Two Buffalo area bassists can legitimately claim the title of Ace of Bass.
At the International Society of Bassists biennial convention, held earlier this month in Fort Collins, Colo., two local bass players emerged victorious. Sam Suggs of Amherst took first prize in the solo competition, and Danny Ziemann of Williamsville took second place in the jazz competition.
The wins were brought to The News’ attention by Brett Shurtliffe, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s associate principal bassist. Shurtliffe is himself a champion performer. In 2005, he won first prize winner in the convention’s orchestral competition, and in 2003, he tied for third place in the solo division.
“I know what an absolutely amazing achievement this is for these two young men,” he said. “These are the biggest and most important competitions for bassists in the world.”
The convention holds only three professional-level competitions – solo, jazz and orchestral – and it is highly unusual for two winners to be from the same area. Shurtliffe was at the convention this year presenting a recital.
Suggs will be heading to Yale University in the fall to begin his work on a doctorate in music. Ziemann, a known talent to jazz fans around town, is teaching at SUNY Oswego and at the community school of the Eastman School of Music.