Essiet Okon Essiet first received critical acclaim more than a decade ago as a member of saxophonist Bobby Watson's post hard bop group Horizon He has long since established himself as one of New York's premier bassist.
Born in Omaha,Nebraska,his parents having moved there from Nigeria,West Africa,the family later moved to Wisconsin where Essiet began his musical studies at age 10 on the violin.Four years,later he switched to the bass.As a child,and into his teens,his family moved often.His father worked for the US, as well as the Nigerian government,and his job took the family to many places including Europe,Africa and various cities in the US.His family finally settled in Portland,Oregon where he began studying jazz at the age of 14. Having traveled widely as a youngster with his family,he had an easy time adjusting to life on the road once he turned professional.More importantly,his early exposure to many cultures,languages,folkways and religions,fostered his world view of strength through diversity."Some musicians are purist"says Essiet,"but I like to mix styles.I like many different types of cultures". He has performed and recorded with such notables as Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Louis Hayes, Ben Riley, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Art Farmer, Abby Lincoln, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Cobham, Bennie Maupin, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Jon Faddis, Bobby Watson, Victor Lewis, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff "Tain " Watts, Mike Stern, Kevin Mahogany, Kurt Elling, Fort Apache Band, Danilo Perez,Claudia Acuna, Geri Allen, and Ralph Peterson to highlight only a partial list. In 1997,he was asked to join an incarnation of the Blue Note Allstars which included Greg Osby, Javon Jackson, Tim Hagens, Kevin Hays, and Bill Stewart.The Blue Note Allstars embarked on a number of tours including Canadian Festivals,US tours,Europe and Japan.