Christian “Big New York” de Mesones has been playing bass guitar for over 30 years. He was only 18 years old when he graduated from the world famous Bass Institute of Technology (now the Musician’s Institute) in Hollywood, California where he had the opportunity to study and workshop with greats such as Abe Laboriel, Louis Johnson, Tim Bogart, Howard Alden, Steve Morse, Pat Metheny, and the late Tommy Tedesco and Ray Brown. By personal request from visiting guitar faculty member and legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino, he performed an original composition for his graduation ceremony.
Christian has been part of several musical groups all over the country, including bands out of Hawaii, Hollywood, New York City, and Richmond, Virginia, and has performed a wide variety of musical styles. His first major professional achievement as a musician was playing the military club circuit in a hard rock cover band on the island of Oahu in 1981. During the mid-eighties in Brooklyn, de Mesones’ heavy metal band Twice Shy was a staple of the local New York Metal scene, and shared the stage at the legendary L’Amour Rock Club with acts such as Manowar, Twisted Sister, Overkill, White Lion and Trixter. He was also a hired bassist for several other New York Clubs.
Moving to Richmond, Virginia in 1995, Christian was introduced to the urban music scene. He laid tracks for local hip-hop artists, and played with various groups, performing R&B, Caribbean, Latin, and Smooth Jazz. As bassist for Big Patt & Legion, he opened for several national recording artists such as Down to the Bone, Marion Meadows, Bob Baldwin, Chuck Brown, and Roberta Flack. The show with Roberta Flack on Brown's Island in Richmond was before an audience of over 33,000, making it the largest recorded attendance for an outdoor Richmond music event in history to that date.
de Mesones relocated to Northern Virginia in 2000. He was the Bass Director for Mars Music in Springfield, just outside of Washington, DC. Additionally, he became a contracted bass player for area churches, having the opportunity to play with gospel recording artist Luther Barnes for a Men’s Workshop at First Mount Zion church in Dumfries. Christian can also be heard on the “Lifesongs” album by gospel artist Charles McPhatter. A resident of Lake Ridge, Virginia since 2003, de Mesones currently teaches bass guitar at A2G Music.
In 2006, de Mesones’ smooth jazz band Groove Skool was invited to play the Capital Jazz, one of the largest jazz festivals in the country. The band has released its first CD entitled “Limited Edition”, which has received international radio play, and has yielded a top 10 most requested song, “Latin Jive”, on the radio.radio.es network in Mallorca, Spain. Groove Skool sold out its debut at the legendary Blues Alley Supper Club in Washington, DC, and regularly garners standing room only crowds at K2 Restaurant and Lounge in Woodbridge. When the band played the 2nd Street Festival in Richmond, VA, they graced the cover of the Sunday Richmond Times-Dispatch. They also played the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival in Maryland, both with crowds of over 6,000. Their first New York City appearance was streamed live from S.O.B.’s (Sounds of Brazil), where they shared the stage with national recording artist Drew Davidson.
In 2008, Christian created “Bass Symphony: Celebrating the Gift of Music through the Spirit of Youth”. This non-profit event showcased middle and high school students performing all original compositions arranged for 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 12-string electric and upright basses. The concert was featured in the Old Bridge Observer newspaper.
Today, Christian has added Clinician to his lengthy resume. His upcoming bass clinic for the Virginia Bass Forum will be his second, and focuses on groove techniques. He is an endorsed artist for Warwick and Framus, and he headlines his own live shows, closing out 2013 with a sold out New Year’s Eve performance. His first solo CD release is slated for early fall of 2014. He is also working on an instrumental bass CD project, which will feature performances from some of the biggest names in the bass community.