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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Dec 7, 2018

This episode shows a different type of musical journey and approach to music-making outside of the classical world! I speak with bass player Kaveh Rastegar about his journey building a successful and varied international career, and his hands-on approach to creating music and to practicing.

Kaveh is highly on-demand in the LA scene and collaborates with some of today's most popular artists like CeeLo Green and Bruno mars. Kaveh has a fascinating background, playing a wide range of genres, from classical to reggae and punk rock. He is a member of the Grammy nominated band Kneebody and is currently on tour with singer John Legend.

His story is a great reminder, especially for those at the starting stages, that a musical career is not just about big gestures and big decisions. It’s built with the succession of little events that might seem inconspicuous at first, but end up adding up and can lead us to so many great opportunities and accomplishments. Whether it’s a chance meeting, a conversation, or being exposed to something new - all of this can open a world of new possibilities.

Later in the episode, Kaveh delivers inspiring insight on how to continue growing after college, going after your dreams, and keeping your enthusiasm and spark for music alive.

Get ready to be inspired by Kaveh’s story!

He elaborates on:

  • His story, from growing up in Colorado and learning to play by ear, to attending Eastman, and playing in the biggest stages in the world
  • How he was exposed to an incredibly wide range of music growing up and how that shaped him
  • How he came to choose the bass
  • The different things he learned from the many genres and experiences he had as a young musician
  • How he started playing gigs around his hometown and how that created the basis for the many strong connections and friendships that deeply influenced his career
  • His experience at Eastman
  • How practice becomes different after school – how we need to seek out teachers and seek our own answers
  • How his practice today involves a mix of methodical exercises and creative experimenting
  • His creation process, involving collaboration with friends and artists he admires, improvisation, and experimentation
  • How easy it is to start comparing ourselves and how it is important to celebrate all the small victories
  • How important it is to set goals





His discography:

YouTube Light of Love:

Facebook page :




Kaveh Rastegar is a Grammy nominated Electric and Upright bassist. In the years since moving to Los Angeles, California from Rochester New York where he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, Kaveh has enjoyed success playing, writing and recording music for a wide array of artists, projects and films.

 Kaveh is a founding member of the Grammy Nominated Jazz quintet Kneebody. Kneebody has toured the world and recorded a number of albums. Most recently they have signed to Concord records and have toured Australia, Japan, Europe and the States in support of their new album “The Line”.  Kaveh is also bassist for acclaimed singer songwriter John Legend and has accompanied him on tours worldwide since the summer of 2014. Kaveh is also bassist and musical director for singer and smash songwriter Sia.

 As a writer, in addition to his own songs and music for Kneebody, Kaveh has written songs with other artists such as Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Kimbra, Meshell Ndegeocello, De La Soul and others. His song “Conviction” co written with Meshell Ndegeocello was chosen as the lead single from her latest release “Comet Come To Me”.

 Kaveh was recognized in the 2010, 2011 , and 2012 Downbeat Magazine Readers Polls and the 2015 Critics Poll for Electric Bass.

 Kaveh is also a member of the Seattle based power trio THRUSTER! featuring guitarist Timothy Young and drummer Matt Chamberlain. A founding member of 70 piece hip hop orchestra Dakah, Kaveh has also recorded and played with Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars, Sia, John Legend, Kimbra, De La Soul, Luciano Ligabue, Laura Pausini, The Ditty Bops, Colin Hay, Beck, Jesca Hoop, Nels Cline, Sam Sparro, Esthero, Noemi, Giusy Ferreri, Antibalas Afro Beat Orchestra, Joshua Radin, Melissa Ferrick, guitarist Arik Marshall, Keaton Simons, Greg Kurstin's Action Figure Party, The Calling, Dave Fiuczynski, Carla Bozulich and Wayne Horvitz.

Kaveh is also endorsed by Aguilar Amplification, GHS Strings, Tonecraft Audio and Roland/Boss Pedals. 


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Visit for information about past and future podcasts, and for more resources on mindful practice.



Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a huge thank you to my producer, Bella Kelly!




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