Monday, November 26, 2007

Unknown Artist: Desiree' Bassett

A few years ago, I went to an Ashford School talent show that featured an unidentified guitarist playing guitar back stage. Most in the audience assumed it was a teacher or maybe Tony Horn, a fine blues guitarist who also lives in Ashford.

From the darkened stage, the guitarist played various classic rock riffs as though they were written by or for the artist - flawless, precise, and with feeling. The artist turned out to be then Ashford middle-school pupil, Desiree' Bassett.

Today's Courant informs us that she has a new CD in the making. 'A Local Legend,' She Can Play The Guitar by Shawn Beals is a great read. Enjoy.
Desiree' started playing the guitar when she was 3. She played her first full-size guitar at 5, and she won a talent competition when she was 12. At 14, she played side stage at Ozzfest in Hartford. Now she's 15, and has captured the attention of rock music legends Rik Emmett, Dicky Betts and Joe Satriani.

Related links

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Desiree' Bassett On MySpace

Desiree' has four major endorsements and is working on an album with her band, Desiree' & the Time Machine. Her producer is bass player Doug Wimbish from Living Colour. Desiree' is only the second person ever to sit in and play with Living Colour. The other? Carlos Santana.

Desiree', a 10th-grader at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, practices every day for several hours, sometimes as many as eight. She has three shows scheduled in December and recently completed a very secret recording project in Arizona. "Somehow I manage to balance it all out and get it done," Desiree' said.

"With honors," added her father, Dan Bassett, who was watching her practice.

Bassett manages his daughter, books her shows and plans all of her trips. He and Desiree' actually learned to play on the same guitar, which Bassett bought in the 1980s.

This summer, Desiree' was featured in Guitar Player magazine, and her father said she is "a local legend down at the GC [Guitar Center in Manchester]."

"You should have seen my face when she came out in the July issue of Guitar Player magazine," Dan Bassett said. "I'm extremely lucky to be her dad."

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