Omar Lopez (Bass Guitar)
Omar López – Born in the small town of Calipatria, California as a first generation Mexican-American, Omar first had the opportunity to play music at the age of 10 where he took up the Tenor Saxophone in his middle school concert band.
López’ passion for music quickly took over the time for other extra-curricular activities and he constantly placed first chair in regional Honor Bands both in California and then as his family relocated, in Nebraska. It was then at the honor band rehearsals that he began to take notice of the Basses in the orchestra and Jazz Big Band. Shortly after, Omar’s father gifted him his first bass guitar and changed the course of his musical career. Soon thereafter, Omar López began to play the bass guitar full time in school and played in many groups outside of school.
He played in various bands spanning a wide variety of genres such as Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Pop, Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Norteño, Regional Mexican, Reggae, and many others. This environment was the very beginning of his versatile musical foundation and yearning to learn many musical styles and traditions.
After graduating from high school Omar went on to San Diego State University to pursue an education in Ethnomusicology. It was at SDSU that he became so fond of the hunting and gathering of new musical traditions, some of which include the Sacred and Secular Afro-Cuban (Són, Guaguancó, Timba, Batá, Bembé, Palo, etc.). Sacred and Secular Afro-Brazilian (Candomblé, Axé, Samba, Maracatú, Pagode, Bossa Nova, etc.).
Omar continued to play the bass as his primary instrument and studied under Bob Magnusson (Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich, Madonna), but took up percussion with Mark Lamson (Sol E Mar, Bata Ketu) in order to further his understanding of rhythm and song traditions that precede the popular styles by centuries. Through SDSU, Omar had the opportunity to perform with Cuban, Brazilian, Persian, Peruvian, West African ensembles, Javanese Gamelan, Mariachi, and many more.
Omar López’ versatility and captivating performances have helped open the doors to performing with a broad spectrum of incredible musicians. Here is a still-growing list of key artists he has performed, recorded, or sat in with:
Sly Stone of ‘Sly & the Family Stone’ (Funk, Soul, R&B)
Gilbert Castellanos of the ‘Clayton Hamilton Orchestra’ (Jazz)
Al Anderson of ‘Bob Marley & the Wailers’ (Reggae)
Aston ‘Family Man” Barrett of “Bob Marley & the Wailers’ (Reggae)
DJ Logic (Jazz/Funk/Hip Hop)
Johnny Clarke (Reggae)
Johnny Osbourne (Reggae)
Sister Nancy (Reggae)
Jimmy Fallon (TV Personality)
Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito” of ‘Los Van Van’ (Salsa, Timba)
Andy Vargas ‘Santana’ (Rock, Jazz, Fusion)
Poncho Sanchez(Latin Jazz)
John “Dandy” Rodriguez of ‘Tito Puente’s Orchestra’ (Latin Jazz, Salsa)
Raul Pacheco ‘Ozomatli’ (Latin Funk)
Ryan Moran ‘Slightly Stoopid’ (Reggae)
Adrian Terrazas-Gonzales of ‘The Mars Volta’ (Rock, Jazz, Avant-Garde)
B-Side Players (Latin Funk, Salsa, Reggae)
Dan Reagan ‘Marc Anthony, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Fania Records’ (Salsa, Latin Jazz)
Javier Cabanillas of ‘Pacific Mambo Orchestra’ (Latin Jazz, Salsa)
Brian Jordan of ‘Greyboy Allstars, Lauryn Hill’ (Funk, Soul, R&B)
Brian Andres of “Brian Andres and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel”(Latin Jazz)