Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting coiffed in Cologne

Fred needed a haircut midway through his spring period in Europe, and got one from Clement, whom his manager stumbled upon at his new hair studio in Cologne. Big thanks to Clement, a native of Nigeria who also is the artist responsible for the work on the walls.

Bidding a brief farewell to France, and Abe Inc.

Fred finished his spring tour with Abraham Incorporated on Sunday in Strasbourg, France; dashed to Germany for a recording session with his friend and mentor Pee Wee Ellis, before heading back to France (Montpellier) to meet and begin touring Europe with his New JBs.

Enjoy these pictures from the end of the Abe Inc. tour. Click here for more pictures from the show in Utrecht.

Venue art exhibit poster in Paris
Fred and Igmar Thomas warming up backstage in Paris
C-Rayz backstage with chain-link flowers in Paris
Soundchecking in Paris
Dinner in Paris
Onstage in Paris
Signing in Paris
After the Paris show with bassist Jamal Guessoum
Interview/photo shoot in Metz
Soundchecking in Metz
More soundchecking in Metz
The audience dancing in Metz
Onstage in Strasbourg
Signing in Strasbourg

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Still rocking on the road with Abe Inc.

The spring 2013 tour of Abraham Inc moved this week through the RASA Center for World Cultures in stylish Utrecht, Holland; the great Cully Jazz fest on the banks of beautiful Lake Geneva in Switzerland; the “tres beau” Centre Culturel Opderschmelz in Dudelange, Luxemburg; and on into Paris for a show at Centquartre, or 104. The band expanded during the week to include David Krakauer’s daughter Alicia, whose spring break from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London coincided with the group’s time in Europe.

Enjoy these photos.

Utrecht soundcheck

Alicia soaking in the beauty of Cully.
Display of media coverage in Cully.

Festival host Sandra with Abe Inc trumpeter Igmar Thomas.
Sandra with Fred after the show.
Fred with festival programmer Carine Zuber
Dudelange soundcheck
David and Alicia, with guitarists Allen Watsky and Sheryl Bailey behind.
Signing in Dudelange

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Australia to Africa, then on to France

Funky Fred is scorching the planet this spring with his touring schedule. After delighting crowds with his New JBs at Australia's Byron Bay Bluesfest over two nights, he was days later doing it again with Abraham Incorporated at the Jazzablanca Festival in Morocco. He then headed to Europe, where he will be through May 4.

Here is a brief review, with some photos. Enjoy.


After the stop in New Zealand, the Australia tour began with a return to Perth, where Fred first visited in 2009 for a residency with WAYJO -- the Western Australia Youth Jazz Orchestra. This time his band played the West Coast Blues and Roots Festival. Fred also made time, along with New JBs saxman Ernie Fields Jr., for a quick WAYJO workshop. Ernie, in addition to being a longtime friend of Fred's and an accomplished musician in his own right, also is a busy Los Angeles music contractor who contracts players for TV shows including "American Idol," "The Voice" and "The X Factor."

WAYJO students at the workshop

The next stop was Melbourne, where the show at The Corner Hotel featured guest appearances by new school trumpeter Maurice Brown, who was touring Australia with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and old school trumpeter and legendary Motown architect Gil Askey, a longtime friend of Fred's and Ernie's who has lived in Melbourne since 1980. Melbourne soul stalwart Chris Gill of Northside Records was the DJ for the show.

Fred, Gil and Ernie
Chris Gill, Fred and Gil Askey
Fred and Gil
Gil onstage with the New JBs
Maurice onstage with the New JBs
Fred signing autographs after the Melbourne show

The show at Sydney's Upstairs Beresford was preceded by two off-days and live interviews with new friend and soulful singer Lily Dior of Eastside Radio and Stephen Ferris on his Funk Flashback on FBI Radio, with Josh Beagley. The interview with Ferris, who also served as DJ at the concert, is archived online here.

Fred and Lily
Stephen, Fred and Josh
Byron Bay

The two days at the Bluesfest were spent lodged at the beautiful Mantra on Salt Beach and included time mingling with friends, old and new, including Susan Tedeschi and Ysaye Maria Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock, to name a few.

Onstage at Byron Bay Bluesfest

Fred, Ysaye and New JBs drummer Bruce Cox
Beautiful Salt Beach

Salt Beach, too


The spring "Europe" tour of Abraham Inc began with a stop on the edge of Africa, where Fred's first time in Morocco included a quick visit and welcome by his friend Ahmed Soultan, the hot young Moroccan artist who will feature Fred along with other artists including George Clinton and Pee Wee Ellis on his forthcoming CD. Ahmed -- featured in Rolling Stone and named one of Forbes Magazine's 13 African celebrities to watch in 2013played Jazzablanca the next night.

Fred, Socalled and David Krakauer in a TV interview on the balcony of the Sofitel Tour Blanch's Penthouse Suite
A balcony view of Casablanca and its port, which turned 100 on April 2, the day Abe Inc was there
Fred with daughter/manager Joya on the balcony