MY BIOGRAPHY

Koji Cassetta is a NYC-based, performer, composer, bandleader, and educator from Detroit, Michigan. Koji first started playing the bass at age 13, starting with the electric bass guitar. It wasn’t too long before he decided he wanted to make a career out of the bass, and picked up the upright bass a year later, joining the orchestra and jazz bands. 

His first professional gig was performing electric bass in a live hip-hop band opening for The Pharcyde at the Intersection venue, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he was 18 years old. A few years later, he saw renowned bassist Marion Hayden perform and he was inspired to study jazz bass and improvisational music from there on out. He then studied with another acclaimed bassist from Philadelphia, Jeff Pedraz, who mentored him in jazz bass for a year before sending him off to study with internationally-acclaimed bassist and educator Professor Rodney Whitaker at Michigan State University for 6 years. 

During his undergraduate period, he had the opportunity to perform alongside Louis Hayes, Kenny Barron, Mimi Jones, and Harvey Mason. He completed his undergraduate degree and master’s degree in Jazz Studies, having received a full scholarship as a graduate teaching assistant in graduate school.  He also was part of the first-place award winning band as a member of MSU’s Jazz Orchestra I, where they won the national Jack Rudin competition hosted by Lincoln Center, and was recognized in the “Best Rhythm Section” category in 2022.

Koji has also performed all over Michigan and New York City alongside artists including Marion Hayden, Kevin Bujo Jones, Chuck McPherson, DeSean Jones, Tim Ries, David Gilmore, Jerome Jennings, Lewis Nash, Renee Rosnes, Stefon Harris, Randy Napoleon, Randy Gilespire, Jeff Pedraz, Sachal Vasandani, and many others at famous venues throughout Michigan, including: Blue Llama Jazz Club, Cliff Bell’s, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Bert’s Marketplace, Lincoln Center, Room 623, and the Detroit Masonic Temple.

Koji’s original music is influenced by jazz, hip hop, funk, R&B, samba, and electronic music. He also has a passion for teaching music, and has taught private bass lessons  in addition to music theory, songwriting, and music production.