Happy Birthday to Carmine Rojas – born February 14, 1953

Carmine Rojas (born in Brooklyn, New York City, United States) is an American bass guitarist, musical director, composer, known for recording with David Bowie and Rod Stewart, his musical styles include rock, R&B/funk, and jazz. He has finished touring with Joe Bonamassa.

Music career

Early years, as sideman

Rojas toured the world with David Bowie from 1983–1987, playing bass on several multi-platinum hits such as “Let’s Dance”, “China Girl”, “Modern Love” and “Blue Jean” Live DVDs include Serious Moonlight (1983) and Glass Spider (1987).

He recorded and toured with Julian Lennon as a musical director and bassist from 1985–1986.

He recorded and toured with Rod Stewart as a musical director and bass guitarist from 1988 through 2003. One of the multiple albums recorded during that time includes the MTV multi-platinum live CD and DVD, Unplugged…and Seated. He also co-wrote songs on the albums Vagabond Heart and A Spanner in the Works.

Carmine has also recorded, toured and played alongside Tina Turner, Keith Richards, Stevie Wonder, Ron Wood, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Peter Frampton, Al Green, Carly Simon, Ian Anderson, Paul Rogers, John Waite, Steve Winwood, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Julian Lennon (Musical Director/Bassist), John Hiatt, Carole King, Beth Hart, Bobby Womack, Sam Moore, Billy Squire, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Hutchence, Bernard Fowler, Blondie Chaplin, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Joe Lynn Turner, Carlos Santana, Todd Rundgren, Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx, Michael Bolton, Ivan Neville, Allen Toussaint, Phil Ramone, Kevin Shirley, Trevor Horn, Charlie Sexton, Jewel, Brandy, Dave Mason, Mike Patton, Glenn Hughes, Nektar, Tetsuya Komuro, Hitomi, Ziroq, Modern Primitives, Simranking, Sass Jordan, Alphaville and others.

in 1998, Rojas with Rock / Flamenco guitarist Marcos Nand sang lead vocals in both Spanish and English The both arranging & composing, formed the band Ziroq in Los Angeles. The band blends Spanish, rock, flamenco, and other eastern European influences. In 2001 the band released the full-length album Ziroqoco. David Beamish of DVDActive praised the “fiery, passionate performances.” A review by Mark Schwartz stated, “On their self-titled debut, Middle Eastern percussion, violin, and flamenco guitars take the fore, in counterpoint to Nand’s smoky vocals.”

In support of the album the band performed throughout the west coast, appearing at the Whole Earth Festival in April 2002. The 2002 Putamayo World Music compilation Regueton, the Ziroqoco track “Que Peña,” peaked at #11 on the Tropical/Salsa chart at Billboard.

From Joe Bonamassa

A man of many, many talents, Carmine Rojas has excelled in the positions of musical director, producer, and composer since his career in music began decades ago. On top of those feats, the man is also one damn fine bassist. Effortlessly performing the genres of hard rock, funk, rhythm & blues, jazz, soul, pop, country, blues and blues rock, Rojas has shown that his musical depth knows no bounds. His talents were utilized by David Bowie from 1983-1987 both on tour and in the studio. He was featured on Bowie’s top hits of that era, such as “China Girl”, “Modern Love”, and the chart-topping “Let’s Dance”. A short stint touring with Julian Lennon preceded fifteen years spent working closely with Rod Stewart. Rojas’ numerous talents had also been utilized by the likes of Billy Gibbons, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, John Hiatt, Tina Turner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bobby Womack, and the legend among legends, the great B.B. King. Beginning with 2005’s You and Me, Joe Bonamassa has welcomed Carmine Rojas as a musical brother both in the recording studio and on hundreds upon hundreds of stages world over. Now, nearly ten years since he joined the family, Rojas has brought his sharpened skills as a bassist to several of Joe’s releases and too many tours to count. His skills were brought into the soulful partnership that took flight in 2011 with singer Beth Hart and has continued with the Grammy-nominated Seesaw and the upcoming explosive Live in Amsterdam.


With Joe Bonamassa

  • You & Me (2006)
  • Sloe Gin (2007)
  • Live from Nowhere in Particular (2008)
  • The Ballad of John Henry (2009)
  • Live from the Royal Albert Hall (DVD & CD, 2009)
  • Black Rock (2010)
  • Dust Bowl (2011)
  • Don’t Explain (2011, with Beth Hart)
  • Driving Towards the Daylight (2012)
  • Beacon Theatre: Live from New York (DVD & CD, 2012)
  • Joe Bonamassa Tour de Force: Live in London (2013)
  • Seesaw (2013, with Beth Hart)
  • Live in Amsterdam (2014, DVD & CD with Beth Hart)
  • Different Shades of Blue (2014)
  • Live at Radio City Music Hall (2015)

Further reading

  • Carmine Rojas discography, forum, and marketplace at Discogs , www.allmusic.com/artist/carmine rojas-
  • Carmine Rojas interviewed by Bass Player Magazine
About the author


See my profile at www.jfmooreart.com.

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