Tel-Aviv bassist Adam Ben Ezra is known worldwide as an upright bass virtuoso and composer. His longtime friend and manager Guy Dayan also helped established Ezra as a YouTuber. His YouTube videos have more than 4 million views.
Ezra been playing music since he was 5 years old, beginning with the violin. He also plays the clarinet, piano and percussion instruments. And he sings! Adam formed a band at the age of 9 and had his first paid gig at 17.
Ezra wanted to have an upright bass custom made with five strings instead of four. Why did he travel so far? There are plenty of luthiers in the Middle East and a countless number in Europe. Adam's choice was Nick Lloyd's Basses. Nick saw Adam on YouTube and wanted to make a bass for him. So he emailed him three years ago. A year and a half later they met in Copenhagen at a bass convention and Adam decided to have Nick make his new bass.
Ezra admitted he was looking around. "I was searching for other luthiers as well to build a new bass. I was looking in Italy and at some luthiers in France, but it wasn't such a natural connection as I had with Nick."
Lloyd was thrilled. "You know, after a few months of emailing someone you think ok, they're not interested. Ok, then, yeah I was very very excited."
It's not cheap
Buying a new bass is like buying a new car. A custom made bass is $30,000. But luthier Lloyd says there is a huge different between even a $10,000 bass and this one. "It's like driving a sports car, that's what someone told me. They said, you just tell it to do this and it sounds great and it plays great."
Adam stayed in Northside last week with Nick while the final touches were being put on his new instrument. "This bass was made for me: my size, my kind of playing. The extra string gives much more possibilities to play solo, chords, higher notes, which I can't do with my four-string bass and it's great fun."
Both Adam and Nick are on their way to Rochester, New York to a bass convention. As soon as Nick finished making Adam's bass in April, he went to work on one for himself. Both musicians will perform. Nick has been playing the bass since the 4th grade.
Adam Ben Ezra will release his first album next year. Here's a video we shot during the interview.