Ernie Nuñez

Applied Faculty

Bassist Ernie Nuñez is among the most versatile and respected bass players performing today.  Born in the Philippines, and immigrating to the United States, Ernie began playing acoustic bass at the age of 12 and electric bass a year later.  Throughout junior high, high school, and college, Ernie won numerous awards for excellence in both jazz and classical music.  He began playing with the Long Beach Symphony at age 19.  


In 1981, Ernie began playing on a full time basis at Disneyland.  He was part of many show bands, including big bands, Latin bands, and pop groups.  Prior to that time, he launched a successful freelance career within the Southern California area that is still thriving today.  He began his studio work and started performing with such names as Poncho Sanchez, George Shearing, and George Burns.


In the 90’s, Nuñez began notably touring with Les Brown and the Band of Renown and the Brian Setzer Orchestra using both electric and acoustic bass.  He also toured with The Rat Pack is Back with Michael B. Levin.  He continued freelancing when available, playing with the Manhattan Transfer, Toni Tennille, Steve Allen, and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.  He sustained full-time touring through 1999.


Nuñez takes pride in his versatility and openness to diverse styles of music.  He has can be heard on hundreds of recordings, including work with Jane Monheit, Lou Rawls, Donna Summer, Les Brown, Brian Setzer, and many others. Ernie was a member of the Brian Setzer Orchestra when the album, “The Dirty Boogie”, won the Grammy Awards in 1999 for Best Pop Performance by a Group with Vocal for “Jump, Jive An’ Wail”, and for Best Pop Instrumental of the Year for “Sleepwalk”.


Ernie has been playing with Paul Anka – both on tour and on numerous television appearances.  He is currently an adjunct professor at California Baptist University and Concordia University Irvine.  Ernie is currently performing with a Steps Ahead tribute band known as Magnetiq, as well as continuing studio work and freelancing domestically and internationally.