Stuart Patrick Jude Zender (born 18 March 1974) is an English bass guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for being the original bass guitar player for Jamiroquai.
Raised in Philadelphia, UK, he attended Leighton Park School in Reading (for a year in 1988–89 before being expelled) known for its strength in music. Zender left his home when he was seventeen with two thousand pounds that his mother had saved, to give him a head start in life.
As Zender said, he never had good business acumen, so instead of investing that money in some way, he went a music store and bought a Warwick Streamer bass guitar which cost nearly the whole amount given to him by his mother. Before picking up a Warwick, Zender played a Music Man Stingray bass guitar. Of his early bands, the most famous was the prank rock group Fabulous, a 1991 outfit chiefly made up of NME writers and photographers.
Zender was one of the founding members of the funk/acid jazz band Jamiroquai. He joined the band in 1993, and became known for his playing style. Soon after, he was asked to become an official Warwick basses endorser. He received a number of unique custom shop Streamer models. He played, co-wrote and produced on Jamiroquai’s first three albums, Emergency on Planet Earth, The Return of the Space Cowboy and Travelling Without Moving. According to the Guinness World Records, Travelling Without Moving is the best selling funk album of all time and currently has sold around 11.5 million records worldwide.
Zender left Jamiroquai in 1998 during the recording of their fourth album, Synkronized, because of conflicts with the lead singer Jay Kay. The circumstances behind his departure have never been fully revealed, but Zender explained that he felt that he and the other band members were not being credited for assisting in songwriting and producing. He also said that he resigned to spend more time with his budding family. Zender was replaced by Nick Fyffe, who had previously been in a Jamiroquai tribute band. Fyffe left in 2004 and was later replaced by Paul Turner in 2005.
After Jamiroquai, Zender had his own project with the British soul artist, Don-E, called “AZUR” which signed a record deal with Virgin US. However, the project was shelved and was then available on the Internet for a short time. He has also worked with other artists, including All Saints, Omar, Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Gorillaz, Samuel Purdey, Ms. Dynamite and Stevie Wonder. He dated the singer Melanie Blatt of the former UK girl group All Saints. The two were together for seven years. They have one daughter, named Lilyella. Some of Zender’s most recent work has been with his latest band “LEROI”. They were signed to Geffen Records in Los Angeles. The deal fell through after the heads of the company, Polly Anthony and Jordan Shurr, who signed them, were made redundant.
Zender left Los Angeles in summer 2006 to become the musical director and bass guitar player for Mark Ronson. The release of the album Version in 2007 proved to be a larger success than first expected. Thanks to its success, he has performed with Ronson at numerous popular events such as “Radio 1’s Big Weekend”, “O2 Wireless at Hyde Park”, “Global Gathering” and “Glastonbury”, and festivals all over Europe including “Montreux Jazz Festival” in Switzerland and “North Sea Jazz Festival” in The Hague. They were also special guests on Jay-Z’s UK tour.
Zender now runs his own record label, “White Buffalo Recordings”.
- 1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string.
- 1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string (Red one, saw live in Paris and Amsterdam for Mark Ronson).
- 1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string (White one, Zender posted the picture on Facebook).
- 1x Warwick “Iroquai Rug Bass” Streamer 5-string.
- 1x Warwick “The Chrome Ender Bass” Streamer Stage I 4-string.
- 1x Fender 1964 Precision Bass.
- 1x Warwick Streamer Stage II 5-string (used in 1995 live).
- 1x Alembic Epic 4-string (onstage backup bass guitar).
- 1x Warwick Streamer Stage I 4-string.
- Warwick Amplification.
- Ashdown SZ Funk Face Twin Dynamic Filter Pedal – Stuart Zender Signature Auto-Wah Pedal
- Jamiroquai – Emergency on Planet Earth (bass guitar)
- Jamiroquai – The Return of the Space Cowboy (bass guitar, writer)
- Guru – Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (bass guitar)
- Jamiroquai – Travelling Without Moving (bass guitar, writer)
- Live from 6A – Late Night with Conan O’Brien
- Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
- Mica Paris – Black Angel (bass guitar)
- Omar – Best by Far (bass guitar, percussion, electric guitar, keyboards, programming, co-writer, producer)
- All Saints – Saints and Sinners (writer, producer, mixer, keyboards, bass guitar, percussion, strings, programming)
- Space Monkeyz vs. Gorillaz – Laika Come Home
- Mark Ronson – Version (bass guitar)
- Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – Record Collection (bass guitar on “Somebody To Love Me”)
- Incognito – In Search of Better Days (2016) (bass guitar)
- Jamiroquai – When You Gonna Learn
- Jamiroquai – Blow Your Mind
- Jamiroquai – Emergency on Planet Earth
- Jamiroquai – Light Years
- Jamiroquai – Stillness in Time
- Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy
- Jamiroquai – Cosmic Girl
- Jamiroquai – Alright
- Jamiroquai – High Times
- Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity
- Ms. Dynamite – Dy-Na-Mi-Tee
- Mark Ronson – Oh My God (Feat. Lily Allen)
- Mark Ronson – Valerie (Feat. Amy Winehouse)
- Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – The Bike Song
- US TV Appearance – Stop Me – Conan O’Brien, NBC, 12 July 2007
- UK TV Appearance – CBeebies ZingZillas (Series 2, “Banana Blues”)
- Incognito – Love Born in Flames