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Lou Carfa makes Denton a destination

May 21, 2012

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Lou Carfa and his big, yellow bass.

You’ll find Lou Carfa playing (electric) bass in the Sweetwater Jazz Quartet the second Tuesday of each month at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm Street, Denton. Joining Jim Riggs on saxophone, Neil Slater on keyboard and Ron Fink at the drums, Carfa has been with the Sweetwater G&T house band for about two years.

This monthly gig is one of the latest additions to the busy bass man’s extensive musical resume and travel schedule. Currently the mustachioed Carfa, who lives in Arlington, teaches bass guitar, and in some settings standard guitar, at Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College (Fort Worth), Weatherford College (Weatherford), Christ for the Nations Institute (Dallas), and Earhart’s Main Street School of Music in Arlington.

Lou playing in the Fort Worth Rodeo Big Band.

While taking many freelance jobs – live performances and recording sessions – Carfa has maintained regular work with the 21-member Fort Worth Rodeo Big Band – the world’s only such band, according to Carfa.

He doesn’t stop traveling on Sundays, as he plays with the “praise and worship” band at Calvary Church in Irving.

Clck to view video:

  • Wes Montgomery’s “4 on 6” – Antonio Wicker’s Senior Recital, Texas Wesleyan University – April 25, 2012. Antonio Wicker (Guitar), Lou Carfa (Bass), Hans Grim (Piano) and Alex Phillips (Drums).

Fort Worth Rodeo Big Band “Calf Scramble” video:

Have bass will travel

Lou studied music and graduated from the University of New York, in Buffalo, soon after he moved to Fort Worth to be closer to family.

“This whole area has a million musicians; I realized I didn’t have to look far for jobs. I started playing right away,” said Carfa.

Wherever he called home, his musical gift for playing the bass led him quickly to perform with many bands and artists and touring with headline performers such as Jazz vocalist Maureen McGovern (as bassist and for a time music director.)

Carfa toured with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band from 1978 through 1982.

Click to view video “Birdland” Maynard Ferguson’s MF Band performs “Birdland” in Munich Germany in 1980:

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