At the age of thirteen, Sylvain’s friends noticed something different about him. When secretly listening to his sister’s Kiss Alive II 8 track tape, unlike them, he wouldn’t sing the lyrics or do air guitar solos. Instead, he would hum along with Gene Simmons’ bass lines.
“My buddies would tell me : you should play bass man!” .
After having this oddity pointed out to him, he decided to give the electric bass a try and immediately fell in love with the instrument.
After high school, torn between his interest in science and his passion for music, he decided to listen to his heart and studied classical double bass with Renald St. Pierre at Ste-Foy College where he finished first in his class.
“It’s amazing what a little hard work and studying every day for 2 hours on the bus can do for your grade point average!”
He continued his studies in jazz arrangement and improvisation at Laval University and also took private lessons with Sylvain Bolduc, one of Montreal’s top bassists.
Active as a professional bass player for more than 20 years, he has interpreted many musical styles - ranging from jazz to rock, pop, classical, afro-cuban, Bavarian, disco, retro, blues, R&B and gospel - with a long list af artists.
‘I learned to love more than Kiss!”
His musical career has led him to perform in all of Quebec’s major venues notably La Place des Arts, le Spectrum de Montréal, le Grand Théâtre de Québec, le Capitole de Québec, l’Impérial de Québec and la Salle Albert Rousseau .
He has also played many of the provinces major outdoor events including the Montreal International Jazz Fesitval, the Quebec City Summer Festival, the Tremblant Bluesfestival, and Levis’ Jazz etcetera festival to name a few. He has also toured Europe with Mario Chenart in 2005, The Quebec Gospel Ensemble in 2008 and with Poésie Urbaine in 2010.
“I like the fact that travelling is part of my job. Seeing new places, landscapes and meeting new people is great !”
He has played at numerous corporate events and conventions as well as in bars, night clubs, hotels and casinos.
As a freelance bassist, he has accompanied many of Quebec’s recording artists such as : Mario Chenart, Martin Fontaine, Joanne Blouin, Elizabeth Blouin-Braithwaite, Luc de la Rochelière, Judi Richards, Dawn Taylor Watson, Sylvie Desgroseillers and Nancy Dumais.
He has done studio work for albums and demos by many local artists.
“I’ve learned to enjoy the look of confusion and mild scepticism on most peoples faces when I tell them that I play bass for a living!”
As Gene himself says about the life of a professional bassist “ It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it!” .
Bassist Sylvain 'Sly' Audet's Website