Dwight Mabe began playing music at age 5 1/2, starting on guitar. He learned to read music at the same time as written words. The first year was spent studying with a local guitar teacher in High Point who was well versed in every style of music from classical to jazz to country to rock and roll, as well as music theory.
Around the age of 12, the rock and roll bug hit and he bought his first electric guitar and bass guitar. After the usual high school rock bands, he switched full time to bass guitar and double bass for the high school jazz band. Relying on 2 years of cello study, he taught himself to play double bass and adapted the classical guitar techniques to bass guitar.
Deciding to major in double bass, he received degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying double bass with Lynn Peters, professor of double bass at the UNC School of the Arts. Dwight also studied jazz improvisation with Stan Samole (Ornette Coleman group and Elements). While at UNC-G, he was the recipient of the Alyse Smith Reynolds Performing Scholarship for three years. He also finished 1st Runner Up in the Brevard Music Center Concerto competition.
After college, Dwight spent the next decade in traveling on the road with rock band The Graphic, including some tour dates in Alex Chilton’s backup band and later with jazz fusion trio Toys Don’t Hate.
He has also performed with Zoot Sims, Eddie Daniels, Clark Terry, Doc Severinson, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, and David Clayton Thomas (Blood, Sweat & Tears).
Dwight began teaching bass guitar in 1980 to private students, conducting clinics across the country while touring and continues to teach and perform today from his home base in Hickory, NC