GUNNAR BIGGS has been a prominent figure in the musical environment in Southern California for over forty years. He is often the bass player of choice for numerous jazz ensembles and recording sessions in the region. His performance credits include several southern California jazz festivals including the Kool Jazz Festival, La Jolla Jazz Festival, Ocean Beach Jazz Festival, Jazz in the Parks in Carlsbad, Pt. Loma, and La Jolla. TV appearances include KPBS’ Club Date and the Emmy-award winning documentary, “Three Generations of the Blues.” Gunnar is a known quantity in San Diego music venues, maintaining a solid groove and studied understanding of the role of the bass across genres including Latin jazz/salsa, big band, Brazilian, straight ahead, blues and fusion jazz.
He retired from San Diego State University where he was the Instructor of Double Bass for twenty-five years and from Palomar and Mira Costa Colleges. Gunnar has focused his instruction to a thriving home studio where he has a large number of private students. Besides being an in demand performer and overbooked educator, Gunnar serves as a judge, clinician and guest artist at several local jazz and music festivals.
Gunnar started studying French Horn when he was seven, but took up the bass at age 13. He received a scholarship to North Texas State University to attend their prestigious jazz program but left his studies early to take a position with the San Diego Symphony at age 19. At age 20, he left the Symphony to go on the road with drummer, Buddy Rich and has performed with major jazz artists ever since including Thad Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Mose Allison, Sheila Jordan, Kenny Barron, Red Norvo, Papa John Creach, Shelley Manne, Jack Sheldon, Don Menza, Charles McPherson, Barney Kessel, Mundell Lowe, Jaime Valle, Conti Condoli, Joe Pass, Laurendo Almeida, Charlie Byrd, and Peter Sprague. Although he enjoys notoriety in the jazz genre, Gunnar is active in the classical world as well and has performed with the San Diego Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta de Baja California and Orchestra Nova. In 2009 Gunnar released his own CD, footprint, featuring all original compositions.