Blake Meister has performed and recorded with a diverse group of renowned musicians, including Gary Thomas, Larry Willis, Katharine McPhee, Mýa, Marc Copland, David Kikoski, Gary Bartz, Steve Davis, Warren Wolf, Ahn Sook Sun, Buddy Wachter, Paul Bollenback, Eddie Henderson, Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, Jack DeJohnette, Ralph Peterson, Dennis Chambers, Nasheet Waits, and Tim Warfield, among others. He is a regular member of Gary Thomas’ Pariah’s Pariahs and The Divide ensembles, as well as the Larry Willis trio and quintet. He was a finalist in the 2014 Bass Europe competition and a semi-finalist in the 2015 International Society of Bassists competition. He has received several awards and grants, including the 2015 Individual Artist Award (IAA) for performance, as well as the 2012 IAA for composition from the Maryland State Arts Council. His debut album, Septagon, was released on the Inner Circle music label, and was named Album of the Year by both CapitalBop and the Washington D.C. City Paper.
Meister is currently a bassist for the American Studio Orchestra, a multi-media, cross-genre ensemble, and has been a member of several traditional orchestras in the Mid-Atlantic area. As an educator, he serves on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, teaching lessons and courses.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Meister began on electric bass, later honing his skills on the double bass and piano in college. A member of the first full class to matriculate to Peabody’s jazz studies department, he attracted attention as a student, receiving both the Alice and Leary Taylor and Richard Franko Goldman awards in performance, as well as multiple development grants. He went on to earn a master’s degree in orchestral studies at Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, under a full-tuition scholarship. Before joining the Peabody Conservatory faculty, Meister began as faculty and co-coordinator in the preparatory division, helping to create a more comprehensive jazz studies program.
With performances described as “inevitable, fitting…right at home…assured” (Ephland, All About Jazz), Meister is quickly garnering recognition among musicians and critics alike. As well as on Septagon, he appears as a sideman on many other albums, including Gary Thomas’ At Risk (Pariah’s Pariahs), Andrea Wood’s Dhyana, Todd Simon’s Simon Says, Levon Mikaelian’s United Shades of Artisty and Kurtis Adams’ Collage, and more.