Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Having a funky good Christmas time down south

Many thanks to the ATL Collective for making Fred and his old bandmate John "Jabo" Starks a part of their classic album series, which this week remembered James Brown's classic album, "A Soulful Christmas."

Catch Fred tonight at The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida, where he'll sit in with Jabo and his Red Bar Jazz Band. Enjoy these photos by Victor Wesley.

The stage at Terminal West for the ATL Collective show.
Jabo and Fred before the show.
Fred with the horn section doing his thing.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Playing tribute to The Blues, honored in Alabama

Fundraising has begun via Indiegogo for the tribute to The Blues album Fred is producing to honor this great American art form. The Blues was the first music he ever heard, and is the deepest part of his extraordinary aritstry over his 55 years in the business. 

Visit today to become a part of the project. Many thanks to Ms. BJ Peart for the video and to the generous donors who have gotten the campaign off to such a great start.

Congratulations to Fred on his induction last night into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.  He accepted the honor on behalf of all the Mobile, Al., musicians who inspired and taught him, including his late father, Fredric A. Wesley Sr, his first teacher, E.B. Coleman, the late saxophonists Ed Pratt and Joe Morris, and his friend saxophonist Joe Lewis.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Being inducted in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame!

Fred is headed to Birmingham in his home state where he will be inducted Saturday into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. He will join the ranks of great Alabama artists including Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole and Erskine Hawkins. The ceremony happens Saturday evening at the historic Carver Theatre. Congratulations, Fred!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Soundchecking in South Africa

Fred and his New JBs are in Cape Town, beginning a three-city tour of South Africa. Sponsored by the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, the tour includes the show tonight at the Baxter Theatre, one Wednesday night at the BAT Centre in Durban, and a final one Thursday at The Orbit in Johannesburg.

The New JBs soundchecking at the Baxter Theater in Cape Town

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Touring the southeast, taking part in a historic recording

A special recording for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC, has been added to Fred's October tour with stops Oct. 9 at RiverMusic in Asheville, Oct. 11 at the Beyu Caffe in Durham and Oct. 12 at Bethesda Jazz and Blues for Washington, DC.
Fred and the New JBs at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2011. (Photo courtesy of the festival)
Fans in Washington, DC, are especially excited, since it's been since 2011 that Fred last performed there with his band. Pacifica radio station WPFW (89.3FM) aired two interviews with Fred today, the first early on the 5am Millie's Mellow Moment show with Millie Ware, the second at 5 pm with Scooter Magruder. Click here to hear archived recordings of those shows.

Before arriving in DC, Fred and company will visit the Greensboro museum before heading into the studio to record a piece being written with Fred in mind by composer, trumpeter and Mondre Moffett to musically reflect the history in the exhibits. Like Moffett, Fred is volunteering his services to the fundraising CD project.

Located downtown Greensboro, the museum is an archival center, collecting museum and teaching facility that was created in the old Woolworth's building that was the site of the Feb. 1, 1960, start of the national sit-in movement by four students of N.C. A&T State University. Moffett also is a professor and directs the jazz ensemble at A&T
Moffett (with trumpet) teaching. (Photo by Jerry Wolford, News & Record)
On Oct. 8, Fred will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to honor a former James Brown compadre at the show MadCity Sessions "Give the Drummer Some" with Clyde Stubblefield & Friends.

The Asheville show on Oct. 9 is free. Click here and here for tickets to the Durham and Bethesda shows.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Savannah, Asheville, Durham, DC!

Fred's gearing up to do some touring close to home for a change. 

On Sept. 26, he'll start with a guest appearance with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra at the Savannah Jazz Festival.

The weekend of Oct. 9-12, he'll join with a tightened version of his New JBs for a southeastern tour with stops at the Friday evening River Music series in Asheville, NC , the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club in Maryland on Columbus Day, and a very special Sunday afternoon appearance at the Beyu Caffe in Durham, presented by the hot Art of Cool Project.

The Asheville show is free! Click here to buy tickets for the Durham show. Click here to buy tickets for the DC-area show.

Also, cabins are still available for Jam Cruise 14. Click here to join Fred among an awesome cadre of other artists aboard the MSC Divina.

In other news, Soundchess TV has posted another video from Conegliano, Italy. Click here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Honored by the Jus' Blues Foundation

Fred traveled to the Mississippi Delta where the Jus' Blues Foundation honored him with the James Brown Heritage Award Saturday in Tunica. He was among soulful friends old and new during the organization's 15th annual Blues Awards Week. Attendees included Millie Jackson, Vasti Jackson, Bobby Rush, and Fred's former JB compatriots Martha High and Vickie Anderson.

In other news, Fred ranked No. 9 in's survey asking readers who the Alabama Music Hall of Fame should induct next.

Enjoy the photos below, and click here for a video interview.

With Jus' Blues founder and president Charles Mitchell.
With Vasti Jackson, Bobby Rush and Mitchell.
With Millie Jackson.
In a TV interview with Memphis News Channel 3

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Tunica, Mississippi with Jus' Blues!

Thursday is the Jus' Blues Music Foundation's Night of the Living Legends and Fred will be among the honorees. The event happens at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. In addition to the evening activities, Fred also will sign CDs and copies of his book, "Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Side Man," at a meet and greet Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Home safe after a hot time in Europe

A hot night Sunday at London's "21st Century Church of the Chill," the wave-making Bussey Building, closed out the musically mighty tour that began July 5 at the Montreaux Jazz Festival for Fred and his New JBs. Thank you Tal Bright and Leah Maria Suarez for these excellent photos.

Onstage at the "South London Soul Train"
South London still getting down.
Onstage at the Montreaux Jazz Club.
New JBs guitarist Reggie Ward at Montreaux.
And these from other stops along the way.

Before the gig in Wieden, Germany.
Grooving crowd in the former bullring in Torres, Spain, at the Imagina Funk Fest.
Playing the piano at the chalet of Montreaux's late founder Claude Nobs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Set for Aschaffenburg after a mighty Montreaux show

Syndicated radio icon Tom Joyner was in the house when Fred and his cats rocked the Montreaux Jazz Festival to launch their summer tour of Europe. Click here for more photos.

Fred with Tom Joyner and others backstage at Montreaux.
The band's enjoying a day off in Aschaffenburg, Germany, in advance of the Wednesday show at Colos-Saal. Click here for tickets.

The tour continues from Aschaffenburg:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gearing up for Europe in July!

Fred fans can catch him in Europe with the New JBs in the following places on the following upcoming dates:

Click the links above to buy tickets now. Click here to see video from a performance earlier this year at the Conegliano Jazz & Blues, courtesy of

Thursday, June 18, 2015

At Funk Night in Napa Valley

Fred guested with Brian Culbertson and friends during the Friday Funk Night at Brian's Napa Jazz Getaway. The high-energy band had a great time with Fred and his compositions including "House Party," "No One" and the Horny Horns favorite "Four Play." It was a hot weekend in more ways than one, and gave Fred a chance to visit with friends new and old, including comedian Alonzo Bodden, and Jerry Martin, Greg Errico, Cynthia Robinson of The Family Stone, who opened the show.

Soundchecking at the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Getting away to Napa; digging "The Story of Ike Dupree"

This Friday night will find Fred at Brian Culbertson's Napa Jazz Getaway. He is a featured guest for the Funk Show with Brian and Friends, along with Eric Darius, Marqueal Jordon and Eric Marienthal. Comedian Alonzo Bodden and The Family Stone also will appear. Click here for ticket information.

In other news, Fred is celebrating the release of the fruit of his labor with Sid WhelanThe Story of Ike Dupree. Click here to get it now.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Redway today; Abu Dhabi in April!

