Skip to main content

Ace Of Base

03/19/2013 02:20PM, Published by Anonymous, Categories: In Print, Life+Leisure




story: Jim Dyar photos: KaraStewartPhotography

BRUCE CALIN, LOCAL BASS GO-TO GUY

If you’ve attended a high-end North State jazz concert over the past several years, you may have noticed the same guy continually behind a well-worn standup bass. And those paying really close attention may have also noticed this fellow performing with the North State and Shasta symphonies, and in orchestra pits for a variety of musicals.

Since moving to the eastern Shasta County community of Oak Run in 2002, Bruce Calin has become the go-to guy for all manner of musical gigs demanding a pro on bass.

The genre of music doesn’t really matter – the Minnesota native has covered it all. A former member of the house band for Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated radio program “A Prairie Home Companion,” Calin, 62, has made a career with his bass since age 16.

“He’s just the all-around consummate professional, no matter if he’s playing symphonic music, jazz or just jamming on some blues or bluegrass,” said jazz guitarist Charles Valona, who regularly performs with Calin. “I’ve been very fortunate to have played with him as much as I have. It’s been an absolute honor. Plus, he’s made me work my tail off. You play with someone of his caliber and you want to make sure you’re prepared.” Last year, when the 101-year-old renowned Hawaiian jazz ukulele player Bill Tapia toured in the region, he learned of Calin and nabbed him to perform in shows in Redding, Ashland, Ore., and Eureka.

“I like the variety,” Calin says. “I like playing with different people and in different styles of music. That’s what’s most interesting to me.”

It would be hard to calculate (or comprehend) how many different musicians Calin has performed with, and venues he’s performed in, during his career. He’s spent a good portion of his life performing in supper clubs, theaters and dozens of other venues around the Minneapolis area. In the mid- to late-1960s, he played five to six nights a week all around the city. “At that time, it was possible to make a living playing in clubs and some people worked their whole careers in them,” he says. “I was working as many nights as I could. I remember my pay for five nights a week was $108.50, which was decent money back then.”

Calin was born in the small mining town of Hibbing, Minn., in 1947 and lived there until age 11. He befriended a fellow named Dave Zimmerman and loosely knew his older brother, Robert. Most people know Robert by his more common name – Bob Dylan.

It was in high school that Calin picked up his now 100-year-old German Diechsel upright bass that he continues to perform with. It belonged to a friend’s dad, who gave it to him because it had large cracks in the body. It cost Calin $200 (a huge sum in 1964) to repair the bass, but the instrument’s warm tone made it a great lifetime investment. In subsequent years, Calin has replaced the fingerboard and the bridge (rear support piece for the strings) a couple of times.

Calin studied language at Macalester College in St. Paul, and in 1970, was drafted into the Army during the end of the Vietnam War. He served domestically for about a year, and after being discharged, realized the only language he wanted to focus on was music.

That same year he moved to Omaha, Neb., and began performing with the Bob Jenkins Orchestra, which toured the country and played large state and county fairs. The band backed a variety of well-known performers including stars like Glen Campbell, Bob Hope, Engelbert Humperdink, Jim Nabors and many others.

“For awhile there I was doing a lot of traveling,” Calin says. “Some years I was gone a good third to half the year.”

After about five years on the road, Calin began working at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater (suburb of Minneapolis), performing in the pit orchestra for Broadway musicals. He did eight shows a week for about five years until 1980.

After that, he went full time as a freelance musician, which he continues today. He met his wife, Chris Paaske, while working at a resort in Park Rapids in northern Minnesota. Calin has two stepdaughters: Heidi Seiler and Carly Thomas.

In 1987, he picked up the gig with Garrison Keillor and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Each Saturday, he shared the stage of the national radio show with intriguing writers, poets and musicians. Off the top of his head, he remembers people like Taj Majal, the Everly Brothers, Albert Lee and Roger Miller as interesting artists to collaborate with.

