Chicago-born Lonnie Plaxico inherited a gift for music that was discovered and nurtured early. At the age of just fourteen, Lonnie Plaxico turned professional, playing the electric and acoustic bass with equal facility. In 1980 Plaxico moved to New York and his first extended tenure was with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers; Lonnie performed on twelve of Blakey’s albums. In 1986 he joined Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, continuing with that group until 1993. Presently, Plaxico is the musical director and featured bassist for Cassandra Wilson; their award-winning collaboration has now spanned fifteen years. Plaxico has appeared with such luminaries as Sonny Stitt, Junior Cook, David Murray, Alice Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Sample, Abbey Lincoln, and Dizzy Gillespie. Just as noteworthy are his performances with younger artists — among them Steve Coleman, Rachelle Farrell and Dianne Reeves. He has also recorded five critically acclaimed albums as a leader.