Desmond Bratton is a freelance bassist and pedagogue passionate about community engagement through the art of musical conversation. He holds a Masters of Music from Ithaca College, where he received a full assistantship and studied Double Bass Performance with Dr. Nicholas Walker.
As a pedagogue, Desmond currently holds a guest lecturer position at Cornell University, and is also double bass faculty at Opus Ithaca, a locally founded school of music in Ithaca New York. He has been invited to perform and present at seminars and master classes throughout out his home state of Florida though the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, the Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble, MyCM Miami Youth for Chamber Music, and The Arts and Medicine Department of the Moffit Cancer Research Center.
At the Moffit Cancer Center, Desmond used songs from West African, African American, and Jewish traditions to bring patients, family, staff, and members of the local community together. His passion for musical community engagement has since continued through workshops in middle and elementary schools, and youth detention facilities, where he emphasizes the use of improvisation, a necessary life skill to resolve conflict, generate communication, and build community.
After recently performing in South America with the Neuquén Symphony Orchestra in Patagonia, and has since been invited to teach double bass Seminars in Neuquén and though the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aries, Argentina. Since 2017 Desmond has spent his summers as double bass performance and teaching Faculty at the Philadelphia Orchestra associated, Luzerne Music Center Music Festival located in the foothills of Adirondack State Park in Upstate New York. There he enjoys performing chamber music and teaching private lesson as well as large and small ensemble coaching.
When he is not teaching Desmond actively attempts to break down the barriers created by arbitrary distinctions of musical genres by performing and recording in many differ styles of music including Classical Chamber Music, Jazz and Folk. Just following a third album release in 2018 with singer songwriter Travis Knapp, Desmond has recently toured the UK and Europe with a folk group including Double Bass, Banjo, and Percussion.
Desmond also composes his own solo music for double bass and looping pedal, which utilizes bass lines, harmonic and rhythmic material, and textural extended technique in order to create a heartfelt multi-instrumental experience all from wide ranging capabilities of a singular instrument. Desmond has used his compositions in collaboration with Cave Canem Poet Laureate, and National Book Award Finalist, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, and for Mayfest International Chamber Music festival hosted by Cornell University.
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