John’s style blends deep grooves, contrapuntal tapping, dense chords and classical Indian percussion, with shades of avant guard experimentation. He has earned a reputation as a renaissance bassist, pulling from many different techniques from slapping, to tapping to finger style. He utilizes looping and custom midi foot pedals to play bass lines, freeing up his hands to treat his instrument like a piano, guitar, percussion instrument or vocalist. Combining all these together makes for a massive sound.
Ferrara’s compositions range from chill, ambient classical and minimalist inspired pieces to full on mathy-prog epics and tons in between. They incorporate a wide range of sounds, grooves, dynamics and emotions crossing in and out of many different genres.
John is also a founding member of “Consider the Source”. Dubbed “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion”, the band’s music strikes a rare balance between cerebral and emotional, intellectual and primal. A relentless touring schedule has won the band a fervent following from California to Israel, with fans ranging from jam-band hippies and jazz cats to corpse-painted headbangers and prog geeks.
Using a plethora of tapping and thumbing and slapping techniques, inspired as much by drummers and pianists as by other bassists, John’s interlocking layers of rhythm and melody are integral to Consider the Source’s colossal sound. With an equal focus on rigid composition and wide open improvisation, John’s fluid, unorthodox playing serves the music while pushing it’s boundaries.
Ferrara has studied with South Indian Kanjira master Ganesh Kumar and has shared the stage with Victor Wooten, Otiel Burbridge, George Porter JR, Members of King Crimson, Tony MacAlpine,The Disco Biscuits, members of Umphrey’s McGee, as well as countless other bands in the Progressive rock, Jazz fusion and Jam scenes. He regularly tours all over the U.S. and also performs in other countries including Germany, Turkey, Israel and India.
He proudly endorses Fodera guitars, Hartke amplifiers, Kala Ubass, Slapstick by Slaperoo Percussion, Pigtronix pedals, Hotone Audio and Gator cases. He has been featured in several Bass magazines and other publications.
“The sounds that New Yorker gets out of that Fodera will leave bass players flabbergasted and amazed” – Bass Quarterly
“A composers bassist (who) translates the mystery of chops into a musical improvisational environment” – Bass Musician Magazine
“Ferrara has been admired for his compelling bass approach which evokes as much bodily emotion as it does musical passion, exquisitely combining South Indian, Drum n Bass and metal rhythms” – Sensible Reason
“John Ferrara played bass like a lead instrument, melodic and beautiful and technically brilliant” – NYSmusic.com
“John Ferrara’s bass playing is pure wizardry. His ability to pluck that many notes on his instrument, making it seem as if multiple people are playing the bass at once was breath taking! He was able to be smooth, vicious, tenacious, and extremely creative all at the same time. Truly one of the most talented bassists in the world” – Joonbug
“Percussive and blistering fast slap bass rhythms” – Live for Live music
John Ferrara proudly endorses: