned to the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Caracas Venezuela and worked with the great conductor Gustavo Dudamel, with whom he travelled to Colombia (2013-2014) and Brazil.
In the Jazz genre, Teppa played with such Jazz luminaries as: Wynton Marsalis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Bobby Shew, Matt Wilson, Ed Simon, Chris Potter, Tom Harrell, Ron Miles, Art Lande, Slide Hampton, Don Byron, Jeremy Pelt, Otmaro Ruíz, Joel Frahm, Ben Goldberg, Rob Sudduth, Ches Smith, Shamie Royston, Kenny Wolleson, Mira Melford. Carla Kihlstedt, Ira Sullivan, Conrad Herwig, Jiggs Whigham, Nelson Rangel, Chip Stephens, Pat Bianchi, Luis Quintero, Calixto Oviedo, Natalie Cressman, Alison Miller, Peter Stolzman, Paul Romaine, Eric Gunnison, Keith Oxman, John Von Ohlen, Brad Goode, John Gunther, Jeff Jenkins, Aruan Ortiz, Kate McGarry, among others.
In April of 2003, he won the “Honor Competition” award from the University of Colorado, which granted him the opportunity to play as soloist with the University Orchestra, the Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra by Giovanni Bottesini. In March of 2004, 2005 and 2006 Mr. Teppa won the “Best Jazz Soloist” awards from Downbeat Magazine, a highly coveted award amongst Jazz instrumentalists in the US. That same year in April of 2004 and 2005, he won the “Best Jazz Soloist” award at the Greeley Jazz Festival in Colorado. In 2014 Teppa was nominated with two Latin Grammys for his participation on the recordings “Tiempo” by Linda Briceño; nominated as “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” and “3rd Element” by Luisito Quintero; nominated as “Best Latin Jazz Album”. Very active as a composer, he has five CDs to his credit: “Designios”, “Travesias”, “Serpentina", “CONtrabajos de Aldemaro”and “Sinergia” in which Mr. Teppa blended elements of Venezuelan music with different cultural and stylistic influences of the world.
He also recorded a jazz album called THE Trio with two outstanding Venezuelan jazz players: Juan Ángel Esquivel (guitar) and Adolfo Herrera (drums).
His latest participation as a bassist/composer was in the Album titled “The Democracy”, featuring trombonist Adam Bartczak, drummer Dru Heller, saxophonist Samuel Williams, pianist Peter Stoltzman
Within the Venezuelan music style, Mr. Teppa has collaborated with musicians such as: Ilan Chester, Aldemaro Romero, Oscar D´ León, Gualberto Ibarreto, Aquiles Báez, Carlos “nene” Quintero, Cecilia Todd, Rafael “el pollo” Brito, Diego “el negro” Álvarez, Juan Tomás Martínez, C4 trío, Silvio Arocha, Orlando Cardozo, Javier y Jorge Montilla, Andrés Briceño, Biella Da Costa, Gerry Weil, Jesús “Chucho” Sanoja, Leo Blanco, Saúl Vera, Alfredo Naranjo, grupo Santoral, Claudia Calderón, Danilo Rivero, Adolfo Herrera, Eddy Marcano, Rubén Rebolledo, Víctor Mesta, Marco Granado, Gustavo Carucí, Julio Andrade, Cheche Requena, Jorge Glem, Cesar Orozco, Alexis Cárdenas, Omar Acosta, Nicolás Real, and others. Back in Venezuela, Teppa, along with bassist Roberto Koch put together a double bass duet, a project called Bajo-Contrabajo. The duet played at the Chacao Foundation and they also shared stage with flutist Dave Valentin at the International Jazz Festival of Barquisimeto 2010, Corpbanca Theater (2010) and Premium Theater (2011) in Caracas. Teppa was the bass player of C4 Trío, a Venezuelan music ensemble from 2013-2014.
Teppa has participated in outstanding Jazz Festivals among: the Hatillo Jazz Festival (2008), the Maracay Jazz Festival dedicated to Santiago Baquedano (2008), the Ciclo de Jazz y Nuevas Propuestas Venezolanas (2009)- “Jazz Cycle and New Venezuelan Proposals”; the International Jazz Festival of Barquisimeto (2008-2010); the International University Jazz Festival of Manizales, Colombia (2010); the Viña del Mar Festival (2010); the Niwot Jazz Festival in Colorado (2014), and Estes Park Jazz Festival (2015,2016). His latest performance as a classical bassist soloist was at the University of Wyoming (2016) playing the Koussevitzky concerto with the UW chamber orchestra, conducted by Dr. James Przygocki.
Currently, Gonzalo Teppa is the Classical Double Bass Professor at the University of Wyoming at Laramie.