Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns

Bass Guitar: Rochon Westmoreland

Rochon Westmoreland - Bass Guitar (photo by Bobby Gladd) click on image for enlarged view

Rochon Westmoreland was born to a blues guitarist Dad and a R&B singing Mom. Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, Rochon grew up surrounded music.

His dad was very well known in St. Louis and was always working. He worked in the studio most days and when Rochon was with him, it was a cool hang, and he learn from not only him, but everyone that was around.

Rochon’s grandma was a jazz & gospel organist and his step grandfather was a drummer. It was his granddad that gave him his first drum lesson. Rochon played drums until he was 12. He was playing drums in a band with some other kids when the bass player’s mom made him quit the band. he picked up the bass and never looked back.

The studio he spent so much time in as a kid, with his dad, was called Archway Studios. It was owned by a saxophone player named Oliver Sain. He and his dad wrote and produced there for over 20 years. One of his first sessions, there, was with Ike TurnerRochon started gigging, at age 14, with a blues artist named Shirley Brown, working with his dad and Oliver.

His mom was attending State Community College in East St. Louis, Illinois, and playing with the Jazz Band. They gave me an audition and I began playing with them as well.

In high school he played with the Jazz Band and the band director knew my family. That helped because the director took him under his wing. He was a outstanding pianist named Ed Nicholson. Ed would give Rochon private lessons and he would let some of his students play gigs with him. There were four other bass players and Rochon played 1st chair. It was a great experience.

From there his Mom moved to Las Vegas, and Rochon followed. He has had a very rewarding career as an adult playing in Las Vegas and all over the world with many different artists.