Watch Kinga Glyk’s Jaco Pastorius-inspired solo – played on a ukulele bass – which became one of her most watched videos ever

Kinga Glyk performs Donna Lee with her trio
(Image credit: Kinga Glyk)

Anyone who’s been following the irrepressible rise of YouTube and Instagram star Kinga Glyk will know that her groove-led brand of funk-inspired jazz spans a huge dynamic range. And it’s to her credit that no matter how broad things get stylistically, her fiery bass playing and creativity have kept her music focused. 

“My dad always told me to be 100 percent involved in whatever I play, no matter whether there are five thousand people or just one person in the room,” said Kinga when we interviewed her for Bass Player magazine in 2020. “In music it’s very important to put your heart into what you play.” 

In this video Kinga tips her hat to Jaco Pastorius with her take on ‘Donna Lee.’ It certainly sounds like she’s been shredding as she rips through a brilliant solo.

The performance showcases an unusual blend of swinging electro-acoustic jazz, all channelled via an Ortega Lizard Uke Bass, which weaves between the drums and piano. Far from a novelty instrument, the Uke Bass is built to deliver some serious low-end. The strings have a low tension and thick gauges, which are key to the basses glorious sound.

And finally, a little history lesson: In 1976 Jaco Pastorius recorded a version of Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee for solo bass and congas. It was the opening track of his debut record and has to be the coolest start to any bass-led album in the history of recorded music. As conga player, Don Alias said, ”every bass player I know can cut 'Donna Lee' thanks to Jaco.”

In fact, Kinga liked Jaco's version so much that she recorded her own rendition of his arrangement played on her fretted Fender Jazz Bass.

Visit Ortega Guitars for to find out more about the Lizard Series Uke Bass. And subscribe to Kinga’s YouTube channel to keep up to date with her forthcoming releases.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.