Ryan McGillicuddy


After forging a place for himself as a bassist/composer of choice in Los Angeles' creative music scene, then teaching jazz abroad in South Korea as invited professor at a top university,  Ryan McGillicuddy continues his musical journey in the Kentucky foothills of the Appalachian mountains as faculty at Morehead State University . His vibrant organic approach has earned him work with many of the world’s finest musicians. Recently, Ryan has shared the stage as a sideman with Greg Osby, Peter Erskine, Anthony Wilson, Russel Ferrante, Joe Labarbera, Bob Shepard, Bill Cunliffe, Larry Goldings, Bob Mintzer, Larry Koonse, Freda Payne, Antonia Bennett, the Tamir Hendelman trio, the Bill Cunliffe trio,  the Bill Holman band, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

He has toured extensively in the United States as well as in Japan, Korea, Europe, and the Middle-east. Ryan currently performs and composes with his own original trio featuring Peter Erskine and Vardan Ovsepian, the LA based trio 3 -ish, the Vardan Ovsepian trio, the Korean-based Jangeun Bae trio,  and the original project Sigmund Fudge among many other groups, and is a core member of the arts/composers group The Los Angeles JazzCollective.

From Bluegrass to the Blue Whale

Been a while since I posted anything on here.  Life happens.  Things unfold.  And before I could take a breath I found myself halfway around the world again, starting a new chapter.  Kentucky was calling with an opportunity to make a shift.  

I missed the States.  The adventure of living in Korea was a grand one, but one starts to miss the little things.  After a certain point as an expat, you begin to become sentimental, and even hyper-patriotic with a longing for home.

In the middle of a chaotic summer-- death in the family, bike accident that ripped my face half open-- I got a call from Kentucky.  Morehead State University was offering me a job.  We contemplated the move, and decided to make it.  

Roughly 3 months later, I sit at my computer writing this.  Last night I was able to watch the band that I rehearse, the MSU jazz ensemble, perform a 'jazz-festival-quality' set of music.  I mean-- they just killed it!  Aided by the one-of-a-kind tenor saxophonist Matt Otto, and trumpet virtuoso Greg Wing as guest soloists, the band tore up the house. I'd like to take credit for their sound, but It was all them-- their hard work, and dedication.  Kentucky's gettin' to it! 

I'd be remiss not to plug my LA gigs coming up.  Sunday November 8th @9:30pm at The Baked Potato with Jason Harnell and Matt Otto, and Tuesday November 10th at the Blue Whale with Jason Harnell and friends.

Basses loaded/Tribute to Charlie Haden

This friday is the rare opportunity for the jazz fan-- a double-bass, double-bill, featuring the music of the legendary bassist Charlie Haden.  I'll be leading a quartet featuring the music of Haden's LA based 'Quartet West', and my colleague and friend Eun-chang Choi will be playing the first set honoring Haden's work in a duo setting.  Its truly a pleasure to be sharing the evening with Eun-chang, whom I went to school with in Texas.  Its been an amazing thing to see Eun-chang  grow into a truly outstanding musician.

As for the man-- Charlie Haden.  What simple beauty and joy he brings to everything he's played on.  So much honesty and truth in his bass playing.  Over the last month, pouring over his work with Quartet West, I've gotten watery-eyed.  Beautiful stuff.  Humility, clarity, and beauty-- all from the bass, all from Charlie.

Friday, April 10th, 8pm@Formtec Workshall-- Hapjeong