Photo credit - Dylan Ladds

In my musical career of 50 years I have had the opportunity to play with musicians from many different traditions. Whether your musical home is in jazz,, blues, honky tonk, country western or folk from America, fiddle tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, or klezmer from eastern Europe we can have a conversation. 

Photo credit -Adrian Borda

Music is the

      universal language...

Ralph Gordon

Contrabass and Violoncello

Musical Biography

I have had the opportunity to play with many remarkable musicians in multiple musical traditions and bring more than 50 years of experience to the bass and cello. I am equally at home in folk, old time, swing, jazz, blues, honky tonk, country and western, bluegrass, klezmer, chamber group settings and all styles of music for dancers. 

I received classical training, studying music at West Virginia University and the Manhattan School of Music. My professional career began upon leaving school to perform with the New Jersey Symphony, then on to tour with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Returning eventually to West Virginia I joined the folk ensemble, Trapezoid. After nine years of touring and four recordings I left the group in 1986 to become a free lance musician. Since then I did a tour with Freyda and Acoustic Attatude and was a member of Childsplay for more than 30 years. I've performed in concerts, weddings and special events and been privileged to perform at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Strathmore Hall and  festivals across the country and venues around the world. I have participated in  session work in the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area and  have contributed to hundreds of recordings. Teaching bass and performance classes at summer and weekend camps across the country has enriched my musical life in  innumerable ways.  I am  also available for private lessons. 

......... "His playing is more sophisticated and technically accomplished than the next 10 string players of any sort and he uses his instruments to subtly ground, stabilize, and inspire the rest of the ensemble as they pursue their experimentations." Charleston Post Courier

..........."cross-genre genius" Folklore Society of Greater Washington  

..........."a quick study and a most masterful bass player." Mary Lea of Bare Necessities 

A few of the musicians and bands I've performed with over the years
Alexander Mitchell
Augie Swing
Avant Gardeners
Bare Necessities
Big Bandemonium
Blue Bamboo
Blue Rhythm Boys
Bluegrass and Beyond

Bob Vasile

Boulder Canyon
Brooks Tegler's Hot Jazz

Bruce Franzen

Buddy Spicher
Capitol Quicksteps Quadrille Orchestra

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Dance du Jour

Danny Knicely

Dave Weisler
Doc Dikeman Big Band

Elke Baker

Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians
Freyda & Acoustic Attatude
Gary Marvel Big Band
Girls from Mars

Hickory Grove

Holly Near

Howard Levy

Hula Honeys

Hula Monsters

Johnny Gimble
Jon Rose Trio
Jordan English Big Band

Jose Feliciano

Kim & Reggie Harris
Latter Day Lizards
Laura and the Lava Lamps
Love Mongrels

Mighty Possums
Mucho Gusto
New Hip Trio

New Jersey Symphony

Nicholas Carter


Olde Vienna

Pete Chauvette
Rhapsody Dance Band

Rhythm Raptors

Rusty Mason

Tabby Finch
Ti Acadie
Tom Cunningham Orchestra

Tom Paxton
Walt Michael & Company
Waverly Station
Wild Asparagas

Zan McLeod