Monday, April 24, 2017

Marching for Science and much more

After just two weeks of rest, Fred got back to work last week when young lion Jon Batiste of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert invited him to be a part of the party at the Earth Day 2017 March for Science in Washington, DC. Click here and go to time point 2:10:32 to see Fred's two featured songs, along with the masterful introduction by Questlove. Many thanks to all who helped make it happen.


With Jon Batiste

With Kam Franklin of The Suffers
With Questlove, show producer Peter Shapiro and Jon Batiste
Selfie with drummer Louis Cato, keyboardist Wayne Linsey and legendary bassist George Porter Jr.


Fred the funk soldier left the march early to ride to Asbury Park, New Jersey, where he contributed a solo to the tune "Down and Out in New York City" at a homecoming concert by Steven Van Zandt and his new band the Disciples of Soul. Fred produced the tune in 1973 for James Brown and the soundtrack of the film Black Caesar. Van Zandt included a cover of it on his forthcoming CD "Soulfire." Bruce Springsteen also made a guest appearance on the show. Many thanks to to the whole Van Zandt crew, especially bandleader Marc Ribler.

With the hot Disciples of Soul horn section
Fred won't go home again until May 21, after upcoming touring that includes two weeks in Europe with his band The New JBs, a short run with the country funky Amrod Band in Germany and Switzerland, and a Funk Workshop in Paris organized by the association K'Dense.

On Wednesday, he'll play Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of The Ernie Fields All Stars in the show "Black Town Blues and North Tulsa Jazz" at Cain's Ballroom, presented by the Oklahoma Historical Society.


Before his break that ended last week, Fred finished up another four-weeks on the road with a visit to Kosice, Slovakia, where he was the guest of the young band Jungle Label, who we thank for showing him a funky good time as they released their new CD "Who's Gonna Pay for That?" Click here for a video celebrating the visit.

With the members of Jungle Label in Slovakia
Before that he capped a three-week tour with his Generations Trio (with Leonardo Corradi on organ and Tony Match on drums) with a stand at the Jazz a Carthage Festival in Tunisia. 

A gift of flowers (Photo courtesy of the Centre Culturel de Sousse)
Onstage in Sousse, Tunisia

With the trio and fans in Sousse

A bow with the Trio in Carthage

With the trio's organ phenom Leonardo Corradi at the Carthage street show.

Love from Tunisian fans
A Tunisian interview
Before Tunisia, the Generations Trio made a third return to the Hideaway in South London. A special thank you to promoter Graeme Miall for these photos from a fun two nights. Fred's compadre Pee Wee Ellis sat in on the second night.

Onstage at the Hideaway in south London

Taking a bow at the Hideaway
With special guest Pee Wee Ellis
Before London, Fred traveled to Perpignan in the south of France to take part in the monthly "Yes We Jam" event sponsored for students by El Mediator. There he met some talented musicians including this young trumpeter and his old friend and vocalist Vinx.

At El Mediator with Vinx, students and teacher Alex 

The European part of the tour included many stops in Spain, including Malaga, where he reunited with the trombonists of the local band that shared the bill.
A selfie at the Blue Note Milan with artistic director, singer and radio host Nick the Nightfly
Backstage in Malaga with the trombone band that shared the bill.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Arlington to Carthage and beyond

Fred has begun a Generations Trio tour that will take him through Europe and into Africa -- to the Jazz A Carthage Festival in Tunisia.

Many thanks to Madrid's Sala Clamores and Madrid fans for kicking things off.  Special thanks to Ivan Martinez for tweeting these great shots from Saturday's sold-out show. Hola to Malaga, where the band plays tonight at La Cochera Cabaret.



Before leaving the United States, Fred flashed back to his days in the 55th Army Band, 1964-67, at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. He visited Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, for a featured performance during the Army Band's annual American Trombone Workshop. Many thanks to trombonist Victor Barranco and all the band members and others who made it such a fun night.

Click here to watch the entire one-hour concert on the Army Band's Youtube channel. Enjoy!

Finally, a flash back to January's Hymns and Spirituals concert in Charleston. Click here to enjoy photos from Reece Moore.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On "Unsung," on TV One tonight!

Fred was interviewed in Nashville last fall for a special tribute to James Brown airing tonight on the TV-One program "Unsung." It's not a usual edition of "Unsung," since JB clearly wasn't, but it's the first of a planned series of special tributes. The episode premieres tonight at 8pm Eastern. Check local listings and click here for more details.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Remembering Clyde Stubblefield

Fred and family are among those mourning the passing of legendary James Brown drummer Clyde Subblefield, and sending love to his family and management.

"He was the funkiest drummer in the world and he was one of my best friends," Fred said.  "I loved him a lot and I will miss him a lot."

The two last played together in November at the San Francisco Funk Festival as guests of the James Brown Dance Party. This photo is from 2012, when Clyde was a guest with Fred's New JBs at the same festival.

Clyde and Fred at the San Francisco Funk Festival in 2012.

Fred, Clyde and John "Jabo" Starks

Friday, February 17, 2017

Paying it forward

A young trombonist in Fred's hometown has a new horn and a new mentor thanks to his band director's public appeal and Fred's generous response. Ashley Ringold made this Facebook post (thoughtfully blacking out Fred's number) about her son Ashton's good fortune.


