Tristen Jarvis

Assistant Professor, Music Performance
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Specialty: Double bass, electric bass, jazz, improvisation, chamber music, orchestral excerpts, intonation, bow physics


Tristen Jarvis is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, composer, and teaching artist.  Having witnessed powerful examples of how music can heal, empower, elevate, and inspire audiences from all walks of life, Tristen aims to transform the human condition across the myriad of spaces he engages.  Present in his artistry are the tenets of joy, adaptability, resilience, versatility, imagination, and sensitivity.  These qualities allow him to function as an ambassador for the arts and as an advocate for arts education being intrinsic to a healthy society.

Known for his chameleonic aesthetic, Tristen has experienced a diverse array of fulfilling performances and collaborations that demonstrate his ability to “cross-over” in today’s 21st century musical landscape.  Most notably he has appeared with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, on tour with hard rock/heavy metal royalty Joan Jett and Halestorm as a supporting act, producing and recording with Grammy-nominated jazz and groove-music drummer Nate Smith, and as a featured performer at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.  In solo settings he has won First Prize at the Anthony R. Stefan Concerto Competition in 2014, as well as Honorable Mention at the International Society of Bassists Solo Division Competition in 2021 for his conceptual solo recital program, “Hyperlink.”  Equally versed on the electric bass, Tristen embodies the full breadth and scope of the skills required of the modern bassist.

Tristen earned music performance degrees from Ithaca College (B.M. ’18) studying with Nicholas Walker, and from the Cleveland Institute of Music (M.M. ’20) studying with Scott Dixon, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Orchestral Studies in 2022 as a member of The Orchestra Now while in residency at Bard College.  He also studied privately from the age of 13 with Luke Baker, Principal Bass of the Vermont Symphony.  Tristen has spent summers at Le Domaine Forget, Orford Musique, Wabass Institute, Peabody Bass Works, and the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America program through Carnegie Hall, all of which allowed him to work closely with renowned pedagogues such as Francois Rabbath, Paul Ellison, John Clayton, David Allen Moore, Etienne Lafrance, Tracy Rowell, Derek Zadinsky, Ira Gold, Harold Robinson, Ranaan Meyer, Eric Larson, Ali Yazdanfar, and Jeffrey Turner.  He has also studied chamber music with members of the Orion, Emerson, Meliora, Dover, and Manhattan String Quartets, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Knights Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  

From 2022-2023, Tristen was fortunate to serve as the Interim Double Bass instructor at his alma mater, Ithaca College, where he now serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Bass.  He has given masterclasses and been on faculty at the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy and looks forward to serving as Bass Faculty and Jazz Guitar Faculty at the New England Music Camp in 2024.

Tristen performs on a double bass made by Keiran O'Hara in 2019, as well as a Schroetter Hybrid double bass restored by Arnold Schnitzer for solo playing.  Tristen owns bows made by John Norwood Lee, Bernard Walke, and David Herman.  He also is a proud owner of custom bow sleeves made by Birdie Chesanek at The Bird's Nest.  For electric basses, Tristen performs on a custom Dingwall Super P, as well as a Fender P-bass and Schecter Diamond P-bass.  Tristen uses Ampeg and Carvin amplification.