Victor Wooten, best known for his virtuosity on the bass guitar, is also a formidable double bass player. He’s added two Uptons to his lineup as he incorporates the acoustic bass into his music.
Who is Victor Lemonte Wooten?
“Who am I? Now, that’s a good question.”
Victor Lemonte Wooten is a unique human being. Born the youngest of five boys, he began learning to play music at the tender age of two. He started performing in nightclubs and theaters as the bassist with the family band at age five, and at age six, was on tour with his brothers opening shows for legendary soul artist Curtis Mayfield. Soon after, he was affectionately known as the 8-year-old Bass Ace, and before graduating high school, he and his brothers had shared the stage with artists such as Stephanie Mills, War, Ramsey Lewis, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Dexter Wansel, and The Temptations. But, this only begins to tell the tale of this Tennessee titan.
Wooten, now a five-time Grammy winner, hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours.
Among other things, he is a loving husband and father of four, a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician and acrobat, and has won every major award given to a bass guitarist including being voted Bassist of the Year in Bass Player Magazine’s readers poll three times (the only person to win it more than once). In 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine voted Victor one of the Top Ten Bassists of ALL TIME.
The Upton Bass Story
Victor stopped at our booth at the 2013 ISB show in Rochester New York and began a years-long conversation with Gary and Eric about exploring his ideas on the double bass. Victor has a beautiful Carcassi-labeled 18th Century double bass (once owned by Stanley Clarke) that seriously needed love and care. This led to the idea of copying this beloved bass and building new Uptons that could withstand his worldwide touring schedule.
Victor left his precious 5/8ths Carcassi with us and over the course of its restoration we worked on plans for the Upton version. This project resulted in a hybrid prototype plus fully carved Upton Travel Bass using direct tracings and measurements from the original. As Victor Wooten continues his adventure into acoustic bass we are incredibly proud to have our instruments in his hands pushing the envelope of modern music. We all look forward to what that future will bring!