Bret Higgins is a bassist, composer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Canada. He leads a varied career that encompasses writing original music for ensembles, co-writes with singer-songwriters, writing for film, producing, arranging, and performing and recording with a multitude of artists from across the spectrum of contemporary music. In 2018 he released a new record from his Bret Higgins' Atlas Revolt instrumental project.
Born, raised and currently living in Toronto, Bret started to play electric bass in his early teens cutting his teeth on folk, rock, and psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s. Once in high school he discovered a love of jazz and classical music and began playing upright bass. Bret studied double bass, theory, composition and arranging at Humber College, and later at the University of Toronto.
In addition to leading his own Bret Higgins’ Atlas Revolt band, the bassist performs regularly with Canadian folk-rock group Great Lake Swimmers, Canada's leading klezmer-balkan group Beyond The Pale, East-meets-West instrumental project Zebrina, and the folk based ensemble Ozere. Additionally, he has performed and / or recorded with many luminaries of the folk, jazz, and world music communities, including Leif Vollebekk, Sarah Slean, Brian Borcherdt (Dusted), Rose Cousins, Basia Bulat, David Myles, Amelia Curran, Serena Ryder, Justin Rutledge, Jill Barber, Megan Bonnell, Jadea Kelly, Michelle Willis, Elliott Brood, Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo), SoCalled, The Wailin’ Jennys, Ben Caplan, Lara St.John, Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat, New Klezmer Trio), Frank London (Klezmatics), David Buchbinder (Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Odessa-Havana), Hugh Marsh, David Amram, Ben Grossman, and Brenna MacCrimmon.
The recipient of numerous Canadian scholarships, awards and arts grants, Bret performs extensively in Toronto, and has toured throughout North America, Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia.
Special highlights of his career include performing with Great Lake Swimmers at the 2010 JUNO Awards, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in both Whistler and Vancouver, and at Massey Hall as part of their 2014 ‘Live at Massey Hall’ concert series. Additionally Bret performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009 as a special guest at the 85th birthday of Theodore Bikel, and in a 2005 performance at the Canadian Governor General's Awards at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
As an extremely prolific composer, arranger, songwriter, and producer, Bret's music has been heard in clubs, theatres, and concert halls throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Brazil.