Acoustic bassist Rob Thorsen began playing classical guitar at the age of 7. He later went on to play flute, saxophone, tuba, and electric bass before getting his first upright bass. It was a turning point in his life and he became very involved in music and learning as much as he could about the bass. “When I began playing upright bass, the fact that I felt the sound as much as heard it had a profound effect on me. I was hooked for life.”
He auditioned and got hired to perform on a cruise ship, the Royal Viking Star, for 8 months traveling around the world. Afterwards he settled in San Francisco and was soon working in many of the bay areas top clubs including Kimball’s, Yoshi’s, the Great American Music Hall, Pearls, and the Concord Jazz Festival.
In 1990 Rob moved to San Diego where he quickly became on of the areas most in demand bassists. In addition to leading his own trio/quartet he has worked with many notable artists including Louie Bellson, Russell Malone, Charles McPherson, Curtis Fuller, Mundell Lowe, Hubert Laws, Jackie Ryan and many others.
He has recently released his fourth CD as a leader, Lasting Impression, featuring pianists Geoffrey Keezer and Josh Nelson, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, saxophonist Ben Wendel, drummer Duncan Moore and others . It is on the Pacific Coast Jazz label and was released June of 2009. In addition to 4 of Rob’s original compositions it features many classic jazz songs including the Gershwin’s The Man I Love, Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and others. The album received national airplay and was on the “top 40” jazz listings for over 6 months.
He also performs regularly with the Mike Wofford/Holly Hofmann Quartet, Guitarist Mundell Lowe, saxophonist Charles McPherson, and the Gilbert Castellanos Quintet. Rob is also founder and leader of “Jazz An American Art Form”, a hugely successful jazz education program that was presented to over 6,000 elementary aged school children in 2011, he also teaches at the annual UCSD Jazz camp. He has performed at various jazz festivals including Telluride Jazz fest, Idyllwild Jazz Festival, Chiapas Jazz Festival, Ensenada Jazz Festival, Temecula Jazz festival, Glenwood Spring Jazz Festival and others. Rob was also recently featured in the San Diego Union Tribune newspapers “Into View” artist profile by George Varga.