CBC 54: Steve Reinfranck luthier chat

This week we bring you a conversation with Chicagoland double bass luthier, teacher, and performer Steve Reinfranck. Steve runs SMR Double Basses in Evanston, Illinois, writes regularly for Bass World (the publication of the International Society of Bassists), and operates a double bass teaching studio.

We also listen to a track from the Redd Holt Unlimited Quartet featuring Steve on bass, plus listener feedback, news and notes, a very fun holiday track from Jonathan Coulton, and much more. Enjoy!

About Steve:

Steve has performed and taught on the Double Bass for over twenty-five years, principally in the Chicago Area, but in places as far away as New Zealand, Japan, Kenya, and Germany.

He plays section bass with a variety of area symphonies, and plays jazz with Isaac “Redd” Holt, original drummer with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Steve is also involved in Klezmer, Bluegrass, and other folk styles.

Steve has presented at Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Illinois Music Educators convention, the Kentucky Music Educators convention, and at many of the conventions of the International Society of Bassists.

He was awarded a three-week study tour of Japan under the aegis of the Fulbright Memorial Fund, and was voted Outstanding Studio Teacher by the Illinois Chapter of ASTA, the American String Teachers Association.

Steve runs the largest shop in the Chicago Area dedicated strictly to the needs of the Double Bassist.

He maintains a private teaching studio of about 50 students, and edits the “Young Bassists’ Page” for BASS WORLD, journal of the International Society of Bassists.

Steve teaches most Summers at ISYM, Illinois Summer Youth Music, held at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana.

Steve enjoys playing hockey, ice skating, reading, cooking, and politics when he isn’t making music.

About SMR Double Basses:

We are a Chicago-Area shop catering to the largest member of the String Family, the Double Bass. We sell basses from the least expensive [that meet our minimum quality requirements] to several select instruments that are valued at over $20,000.00. All of our instruments have new professional-level strings and almost all have an upgraded endpin – except in cases where a good one comes from the factory.

Our “Special Niche” is to provide reasonably priced instruments and bows for professionals and the serious student, perhaps bound for conservatory studies in college. Over twenty instruments in the $4,000.00 – $12,000.00 range are presently available.

Link of the week:

Hundreds of free, Creative Commons holiday songs-lots of great stuff with a lot of humor thrown in:


Tracks played:

From ‘Right Together’ by the Redd Holt Unlimited Quartet

  • Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins)

Music Provided by:

Show Notes:

Release Date: 12/22/07

Length: 1:08:40

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About Jason

An active double bass performer and teacher, Jason teaches double bass at DePaul University and served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists for many years. Jason is the current President of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Jason has been a member of the Elgin Symphony since 2000 and has played with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County for the past decade. He is a past member of the Milwaukee Ballet and IRIS Orchestra, and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.

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One thought on “CBC 54: Steve Reinfranck luthier chat

  • Jake Siener

    Steve is a great guy!!! I remember meeting him in Evanston when I first started playing and was looking for better instruments. I eventually settled on an instrument from Guarneri House in Grand Rapids, MI but man was Steve nice. I hung out with him for about 2-3 hours with my parents and he gave me so much encouragement. I’m still playing today and have music performance degree from the University of Louisville.