Although a native New Orleanian, composer and bassist Tate Carson’s musical journey didn’t start in a brass band or a funk group; his formative musical experiences were in punk and ska bands and the Ben Franklin High School orchestra. Today, his wry compositional sense and commandeering bass prowess are a knowing wink to his artistic genesis.
Young Carson played both violin and trumpet before settling on the electric and acoustic basses at the age of fourteen. During his junior year of high school he began studying jazz and classical music with master bassist Bob Sunda, and played professionally with many bands. Loyola University’s music school was an obvious next step for Carson. He majored in Music Industry Studies with an emphasis in jazz bass, and earned his BM in 2009.
While at Loyola, Tate had a chance to study jazz, classical and composition with many of New Orleans’ best musicians. These include Jesse Boyd, Dave Anderson (Principal bass of the LPO), Allen Nisbet, Vadim Neselovskyi (sideman for Gary Burton), and Dr. James “Jimbo” Walsh.
In 2011 Tate completed a graduate degree where he studied jazz and composition at the University of New Orleans Graduate School. At UNO he studied with Brian Seeger, Ed Peterson, Steve Masakowski, Neal Caine, Roland Guerin, Victor Atkins and Matt Perrine. While there he also taught a Jazz Combo.
Currently you can catch Tate in several of his own musical projects. The Tate Carson Quintet features original compositions and some well chosen covers of today’s pop music. Also, there’s Carbon Trio, a collaboration with Brad Webb and Doc Sharpe. This band is still focused on original composition by members of the group, but leaves more room for group improvisation and open forms. The third and newest group is Numbers Stations, a collaboration with Justin Peake. The band developed almost by accident after several people couldn’t make a gig. It’s developed into an improvisatory project that combines the worlds of jazz and electronic sampling and processing.
Besides playing in his own bands you can also catch Tate with a number of traditional New Orleans bands all around town. The Dapper Dandies, Messy Cookers, Faux Barrio billionaires, and Shotgun Jazz Band. Tate also plays with every one's favorite street band Sweet Street Symphony.