Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Celebrating jazz in Portland!

Mad props to Portland, Oregon, school band master Kenney Poulson, and his co-horts Cynthia Plank and Greg Mckelvey for putting together a Jazz Celebration to raise funds for music programs at the five high schools and middle schools they serve.

Their outstanding students prepared programs featuring Fred Wesley's music, with Fred himself as the inspirational special guest. The evening was a great success and had the desired effect, according to this email excerpt from Kenney, a longtime friend who invited Fred:

Fred with Kenney Poulson
Fred has had a huge impact on the kids! On Monday, I had one of my 7th grade boys (who bought a CD) play the head to EL Paso on his saxophone. Wow, what a shock!!!! Not only that, two of my girls were singing along while he played! This whole act made my day. Now, the middle school band wants to play a Fred Wesley tune. The high school band was pumped up as well, many of them were speaking about how well Fred can improvise and how easy he made it look. I think they all spent a lot of time practicing this past weekend!!!! Thanks ... for helping to stimulate the minds, and creativity of these students.

Fred with Cynthia Plank

Fred with Jared, a middle-school student

Fred onstage with the Hosford Middle School Jazz Band

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hymns & Spirituals

For the sixth year in a row, saxophonist Mark Sterbank of the Charleston Southern University music faculty has presented a concert entitled "Hymns & Spirituals,"featuring jazz arrangements of traditional Christian hymns and spirituals.

Fred made a return appearance this year as part of the ensemble, which also featured Herman Burney on bass, Charleton Singleton on trumpet,  Quentin Baxter on drums and Tommy Gill on piano. A concert on Sunday, Jan. 16, was followed by a two-day recording session and a performance for students. Here, courtesy of Herman Burney, are some photos from the gathering. Enjoy.

Herman Burney, Charlton Singleton, Mark Sterbank, Tommy Gill, Quentin Baxter, (engineer)

Fred and Mark

Legendary Charleston journalist and jazz supporter Jack McCray, Fred, Charlton Singleton

Fred, Charlton, Mark

RFI interview archived

Click here to hear the archived version of Fred's interview airing this month on French radio network RFI.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On the air in North Carolina

Hear an interview with Fred as part of a piece on Abraham Inc. in advance of the Jan. 27 concert at Wake Forest University's Wait Chapel. Listen live in the area on WFDD, 88.5 FM, or online by clicking here at 8:50 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 19. If you miss it, tune in to the archived version by clicking Enjoy!

One last Jam Cruise shot

Check out Fred, front and center.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Come Sunday: Hymns and Spirituals

In or near Charleston, South Carolina? Check out Fred as part of the 6th annual jazz Hymns and Spirituals concert at Charleston Southern University this Sunday, Jan. 17. Click here to learn more from a preview by the Post and Courier.

More Jam Cruise photos

Or, as Fred would say, "Mo'" Jam Cruise photos.

Nigel Hall and Ian Neville

Karl Denson, Big Sam, Maceo Parker, Sam Kinninger, Fred, Corey Henry, Skerick

Jennifer Hartswick

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jam Cruise photos

Fred is back! He survived his first cruise -- Jam Cruise 9 -- and has these photos to show for it. Enjoy.

Big Sam, Maceo Parker, Sam Kininger, Fred and Corey Henry

Gwen Wesley, Fred, Maceo Parker, Carolyn "Bunny" Parker, Pee Wee Ellis and wife Charlotte Crofton-Sleigh

Michelle Moog, daughter of the synthesizer's creator, speaks in the ship's theatre during a Moog workshop

Lettuce with Fred and Maceo Parker

Roatan, Honduras from Fred's cabin

The MSC Poesia
The JB Horns dine with their wives

Fred with a Jam Cruiser who reminded him of Snooki

Fred, costumed Jam Cruiser and American Idol Taylor Hicks

Fred before a mural in Roatan, Honduras at the School of Life orphanage, where he played for children in an outreach activity.

Fred's better half, Gwen Wesley, enjoys coconut juice in Honduras

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Check out the new Abraham Inc. video!

The official music video for "Tweet Tweet," title track of the Abraham Incorporated debut album, launched today on David Krakauer's youtube site. Click here to check it out!

In Paris? Tune in to hear Fred

Happy New Year to all Funky Fred Fans!

Fred sailed yesterday on Jam Cruise 9, and will be back in the USA on Sunday.

Parisian fans can tune in Saturday on 89 FM to hear a pre-recorded interview with Fred on RFI, Radio France Internationale.  The interview will be broadcast on African stations the next day, and should be archived on the RFI website. Enjoy!