“(The show) was very fast,” Calin remembers. “Everything was done in a tight time period. There were some really interesting people on there. Some who I’d never heard of before and haven’t heard from since. To see the thing come together on the fly was amazing.”

About 10 years ago, Calin returned to St. Paul for a club gig and Keillor showed up in the audience. After the show, the two caught up and chatted warmly about the old days.

Being called for all kinds of shows in the North State has been a pleasant way for Calin to spend his semi-retirement. He also teaches private bass lessons at Bernie’s Guitar in Redding, a shop that welcomed him to town and helped him link up with other players.

“There are some really excellent players here and some very good people, so that’s been fun,” Calin says. “One thing about having been a full-time professional player is I feel like I can give back some stuff. It’s been fun to play and share a little bit of what I know. I didn’t know what to expect coming out here. But it’s been a really positive experience.”



interest


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/27/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/28/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/30/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/31/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/01/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Love Your Pet Expo 2017

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    10th annual free pet-friendly event, with charity auction, pet adoptions, low cost vaccines, hear...


  • Friends of Shasta County Libraries

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, the Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used bo...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/01/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    04/01/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • 2017 Young Artist Showcase

    04/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    HIGHLAND ART CENTER ANNUAL YOUNG ARTIST’S SHOWCASE Weaverville, CA, March 22, 2017– It’s t...


  • Bunco Night Fundraiser

    04/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:30PM

    Join us for a fun night of rolling dice! It's BUNCO time! This is a fun fundraiser that benefits ...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Rumi’s Caravan brings to life the rich tradition of ecstatic poetry, featuring the mystical poems...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header ...


  • Mojo Child at The Dip

    04/01/2017
    08:00PM

    "The Feast is about to begin..." -Jim Morrison Mojo Child delivers Doors music that is fun, en...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/02/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Clear Creek Wildflowers and Wild Plants

    04/02/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Come walk with David Ledger from the Native Plant Society. Enjoy the beauty of blooming wildflow...


  • Tarzan

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/27/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/28/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/29/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    03/29/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/29/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/30/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    03/31/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/01/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Love Your Pet Expo 2017

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    10th annual free pet-friendly event, with charity auction, pet adoptions, low cost vaccines, hear...


  • Friends of Shasta County Libraries

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, the Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used bo...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/01/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    04/01/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • 2017 Young Artist Showcase

    04/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    HIGHLAND ART CENTER ANNUAL YOUNG ARTIST’S SHOWCASE Weaverville, CA, March 22, 2017– It’s t...


  • Bunco Night Fundraiser

    04/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:30PM

    Join us for a fun night of rolling dice! It's BUNCO time! This is a fun fundraiser that benefits ...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Rumi’s Caravan brings to life the rich tradition of ecstatic poetry, featuring the mystical poems...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header ...


  • Mojo Child at The Dip

    04/01/2017
    08:00PM

    "The Feast is about to begin..." -Jim Morrison Mojo Child delivers Doors music that is fun, en...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/02/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Clear Creek Wildflowers and Wild Plants

    04/02/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Come walk with David Ledger from the Native Plant Society. Enjoy the beauty of blooming wildflow...


  • Tarzan

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/03/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/04/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Mornings with Mommy

    04/04/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Mornings with Mommy isn't preschool and it isn't childcare. It's something different. Mornings wi...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/04/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/05/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Artistic Endeavors Spring Open House

    04/05/2017
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    ***Raffle*** ***Paintings*** *** Pottery*** ***Jewelry*** ***Sewing Crafts*** ***Refreshment...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    04/05/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/05/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Kiwanis Club of Redding

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    KIWANIANS ARE LEADERS,DOERS, AND ADVOCATES. We are looking to begin a Kiwanis Club in Redding, C...


  • Past & Present COLLIDE

    04/06/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Great artwork from LOCAL artists that is available for purchase . Featuring art work of classic c...


  • Shasta College Annual Spring Plant Sale

    04/06/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    In conjunction with California Native Plant Week, and in order to promote native plant conservati...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/06/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    04/06/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch Spotify for t...


  • Tarzan

    04/06/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors