Stuart Patrick Jude Zender (born 18 March 1974) is an English bassist, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for being the original bass player for Jamiroquai.
Raised in Philadelphia, he attended Leighton Park School in Reading (for a year in 1988-89 before being expelled) known for its strength in music. Stuart left his home when he was seventeen. Before he left, his mother gave him two thousand pounds that she saved, to give Stuart a head start with things in life.
As Stuart said, he never had good business acumen, so instead of investing that money in some way, he went to the music store and bought a Warwick Streamer bass (which cost nearly the whole amount given to him by his mother). Before picking up a Warwick, Stuart played a Music Man Stingray bass. Of his early bands, the most famous was prank rock group Fabulous, a 1991 outfit were chiefly made up of NME writers and photographers.
Stuart was one of the founding members of the funk/acid jazz band Jamiroquai. He joined the band in 1993, and became known for his playing style. Soon after, Zender was asked to become an official Warwick basses endorser. Zender received a number of unique custom shop Streamer models. He played, co-wrote and produced on Jamiroquai's first three albums: Emergency on Planet Earth, The Return of the Space Cowboy and Travelling Without Moving. According to the Guinness World Records, Travelling Without Moving is the best selling funk album of all time and currently has sold around 11.5 million records worldwide.
Zender left Jamiroquai in 1999 during recording of their fourth album Synkronized because of conflicts with lead singer Jay Kay. The circumstances behind his departure have never been fully revealed, but Stuart explained that he felt that he and the other band members were not being credited for assisting in songwriting and producing. He also stated that he tendered his resignation to spend more time with his budding family. Stuart was replaced by Nick Fyffe, who had previously been in a Jamiroquai tribute band. Fyffe left in 2003 and was later replaced by Paul Turner in 2005.
After Jamiroquai, Zender had his own project with British soul artist, Don-E, called "AZUR" which signed a record deal with Virgin US. However the project was shelved and was then available on the internet for a short time. He has also worked with numerous artists, including All Saints, Omar, Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo, Gorillaz, Samuel Purdey, Ms. Dynamite and Stevie Wonder. He also dated singer Melanie Blatt of former UK girl group All Saints. The two were together for seven years. They have one daughter together, named Lilyella. Some of Stuart's most recent work has been with his latest band "LEROI". They were signed onto Geffen Records in Los Angeles. The deal fell through after the heads of the company, Polly Anthony and Jordan Shurr, who signed them, were made redundant.
Zender left Los Angeles in the summer of 2006 to become the Musical director and bass player for Mark Ronson. The release of the album Version in 2007 proved to be a larger success than first expected. Thanks to the success he has performed with Ronson at numerous popular events such as "Radio 1's Big Weekend", "O2 Wireless at Hyde Park", "Global Gathering" and "Glastonbury", and festivals all over Europe including "Montreux Jazz Festival" in Switzerland and "North Sea Jazz Festival" in The Hague. They were also recently special guests on Jay-Z's UK tour.
Recently, Zender has just set up his own record label "White Buffalo Recordings" and has started working on new material for his own album.
Zender and Warwick have recently reunited to produce a Stuart Zender signature bass guitar. Zender began his career by playing Warwick basses in 1993, when Jamiroquai was formed. Zender's distinctive style, one of the hallmarks of Jamiroquai's sound, created interest from other musicians in his gear, which was later documented in media interviews. Zender then received an endorsement deal with Warwick and began collaborating with the company for several designs -- notably, the Iroquai "rug" bass, an all-white bass with blue LEDs and chrome "Ender" model. Some of the main basses used by Zender include:
1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string.,
1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string (Red one, saw live in Paris and Amsterdam for Mark Ronson).,
1x Warwick SZ Signature Bass 4-string (White one, Stuart posted the picture on Facebook).,
1x Warwick "Iroquai Rug Bass" Streamer 5-string.,
1x Warwick "The Chrome Ender Bass" Streamer Stage I 4-string.,
1x Fender 1964 Precision Bass.,
1x Warwick Streamer Stage II 5-string (used in 1995 live).,
1x Alembic Epic 4-string (onstage backup bass).,
1x Warwick Streamer Stage I 4-string.,
Jamiroquai - Emergency on Planet Earth (bass),
Jamiroquai - The Return of the Space Cowboy (bass, writer),
Guru - Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (bass),
Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving (bass, writer),
Live from 6A - Late Night with Conan O'Brien,
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,
Mica Paris - Black Angel (bass),
Omar - Best by Far (Bass, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Programming, Co-Writer, Producer),
All Saints - Saints and Sinners (Writer, Producer, Mixer, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, Strings, Programming),
Space Monkeyz vs. Gorillaz - Laika Come Home,
Mark Ronson - Version (bass),
Jamiroquai - When You Gonna Learn,
Jamiroquai - Blow Your Mind,
Jamiroquai - Emergency on Planet Earth,
Jamiroquai - Light Years,
Jamiroquai - Stillness in Time,
Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy,
Jamiroquai - Cosmic Girl,
Jamiroquai - Alright,
Jamiroquai - High Times,
Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity,
Ms. Dynamite - Dy-Na-Mi-Tee,
Mark Ronson - Oh My God (Feat. Lily Allen),
Mark Ronson - Valerie (Feat. Amy Winehouse),
US TV Appearance - Stop Me - Conan O'Brien, NBC, 2007.07.12,
UK TV Appearance - CBeebies ZingZillas (Series 2, "Banana Blues")