Bassist, Composer, Bandleader
Austrian native Stefan Redtenbacher wears many hats: bassist, guitarist, composer, bandleader, arranger, educator, producer, music-software developer, and intrepid captain of the groove ship Funkestra.
Stefan fell for Herbie Hancock and Maceo Parker early on, but it took him a few years to find his own groove; recorder lessons at age 10, for example, didn’t pan out (“Stefan doesn’t practise enough,” commented his teacher). After figuring out that it was the bass that caused those “low rumbles,” he was hooked. He bought his first bass at age 14, with money saved from his summer job, and began composing and playing. Hard work and talent led to stints in Paris, France, Spain, the U.S., and, finally, the UK… where Redtenbacher’s Funkestra was born.
Stefan has recorded and performed with such legends as Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Lulu, Mica Paris, Herb Alpert, Paul Carrack, Kiki Dee, Tony Hatch, Gerry Beckley, Sandie Shaw, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Limahl, Alexandra Burke, Russell Watson, Joe, Pete and Sam Brown, Adam Ant, Ollie Murs, and Danyl Johnson, among others.
Stefan’s passion for life-long learning and music education has made him an inspiring and in-demand educator. He’s taught at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music), LCCM (London Centre of Contemporary Music), DIME (Detroit Institute of Music Education), ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music), SBL (Scott’s Bass Lessons), ICMP (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance), and ATM (Access to Music) programmes in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, and contributed to Bassguitar (‘Rock Legends’), Bassguitar Magazine (‘Funkyologies’), and iBass Magazine (‘In Session’).
Recently, Stefan has donned another hat: entrepreneur. With the goal of helping students improve their instrumental practice sessions, he and Funkestra guitarist Eran Kendler co-founded KnowledgeRocks, a Music Education Technology start-up. KR’s patented digital file format, AudioSheetMusic™, synchronises PDF sheet music to real audio, and allows musicians of all styles and levels to play, study, and practice using their tablets, web browsers, or Macs. KnowledgeRocks’ online store features a growing library of high-quality publications from publishers (RSL, RGT, Schott, Faber Music); record labels (Naxos); magazines (iBass, Guitar Collector’s); and independent publishers, schools, music teachers, and artists.
Stefan is a graduate of the Vienna Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Chichester University, and the Institute of Education.
Fittingly, Stefan’s parents met dancing to James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”
(Juliet Eastland, Boston)