Gertie Wesley, Fred's first wife, saw this news report on Mobile, Alabama's Channel 15 about Scarborough Middle School's dire need for instruments. She sent Fred a text, called up the band director, and the rest is history. The trombone Fred gave Ashton was one he demonstrated for Chinese maker Jinbao. Click here to see the demonstration.

In other news, last weekend's gig in Denver with the James Brown Dance Party was a blast that also gave Fred a chance to connect with friends from the Foundation of Funk project and Lettuce.

Backstage photo by mpaphotography.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Miami, Denver, Washington, DC...

Many thanks to Jose Elias and team at Community Arts and Culture for being such wonderful hosts of the event Saturday at the North Beach Band Shell. Also thanks to Chad Bernstein and team at Guitars Over Guns for hosting Fred at one of its middle school sites. Click here for coverage of the show at liveforlivemusic.com, including video.

Fred with Guitars Over Guns students and staff.
Fred backstage with 14-year-old trombonist JG Kerr.
Fred onstage with the New JBs. Photo by Susan Caplan.
Up next, join Fred in Denver when he guests again with the James Brown Dance Party at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom. Click here for tickets.


Then, on March 9, join Fred outside Washington, DC, as the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" pays tribute to him and his music at the annual American Trombone Workshop at Fort Myer, Virginia. Click here for more information.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Charleston, Miami, Denver, Paris ...

Fred set a prayerful tone for 2017 with his first gig of the year -- the annual Hymns & Spirituals concert by the Mark Sterbank Group. This year's show -- the 17th annual -- was held at East Cooper Baptist Church on Jan. 22 and featured Fred with Mark on saxophone, Charlton Singleton on trumpet, Herman Burney on bass, Quentin Baxter on drums and Demetrius Doctor on keys.


Next on the horizon is his appearance at Miami's North Beach Band Shell this coming Saturday night, with his band the New JBs including longtime friend Doug Carn substituting on keyboards. Roosevelt Collier and student musicians from Guitars Over Guns also will perform. Click here for tickets.


The following week he'll take a trip to Denver, Colorado, where he'll be a guest with the James Brown Dance Party for a double-venue funk night Feb. 11 at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom. Click here for tickets.

Finally, funk musicians and would-be funk musicians in or near Paris should register now for Fred's Funk Workshop on May 19-20, 2017. See details and video in the flyer below.

Association K'Dense organise
Un stage de FUNK dirigé par Fred Wesley 
les 19 & 20 Mai 2017

Ce stage propose à des amateurs de tous niveaux et tous âges, jouant dans des fanfares et des groupes, de côtoyer et d’accompagner pendant deux jours le tromboniste américain Fred Wesley, collaborateurs de James Brown et spécialistes de funk.
Les stagiaires, réunit en grand orchestre, vivront une aventure musicale dans un cadre professionnel et convivial. L’aboutissement de cette session se conclura par un concert avec Fred Wesley. Plus de 15h de stage; peuvent y participer une section rythmique (basse batterie, guitares et clavier), et chant.
Faut-il encore présenter Fred Wesley, le plus funky des trombonistes ? celui qui a composé House Party, Pass The Peas et bien d'autres tubes.

CONTACT:
Association K'Dense
+33 (0)7 83 30 83 36

masterclass.kdense2015@gmail.com
Voir le Stage de Funk dirigé par Fred Wesley  

Liens
Voir: funkyfredwesley.com «Blog de Fred Wesley»
Voir  page wikipedia«de Fred Wesley»

Ce stage est payant pour tout renseignement concernant le montant nous contacter par email 
Infos/ Réservation
https://www.facebook.com/Kdensemasterclass/








Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Home planning a happy new year!

Happy New Year from Fred to all his funky family!

The year 2016 ended on a fun note with the ATL Collective's annual James Brown Christmas Party. Legendary drummer Bernard Purdie was the other special guest of the evening, which featured great vocal and instrumental performances, and a special presentation to the late, great James Brown's youngest daughter, Yamma. Scroll down for photos.

Fred's first gig of 2017 will be Sunday, Jan. 22 with the Mark Sterbank Group at the 12th Annual Hymns & Spirituals Jazz Concert, presented by Charleston Southern University and happening this year at East Cooper Baptist Church, 361 Egypt Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.


On Feb. 4, Miami will have its first-ever experience of Fred Wesley and the New JBs as part of the Day at the Beach Concert Series at the North Beach Band Shell. The evening also will include Roosevelt Collier and the Phunk Phactory. Click here for tickets.



In other news, check out two albums featuring Fred released in 2016: Pioneering Moroccan artist Ahmed Soultan's "Music Has No Boundaries" and Amsterdam-based saxophonist Susanne Alt's "Saxify."





Finally, our friends at Bambooka have t-shirts emblazoned with a pic of Fred rocking a pair of the specialty sunglasses. Click here to buy one. Proceeds from the T-shirts, like the glasses, support the organization's unique mission.

Yamma and Fred
Bernard Purdie, ATL Collective's Kevin Scott and Fred