Abraham Laboriel Sr.
Laboriel performing in 1994
Background information
Birth nameAbraham Laboriel López
Born (1947-07-17) July 17, 1947 (age 74)
Mexico City, Mexico
InstrumentsBass guitar
Associated actsKoinonia

Abraham Laboriel López (born July 17, 1947) is a Mexican-American bassist who has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks.[1] Guitar Player magazine called him "the most widely used session bassist of our time".[2][3] Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and of producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel. He is ranked No. 42 on Bass Player magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time".[4]


Laboriel was born in Mexico City. His brother was Mexican rock singer Johnny Laboriel,[5] and his sister is Mexican singer, film and television actress Ella Laboriel. Their parents were Garifuna immigrants from Honduras.[6] His father Juan José Laboriel started as a cab driver but in the 1920's became an integral part of the entertainment business in Mexico as a founding member of the actor's, musician's, composer's and film worker's associations, eventually becoming involved in over 200 films in various capacities. A classically trained guitarist, he switched to bass guitar while studying at the Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1972. It was during this time that Laboriel learned the importance of versatility as a musician.[7] Henry Mancini encouraged Laboriel to move to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a recording career,[8] which he did in 1976. He struggled to find work for two years, before finding his first gig on a road tour with Olivia Newton-John. After a consequent European tour with Al Jarreau, Laboriel settled into a full-time studio career in Los Angeles.[7]

Laboriel has worked with Al Jarreau, Alan Silvestri, Alvaro Lopez and Res-Q Band, Alvin Slaughter, Andraé Crouch, Andy Pratt, Andy Summers, Barbra Streisand, Billy Cobham, Chris Isaak, Christopher Cross, Crystal Lewis, Dave Grusin, DeBarge, Djavan, Dolly Parton, Don Felder, Don Moen, Donald Fagen, Elton John, Engelbert Humperdinck, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Hanson, Herb Alpert, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Hallyday, Keith Green, Kelly Willard, Lalo Schifrin, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Leo Sayer, Lisa Loeb, Luis Miguel, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Nathan Davis, Paul Jackson Jr., Paul Simon, Phil Driscoll, Quincy Jones, Randy Crawford, Ray Charles, Ron Kenoly, Russ Taff, Stevie Wonder, and Umberto Tozzi,

Laboriel was a founding member of the bands Friendship and Koinonia. With the latter he recorded four albums.

In addition Laboriel recorded several solo albums on which he recruited a cast of musicians that included Alex Acuña, Al Jarreau, Jim Keltner, Phillip Bailey, Ron Kenoly, and others. His son Abe Laboriel Jr. played drums.

In 2005, Abraham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Berklee College of Music.[9]

Laboriel is now in the band Open Hands with Justo Almario, Greg Mathieson, and Bill Maxwell.

Discography (partial)

with Koinonia (band)

As sideman

with Justo Almario

with George Benson

with George Cables

with Larry Carlton

with Andraé Crouch

with Phil Driscoll

with Michael Giacchino

with Dave Grusin

with Al Jarreau

with Ron Kenoly

with Henry Mancini

with Don Moen

with Al Jarreau and George Benson

with Lee Ritenour

with others


  1. ^ Peter Meyer says (December 27, 2010). "Video Interview: Abe Laboriel Sr". Bassfrontiersmag.com. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Open Hands - About the Band". Openhandsmusic.net. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "Spectrasonics Artisans - Abraham Laboriel". Spectrasonics.net. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "The 100 Greatest Bass Players". bassplayer.com. NewBay Media.
  5. ^ "Johnny Laboriel dies at 71; Mexican rock 'n' roll star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Cunin, Elisabeth (January 1, 2014). Administrer les étrangers au Mexique: Migrations afrobéliziennes dans le Quintana Roo (1902-1940). KARTHALA Editions. p. 52. ISBN 9782811111946 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b The tide was always high : the music of Latin America in Los Angeles. Josh Kun, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Oakland, California. 2017. ISBN 978-0-520-96753-3. OCLC 975176545.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Abraham Laboriel Sr". Spectrasonics. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Bass Player magazine Archived February 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Studio Legend Recognized With Honorary Degree.