Travis Schilling (born December 7, 1977) is an upright and electric bassist, composer and music educator, born in northern Michigan and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Travis has studied with world-renowned bassist and bass educator Joe Hubbard, as well as Anthony Cox (Joe Lavano, John Scofield), James Anton (Johnny Lang), Terry Burns and Gary Raynor (Prairie Home Companion). He is accomplished on double bass, 4 and 5 string electric bass and is known for his ability to perform in a multitude of musical styles including, but not exclusive to jazz, rock, country and musical theater.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Travis Schilling attended McNally Smith College of Music in the spring of 1998. After graduating top of his class in 2000 with both his artist and advanced artist diploma as well as receiving an outstanding achievement award from the bass department Travis began performing and touring with Minneapolis blues vocal phenom Renee Austin.
After several years performing with Renee, Travis moved back to Michigan and began preparation to attend Wayne State University in Detroit. During this time Travis had the fortune to study with Detroit bass legend Danny Pliskow as well as Western University’s Tom Knific. Travis ultimately decided not to attend school in Detroit, but spent a year working the Michigan music scene performing in jazz ensembles on Mackinaw Island and doing musical theater engagements including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Forever Plaid, Chaps and Little Shop of Horrors.
After a year working in Michigan, Travis made the move back to Minneapolis and rejoined the Renee Austin band. A steady stream of musical collaborations and studio work kept Travis busy for most of 2001 until the Renee Austin band disbanded in the spring of 2002. Luckily, Travis made contact with some of his fellow students from McNally Smith and joined the traveling contemporary country band Eagle River.
Travis spent the next six years playing an average of 5 nights a week through out the mid-west. In the spring of 2006 Travis , Zacc Harris, Pete Henning and Brandon Wozniak formed the Atlantis Quartet. The goal of this group was to perform and compose progressive modern jazz. The culmination of this hard work was realized in the release of 2007’s “Again Too Soon” which featured all original compositions by the group members. The freshmen release was given strong positive reviews on both a local and national level.
Travis’s life became very busy during the summer of 2007. He had joined up with local country all star Tim Sigler and decided to return to McNally Smith as both an adjunct bass instructor and student. This hectic schedule as well as a need to focus on his own musical growth resulted in Travis departing from the Atlantis Quartet in the spring of 2008.
Travis graduated summa cum laude with his bachelors in performance in 2010, currently he performs over 125 shows a year with the Tim Sigler Band as well as freelance shows through out the Twin cities area.
Travis Schilling was born to a non-musical family. During high school he began playing electric guitar along with several of his friends, but soon realized that an abundance of guitar players meant a lack of bassist to jam with. At the age of 16 Travis purchased his first bass and has not looked back since.
Like most music school graduates Travis began teaching lessons as a way to supplement his income, but it soon became evident that teaching was special to him. Travis views teaching as an equal part of his musical identity next to performing. He has given over 20,000 lessons in the last 16 years, the result is a refined teaching approach that focuses on music fundamentals. Travis is currently on the faculty at Carleton College and Western Wyoming Community College.