David Santos is a world-class musician. Primarily known for his bass guitar work, he has toured with some of the world’s biggest acts. He is also an in-demand studio session bass player, and has worked on recordings with Billy Joel, Cindy Blackman-Santana, John Fogerty, Toby Keith, Bob Seger, Kirk Whalum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley, among many others.
Originally from Tampa, Florida, David grew up in a musical family, playing bass guitar in a band with his brothers. Desperate to make an impression on his siblings and craft his early musicianship, he practiced 8-10 hours a day listening to classics from Hendrix, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and The Beach Boys. He had no formal training, just a desire to play and be part of the adventure with his brothers.
Having realized that music was his passion, and with a strong desire to be a working musician, David moved to Boston, where he gained valuable experience working with ensemble bands at Berklee School of Music. Although he had the opportunity to get a full scholarship, he elected to throw himself in the deep end and play tirelessly with a number of different college ensembles. He was not taking part in formal classes or attaining any college credit, but was laser focussed on getting as much playing time (and specifically, music reading time) as possible.
By the time he moved to New York City, he was ready to handle the rigors and uncompromising standards of the notoriously unforgiving music scene. A chance encounter with Mark Rivera at a wedding gig sparked a connection that would eventually lead to David playing bass for Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, and ultimately after an epic hustle, landing a gig with the legendary Billy Joel. (Check out David’s interview below with Bass Frontiers magazine for the full story). This included being part of the globe spanning Face-To-Face tour, featuring Billy Joel and Elton John.
Since then, he has enjoyed a career that has seen him tour and record with multiple household names. He is also the owner of White Rock Studios in Nashville, where he records remote bass tracks for artists around the world.