Kanoa Mendenhall, bass

Kanoa Mendenhall with an upright bass

Kanoa Mendenhall is a bassist living in New York City. Born in Japan, she spent most of her childhood in Monterey, California. Kanoa was surrounded by music from an early age, with her first instrument being the cello before switching to the bass at age 11. In high school, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, attending education programs at SFJAZZ and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and from age 13 she started playing professionally with Bay Area musicians such as Bruce Forman, Vince Lateano, and Dick Whittington. Kanoa moved to New York City in 2015 to study at Columbia University and the Juilliard School. After graduating college in 2019, she has been fortunate to perform internationally, was part of the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, and recently recorded on Joel Ross’ newest album on Blue Note Records, Who Are You.