The 39th Annual Summer Arts and Music Festival in the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area near Redway, CA, happens this weekend, and Fred will be there today as a guest of the band Motherlode.

In other news, the new Arts Center at New York University's Abu Dhabi campus has announced its 2015-2016 season, and Fred is in it. He is co-music director with Pee Wee Ellis of the project Funk: Evolution of a Revolution. The April 2016 event is the world premiere of the project, "an explosive multi-media show that tells the story of the evolution of music that changed the world, led by two of its most important architects."

Pee Wee and Fred in Koln, Germany, 2013. (Photo by Heinrich Buttler)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Flashing back to the '70s!

Benjamin Wheelock of took Fred back to the '70s for a feature on this classic Horny Horns album.
Click here to see the interview and hear the music again.

Fred Wesley by Alex Hinchcliffe
In other news, fans in or near Stockholm should check out photographer Alex Hinchcliffe's new exhibition of portraits, which started with a portrait of Fred.

From a translated section of the exhibition's description: "Alex Hinchcliffes photographic work “Ett Steg Närmare” (One Step Closer in Swedish) consists of close to a hundred portraits of musicians. Among the photographs we find Bobby Womack, Amiri Baraka, Mark E. Smith, Robert Glasper, Lonnie Liston Smith and Thurston Moore. The project started in 2010 when Alex photographed funk master Fred Wesley in his hotel room before a gig."

Click here to view the Facebook invitation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Heading back to sea on Jam Cruise 14!

Fred will be in the company of Dr. John and a range of talented artists when he sets sail in January on Jam Cruise 14. Ahoy!

Many thanks to Sin Qua Non and Bohemian Caverns in Washington, DC, for a fun weekend of great music. Sin Qua Non is Michael Bowie on bass, Mark Prince on drums, Victor Provost on steel pan and Lyle Link on reeds. Special thanks, too, to guest vocalist Christie DeShields.

Michael, Victor, Fred, Lyle, Mark and Christy
Finally, thanks to Jack Carpenter, who straightened out Fred's slightly skewed horn on Friday morning!

Fred with Chuck Levin's brass technician Jack Carpenter

Monday, April 27, 2015

Heading to Washington, DC; Digging Socalled's new album

Fred will make a special guest appearance this weekend with the band Sin Qua Non, celebrating their new release featuring Fred, "Make it Feel Good," Friday and Saturday at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, DC. Tickets for the four shows at the legendary DC jazz club -- 8pm and 10pm each night -- can be purchased by clicking here. Also catch the DC Funk Parade before the Saturday shows!

In other news, check out the great work Socalled did with Fred and other guest artists on his new album "Peoplewatching." Click here for a free album stream on Exclaim. Fred's on the title track as well as "Never See You Again" and "Bootycaller." Congratulations, Socalled, on a job well done!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Heading to Montreaux!

Along with artists including Tony Bennett, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride and D'Angelo, Fred Wesley and the New JBs will appear at this year's Montreaux Jazz Festival. The festival runs July 3-18; Fred and company play July 5. Click here for tickets.

Fondation du Festival de Jazz de Montreux © 2015 - Artwork by Sylvie Fleury

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Orleans in New York

It was a New Orleans funky good time Fred had at the Blue Note in New York City at the invitation of  "Big Chief" Donald Harrison. The six-night stand last week also featured Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli and trumpeter Christian Scott, Harrison's nephew.

It was a "House Party" on and off the stage, with old friends and new visiting backstage between shows. Fred also made musical memories for students and faculty at the New School, where he conducted a master class during his time in New York. 

Enjoy these photos from the week. Special thanks to photographer friend Dino Perrucci for his great shot from the Blue Note.

Fred and Donald onstage.
Leo and guitarist Russell Malone backstage.
Fred with bassist Will Lee backstage.
Leo and Fred with Horace Silver's son Greg backstage.
Jamming with students at The New School.
Fred with trombone and trumpet students.
Fred with New School faculty members Jimmy Graves and Cecil Bridgewater.