Gavin Barras | Bassist


Gavin is a professional double bass and electric bass player, performing regularly throughout the UK and abroad in a variety of performing and recording projects.

Gavin has performed as part of Matthew Halsall‘s band for over 15 years and appeared on all of his studio and live albums as well as at regular sold-out gigs in UK venues such as as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Stoller Hall, The Barbican and Union Chapel.

Internationally, Gavin has performed at multiple jazz festivals throughout the world, including the Joy of Jazz Festival in South Africa, Uber Jazz in Germany, Pori in Finland and Liege Jazz Festival in Belgium. He has also made several appearances on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music and on the TV documentary ‘Jazz UK: Spitting Fire’ on BBC Four.

In March 2017 Gavin released his solo album ‘The Family Tree’ on ASC Records featuring Jeff Guntren on tenor saxophone, Jim Faulkner on guitar and Dave Walsh on drums. The album, which was recorded at 80 Hertz Studios in Manchester, contains ten original compositions written by Gavin. The album was inspired by the double bass Gavin’s father made for him (which Gavin plays on the record) as well as the themes of fatherhood, friendship and home. On two short interlude tracks Gavin plays a steel string acoustic guitar, also built by his father in 1967.

A busy and in-demand bassist, Gavin enjoys a varied career playing in a variety of different music settings from jazz groups to musical theatre, world music groups to classical ensembles.

Gavin is a highly motivated and successful teacher working at schools/colleges throughout the North West of England. He has given workshops at establishments like Manchester Metropolitan University and LIPA in Liverpool. For many years Gavin has taught on the Live Music Now scheme delivering workshops in special needs schools, prisons, care homes etc.
He also teaches privately in Glossop, Derbyshire. In recent years many of Gavin’s students have successfully passed their ‘RockSchool’ guitar/bass exams taken at the world famous Blueprint studios in Salford.

More information on Gavins education work can be found at

Fun fact: the furthest Gavin has travelled for a gig is to Taiwan!

 The Family Tree

The Family Tree

Gavin’s latest album The Family Tree was released in March 2017. It contains ten new compositions all written since becoming a father in 2016. The record also features Gavin playing a double bass built by his own father, a keen stringed instrument maker, who spent 15 years building the bass as a labour of love for his son.

Gavin composed many of the tunes on this bass which provided huge inspiration for the album, and he decided to dedicate it to his dad, Steve, as well as the rest of his family, including new baby boy, Charlie. The other themes of the album include friendships, childhood memories, family connections and Gavin’s home in the Peak District. The band features Jeff Guntren on tenor saxophone, Jim Faulkner on guitar and Dave Walsh on drums.

Recorded in one day at 80 Hertz Studios in Manchester, The Family Tree also has two tracks with Gavin on acoustic guitar (again built by his father – this one back in 1967), Rhiannon James on viola and Margit van der Zwan on cello. 




28/6/24Matthew HalsallBirmingham UKThe Crossing
30/6/24Matthew HalsallGlastonbury UKGlastonbury Festival
3/7/24Claire CopeSheffield UKThe Lescar
5/7/24Matthew HalsallBarcelona SpainVijazz
7/7/24Dean StockdaleBuxtonUKBuxton Festival
10/7/24Matthew HalsallCopenhagenDenmark Bremen Teater
13/7/24Matthew HalsallRotterdam NLNorth Sea Jazz Festival