At the age of 10, Eli Uttal-Veroff took after his father and chose electric bass as his first instrument. A fateful miscommunication occurred between Eli and his parents as the ambiguity of “bass lessons” turned out to mean upright bass lessons. Soon, Eli was playing the string bass in his school orchestra, and studying the instrument with Fred Schrank, the principal bassists of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Schrank exposed Eli to jazz bass playing and passed on a love of the instrument. Later in his high school career, Mr. Uttal-Veroff continued studies with Brad Townsend, lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
After graduating high school, Eli pursued further studies in bass at Butler University (B.A.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M.). At Butler University, he studied bass with Professor David Murray, and Jazz Studies with Dr. Matt Pivec and Gary Walters. Initially, Eli intended to study classical bass and moonlight in the jazz ensembles at Butler University. However, after meeting several members of the Indianapolis Jazz community, he fell in love with not only Jazz, but also the relational elements that accompany it. From that point on Mr. Uttal-Veroff has continued to strive for excellence in Classical, Jazz, and several other idioms of music.
Eli maintains an active career as a freelance bassist. He has performed with artists such as Clay Jenkins, Charles Pillow, Rob Dixon, Steve Allee, Bobby Sanabria, Zach Lapidus, Jim Pugh, Clarence Hines, Matt Harris, Bob Sneider, Kenny Phelps, Matt Pivec, Ray Ricker, Gary Walters, Ted Poor, and many others.
Two of Mr. Uttal-Veroff’s more recent endeavors are Brazilian Music and Film Music. His fascination with Brazilian Music began after discovering Francisco Tenorio Jr’s recording Embalo. Ever since, Eli has made studying the early years of the Brazilian musical movement known as MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) a priority. The Brazilian music of this era was a distant cousin of Jazz, and represents an incredibly important exchange of musical language and culture.
Similarly, while at Butler University, Eli had the chance to perform Halloween concerts with Los Angeles-based composer Christoper Young. In addition to performing cues from several of Young’s works (Spiderman 3, Hellraiser, Copycat, and others), the orchestra performed film classics like Bernard Herrman’s score from Psycho and Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Later, at Eastman, he performed with Jeff Beal, a leading composer in the industry. Beal is most famous for his work on House of Cards, and the concert was the first performance world wide of Beal’s House of Cards Symphony. The concert was a multimedia presentation that synchronized live music with clips taken from the various films and television series. On the same concert Donald Hunsberger (famed conductor and co-author of “The Art of Conducting”) conducted a performance of Phantom of the Opera performed as an authentic recreation of the experience of silent films from the 1920s.
Most recently in 2015, Uttal-Veroff led a recording project called This is Grit and Wit, which synthesized his various interests. The project included original compositions, arrangements and traditional Brazilian songs.
To hire one of Eli Uttal-Veroff’s ensembles fill out the following contact form.