Skip links

Live Music Spotlight: Wade Short

If you’re looking for live jazz music in Boise, Chandlers is your place! Our seven-nights-a-week program features musicians that are not just locally known but often have a much bigger story to tell.

Case in point: Wade Short, recipient of 27 gold and platinum records and upright bassist at Chandlers.


Getting to Know Wade Short

Wade started his musical journey at the piano at the age of six. By the time he was 13, he’d found his groove playing bass in a rock ‘n’ roll band in Colorado Springs. His dad spent the weekend with the family car loaded with guys and gear driving to gigs.

While his start might have been in rock ‘n’ roll, even as a kid, his inspiration came from American jazz musicians John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and Scott LaFaro. In his early 20’s he developed a taste for classical composers, including Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Darius Milhaud, and Éric Satie.

By the time he was 19, Short knew he wanted to be a studio musician, attending Montgomery College, The University of Maryland, and the Juilliard School of Music.

One of his big breaks came in December of 1980 as a studio musician on Dionne Warwick’s Hot! Live and Otherwise. He then went on the road with the tour. When asked about his career highlights, Short reminiscences, “I’ll never forget playing in front of 275,000 people at the St. Louis arch when Dionne headlined the 4th of July celebration in 1982”.

Dionne was also hosting Solid Gold at that time, and Short joined the house band as the bass player and has maintained his friendship with Warwick ever since. “I just talked to her a couple of weeks ago,” he adds.

Over his 46+ year career, Short has worked on recordings with David Benoit, Robert John, B.B. King, Peter Allen, Lorie Lieberman, Arnold McCuller, David Lasley, Alejandro Escovedo, Tanya Tucker, and Hank Williams, Jr.

And he’s traveled the world, performing with Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Peggy Lee, Herb Alpert, Della Reese, Marilyn McCoo, and Billy Davis, Jr.

Short has also worked on the TV and movie scene. If mention of the Cops TV show brings the catchy theme song to mind, you have Short in part to thank for that. “It took an hour and a half to record. We never imagined the show would run for 33 seasons when we put that together,” Short recalls.

While Short has a long list of accolades, one of his proudest is the Billboard-Univision Latin Pop Producer of the Year Award and subsequent Latin Grammy in ’91.

Short landed in Boise to help take care of his aging parents and escape the LA lifestyle. Just when he thought he was retired from the performing scene, Short got a call from Chuck Smith to see if he could stand in at a Chandlers’ gig. That was in the summer of 2018.

The Chandlers connection goes back much further, though. Short recalls being on a flight with Mike Seifrit in 1981. Both were returning to LAX from Atlanta after wrapping up shows – Short with Dionne Warwick and Seifrit with Rick Springfield. Hard to believe 40 years later, they are playing at the same restaurant in Boise, Idaho!

Catch Short while you can as part of the Mike Rosenthal Trio before he retires for good, this time, to his recently-purchased property in Gooding, Idaho. See when they’re playing next on the music calendar.

Where You’ve Heard Wade Short

TV Shows

  • Solid Gold
  • Cops
  • The Tonight Show
  • Cheers
  • Who’s the Boss
  • Murphy Brown
  • The Practice
  • Picket Fences
  • Square Pegs
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Lois & Clark
  • Sisters


  • That Thing You Do
  • 48 Hours
  • Quicksilver
  • Naked Gun 2½
  • Naked Gun 33⅓
  • For the Boys
  • My Fellow Americans
  • No Way Out
  • The Thing Called Love