Whenever Gary Upton notices a gap in quality or necessity of just about anything, he sees it as an opportunity to design new and creative ways to bridge the gap.
Born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, England, Gary moved to the United States when he was in his teens. Growing up playing double bass, Gary studied music at Western Connecticut University and spent his early years working in a music shop. In 1999, he opened his own workshop to refurbish and sell basses. Fast forward to now, Upton Bass String Instrument Company is a world-renowned brand, praised by its quality instruments and beloved by Grammy award-winning musicians and symphonies across the country.
Under Gary’s leadership and direction, the company continues to make its rounds in the industry and expand its list of elite clients. The company is the only manufacturer of double-basses in the United States, and they have a strict adherence to quality standards that led to their success. There are multiple stores around the country, including their past retail shop in Boston, a workshop in historic Mystic, Connecticut since 2004, and a new showroom in New York City that opened this year.
Though a successful business owner in music, Gary still pursues after ventures that allow him to create solutions.
Because of this mindset and being an intensely driven entrepreneur, Gary has worked in a wide array of fields: music, manufacturing, real estate, politics, charity, health and fitness, jury consulting, public speaking, and conservation. The one common thread connecting all of these is Gary’s genuine talent of envisioning a better world by providing the needs of the local community based on the resources available and accessible at this moment.
After working as a program director for a Boston fitness center, Gary embarked on his next business. UP Fitness is a high-end gym that offers sophisticated workout options to the Mystic community and upholds the motto: Exhilarating, Not Intimidating.
One of Gary’s top priorities is investing in the local community. Gary has been the luthier chair for the International Society of Bassists and on the board for his local symphony. Now, Gary is serving as the current chairman of East Line Inland Wetlands, an agency that protects the local natural resources from potentially hazardous and destructive developments.
Being such a prolific and expansive force in the industry, Gary has given lectures on innovation and entrepreneurial vision at colleges, including the Rhode Island School of Design. He hopes to give more talks and discussions to the younger generation, especially in helping them navigate through the local political landscape.
In the meantime, Gary is working on a book about the intersection of innovation and business. The book will be told through the lens of one of his greatest inventions, which is a double bass that can be disassembled to fit in a suitcase.
With everything Gary has pursued and contributed, for him, one of his most meaningful contributions is in the world of music. Going back to his roots, Gary’s dedication to building and restoring instruments, as well as writing songs that connect, jump-started his journey.
In the end, Gary Upton sees music as the best way to connect the disparate pieces of life to move forward.Visit Gary Upton’s personal website, and follow his Instagram and the UP Fitness Instagram as well.