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Alfie’s Low-End (on the Bass) Versatility

Everyone knows that once Superman dons his spectacles, he cannot be recognized. This in itself is a superpower. This easily removed accessory allows Kent/Kal-El to move from place to place and engage his remarkable abilities. For musician Alfie Lucero Canaan, this is made possible via his Bass guitar. While his creativity and technical proficiency is the actual extraordinary ability of Canaan’s, the Bass is the thing which seemingly transforms him from “everyday guy” to hyper-gifted human. Vacillating between a number of popular rock groups and different artists that touch upon Jazz, Soul, and other styles, Alfie is much sought after for his musicality. Though the general public may not be aware of him, among musicians he is widely known; which is exactly how this Bassist prefers it. His ability to covertly move among different ensembles is a template for the modern successful musician. An arranger, composer, performer, even an educator, Canaan is proof that the exceptional talent in today’s musical terrain is full of unassuming depth. You’re as likely to find Alfie in a rock club as in a studio collaborating with Grammy winning professionals, because being on the frontlines of music is what he does best.

Grammy-winning arranger and composer Simon Jay (Primetime Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, High School Musical Series, NBC’s This is Us) noticed Alfie during a performance and was so taken by his playing and charisma that he enlisted the bassist for his own group. The ensembles received acclaim for its performance at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts tribute to legendary composer and lyricist, Stephen Schwartz “An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: A Writer’s Circle.” The group played this sold-out event which featured dueling piano talents Carly Lyman (singer-songwriter, VP of Music – Synapse Trailer Music) and Natsumi Ono (singer-songwriter) with Fernando Marenco on drums and Alfie on Bass. A Grammy Award winning composer and lyricist, Schwartz is widely known for his on productions including Wicked, Godspell, and Pippin. Attendees of the show were aficionados of this style of music and highly discerning. Exceeding the role of bassist, Alfie also arranged the music for the evening. Presenting his arrangements and performing for such a discerning crowd is just the type of challenge he revels in but Canaan concedes, “The long process of preparing the arrangements, rehearsing the music, and coordinating the attire and layout of the stage was probably the most stressful situation of my career. Everything in the project demanded perfection. I am happy to have been part of that magical night and am forever grateful to Carly, Simon, Natsumi, and Fernando for making everything possible.”

It’s the depth of Alfie’s ability and knack for authenticity in nearly any musical setting that makes so many of his peers seek him out; confident that he will bring the perfect complement to their artistry. Hearing the music performed for “An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: A Writer’s Circle”, you wouldn’t expect to find the same bassist recording and performing on stage with Kia Knoester. Kia’s music is a combination of jazz, soul, R&B, Afro, hip hop, and funk; quite disparate from that of Mr. Scwartz though intoxicating in its own manner. Bluesy and funky with leanings towards pop and jazz, Knoester’s musical demands an approach that is forward minded and embraces innovation. There’s a dangerous/improvisational facet to it, which is attractive to an exceptional musician like Alfie. Songs like “Put Your Body on Me” start as a soulful funky jam and evolve into a full-fledged Afro-Cuban coro. In addition to Alfie and Kia, the band features Isaac Garcia (Guitar), Devin Pruden (Drums), Natsumi Ono (Keys), Carly Lyman and Alondra Marquez (Background Vocals), Joshua Escutia (Sax), and Jordan Wainwright (Trombone).

Alfie Lucero Canaan appears to be doing it all. In addition to all of the aforementioned diverse musical projects, he can be seen & heard with popular bands like Coat Check Girl, All Follows Eve, Scenic Underground, and others. Steeped in so many musical communities that are so varied, one might wonder why he takes this approach and spreads himself out so much. For this Mexican born talent, it comes down to passion and hard work. He relates, “To be successful in this era depends on many things. I feel the most important is which direction you want to take. If you want to be a jazz musician, there are paths that get you there. If you want to be the most recorded bass sideman in LA, there are ways to get there. All paths in music are hard, brutal, unforgiving, and satisfying. I believe there is only one factor that is necessary to succeed as a musician: grinding. To make in the music industry as anything, you have to put in the work to succeed and to reach your goal. If you’re chilling at home and expect to be the next Beyoncé, then boy…do I have a surprise for you. I learned over my career that clocking in the hours into your craft, abilities, contacts, press, work, and education all factor into what you will become within the industry.”

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