John Lamb

John LambAmerican Jazz Bassist

John Lamb is an American jazz double bassist who was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Born in Vero Beach, Florida, he grew up as a child who loved playing music, specializing in the tuba. He left high school to join the United States Air Force as a musician in their military band and was stationed in Texas and Montana, where the long winters left him ample time to practice. When the band's usual string bass player was unavailable for a gig, the bandmaster asked Lamb if he could fill in, leading to his becoming the band's new string bassist. He credited his tuba experience with giving him the "feel" to pick up the string bass quickly, even without any prior experience.

Lamb joined Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1964 and toured with them for three years. He was more of a fan of Miles Davis and Red Garland when he was with Ellington, later saying, “I was very young and very cocky. I thought I knew more than Duke at that time...I have more time today to reflect on the things that were accomplished back then, and the places we traveled to and all the wonderful people that we met. So one has to be careful what one does in his young years, because if they’re fortunate to live long, it all comes back.” In 1966 Lamb performed with Ellington and Sam Woodyard for artist Joan Miró at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Lamb later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and taught music in public schools as well as St. Petersburg College, where Alphonso Johnson was one of his students. Lamb has been awarded the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s “Satchmo Award” for service to jazz.