Victor Wooten

Victor L. Wooten
Victor Wooten 2.jpg
Wooten at the Belly Up in 2006
Background information
Birth name Victor Lemonte Wooten
Born (1964-09-11) September 11, 1964 (age 55)
Mountain Home, Idaho, United States
Genres Jazz fusion, jazz funk, bluegrass, pop[1]
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer, author, educator
Instruments Bass guitar, cello, double bass, guitar, keys, drums, percussion
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Vital Tech Tones, Bass Extremes, SMV, Nitro

Victor Lemonte Wooten (born September 11, 1964) is an American bassist, record producer, educator, and recipient of five Grammy Awards.[2] He has been the bassist for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones since the group's formation in 1988 and a member of the band SMV with two other bassists, Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller.[1][3] Since 2017 he has played bass for the metal band Nitro.

He owns Vix Records which releases his albums.[4] He wrote the novel The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music.[5][6]

Wooten has won the Bass Player of the Year award from Bass Player magazine three times[1] and is the first person to win the award more than once.[2] In 2011, he was ranked No. 10 in the Top 10 Bassists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.[7]

Early life and career

Wooten plays his headless bass guitar known as his "Sitar Bass" at the Belly Up in San Diego 2006.

Born to Dorothy and Elijah Wooten, Victor is the youngest of the five Wooten Brothers; Regi, Roy, Rudy and Joseph Wooten, all of whom are musicians. Regi began to teach Victor to play bass when he was two, and by the age of six, he was performing with his brothers in their family band, The Wooten Brothers Band.[1][8] As a United States Air Force family, they moved often when Wooten was young. The family settled in Newport News, Virginia in 1972. Wooten graduated from Denbigh High School in 1982. While in high school, he and his brothers played in the country music venue at Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1987, he traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to visit friends that he made at the theme park. One of them was a studio engineer who introduced him to Béla Fleck, with whom he has often collaborated.[9]

In 2000 Wooten created a music program called Bass/Nature camp that was expanded into Victor Wooten's Center for Music and Nature and includes all instruments. His camps are at Wooten Woods, a 147 acre retreat in Only, Tennessee, near Nashville.[10] Wooten co-leads the "Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Workshop" at Berklee College of Music in Boston. At Berklee and his own camps, he collaborates with Berklee Bass Department chair, Steve Bailey.[11] The two bassists have been teaching together since the early 1990s.

He was featured on the May/June 2014 cover of Making Music Magazine[12] to discuss the camps.


Wooten is most often seen playing Fodera basses, of which he has a signature model. His most famous Fodera, a 1983 Monarch Deluxe he refers to as "number 1," sports a Kahler Tremolo System model 2400 bridge. Fodera's "Yin Yang" basses (co-designed by and created for Wooten) incorporates the Yin Yang symbol—which Wooten uses in various media—as a focal point of the top's design and construction. The symbol is created from two pieces of naturally finished wood (Ebony and Holly, for example), fitted together to create the Yin-Yang pattern.[13]

As well as playing electric bass (both fretted and fretless) and the double bass, he played cello in high school. He still plays cello occasionally with the Flecktones as well as in the 2012 Sword and Stone/Words and Tones tour.[14]


Solo albums

With Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

With Bass Extremes

  • Cookbook (1998)
  • Just Add Water (2000)

With Greg Howe

With SMV

With Vital Tech Tones

  • Vital Tech Tones (1998)
  • Vital Tech Tones 2 (2000)

With The Wootens

  • The Wootens (1985)


  • The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, ISBN 978-0-425-22093-1, Penguin Group, 2008
  • Tonya Jameson, Pop Music Writer. "Pushing the Envelope; Flecktones Bassist Victor Wooten hits a new stride in two-disc album." Charlotte Observer, The (NC) 01 Dec. 2000: NewsBank - Archives. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • Ron, Wynn. "Victor Wooten expands his profile with two ambitious solo records; To the Victor .." Nashville Scene (TN) 20 Sept. 2012: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • Robert, Bell. "Friday To-Do: Victor Wooten." Arkansas Times: Blogs (AR) 27 Sept. 2012: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • Gary, Demuth. "Bassist Victor Wooten takes spiritual approach to music.; Victor Wooten 2/1;." Salina Journal, The (KS) 1 June 2007: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • "Victor Wooten's Mystical Quest." Downbeat 77.7 (2010): 26-35. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • Michael, Deeds. "Music runs in Victor Wooten´s family." Idaho Statesman, The (Boise, ID) 31 Jan. 2003: 20. NewsBank - Archives. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  • Wooten, Victor. "I Saw God." YouTube. Google, n.d. Web.[16]
  • The Baltimore Sun; Sam, Sessa. "A Natural Language; Star Bassist Victor Wooten says music is best taught through performance, not practice; Concerts." Sun, The (Baltimore, MD) 2 July 2010: NewsBank. Web. 11 October 2012.


  1. ^ a b c d Phares, Heather. "Victor Wooten". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Victor Wooten official website/biography". Official website. VixLix Music. 2010. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  3. ^ "Marcus Miller News". Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  4. ^ "Victor Wooten Announces A Show of Hands 15". February 8, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  5. ^ Salina Journal (2010)
  6. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top Ten Bassists of All Time". March 31, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Brodkin, Fran (November 29, 2013). "The Wootens: Band of brothers grow up with music and values". Montgomery News.
  9. ^ McDonald, Sam (February 21, 2000) "High Profile: Victor Wooten", Daily Press, Retrieved 2016-03-04
  10. ^ "Victor Wooten chosen in 'Rolling Stone' 'Greatest Bass Players of All Time' poll". April 7, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Workshop | Berklee College of Music". Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  12. ^ Freddy Villano (May 1, 2014). "Victor Wooten's Music and Nature Camps". Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "Victor Wooten Yin Yang 4 String". Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  14. ^ "Playing with Words and Music". NoTreble. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Victor Wooten | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "Victor Wooten - I Saw God (Live Gărâna '08)". YouTube. July 20, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2013.

External links