Kai Eckhardt is an Afro-European musician who has made a significant contribution to the evolution of the electric bass since 1989.
Heavily influenced by the emerging fusion of funk, rock and jazz in the late 70's, Kai developed a unique style
on his instrument long before attending Berklee College of music in Boston - the renowned music college-
from which he graduated with honors in 1987. Under the guidance of Tiger Okoshi, Bob Moses and Gary Burton,
Kai was introduced directly to pioneering guitarist John McLaughlin, who at the time was forming a new trio
together with Indian born percussionist Trilok Gurtu.
As an example of artistic excellence, this trio has often been credited with making history in pushing the envelope of modern jazz.
During the years 1988-1990 This trio produced two major albums. "Live at the Royal Festival Hall" went to the top of the
billboard jazz charts while the band toured all over the world until 1990 when Kai took a hiatus from touring.
He returned to Germany to help care for his ailing foster-parents. After a 2 year break from the road, Kai continued
to hold down the bass chair for many well-known artists in contemporary music. They included Billy Cobham's International
Quartet, the Stanley Clarke band, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, Donald Byrd, Alphonse Mouzon, Larry Coryell,
Al Di Meola, Steve Smithís Vital Information, Dave Weckl and Zakir Hussain.
Kai Eckhardt has performed at distinguished venues around the globe such as the Royal Festival Hall in London,
the Philharmonic in Munich and the Esplanade in Singapore. Festival engagements include Montreal Jazz Festival,
North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Womad World Music Festival in Spain and Glastonbury in the U.K. Kai has performed
for dignitaries on some occasions like the King and Queen of Norway. In the educational field, Kai teaches clinics
and master classes internationally. Engagements include Berklee in Boston, the Musicianís Institute in Hollywood,
the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria and Amsterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. Perhaps the most notably
unique band in Kai's career was the pioneering jam-band Garaj Mahal, which he co-lead between 2000 and 2010, producing
9 albums and performing roughly 1000 concerts in the U.S and Canada.
Besides winning the Independent music awards in 2007 Garaj Mahal was an underground phenomena. Though largely under the radar,
the band's unique blend of danceable funk and world-beat developed a sizeable following within the US-Canadian festival circuit.
More than 400 live recordings continue to bear witness to Garaj Mahalís solid output with over one million downloads and counting.
After the band retired from the road in 2011, Kai launched the Kai Eckhardt band his first solo project. The bandís debut album
"Zeitgeist" has received several excellent reviews to date, highlighting his remarkable-30 year- presence in the world of modern music.
At the present moment, Kai is a faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory as well as member of the recording academy.
In 2016 he will be presenting his new ensemble in the States and Europe. Kai maintains a busy recording schedule.
The most recent recording is an album for percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo to be released next year.
Kai Eckhardt endorses Warwick bass amplifiers and cabinets and Peter Coura bass guitars.
For more information on Kai, please check out his page on