Cultural Percussionist

Cecil McBee Day

Cecil McBee (born May 19, 1935) is an American jazz bassist, one of the most influential in the history of jazz. McBee has recorded as a leader only a handful of times since the 1970s, but has contributed as a sideman to a number of jazz albums.

McBee was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 19, 1935. He studied clarinet at school, but switched to bass at the age of 17, and began playing in local nightclubs. After gaining a music degree from Ohio Central State University, he spent two years in the army, during which time he conducted the band at Fort Knox. In 1959 he played with Dinah Washington, and in 1962 he moved to Detroit, where he worked with Paul Winter‘s folk-rock ensemble in 1963–64.

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