Thursday, November 7, 2019

Fred’s on film!

In addition to the documentary in production about Fred’s life and music career, Fred’s image, likeness and sound are featured in several other video projects available for viewing now.

-Most recent is the new music video for the song “Beautiful and Wonderful” by OsSong the Soul Singer.  The scenes of Fred playing in a real cotton field we’re filmed in September near his home in South Carolina. He’s also featured on a few episodes of her youtube series The Indie Vlogs  which chronicle’s Song’s exploits as an independent artist.

-The new Eddie Murphy movie “Dolemite is My Name” on Netflix features a solo by Fred. Fans who listen carefully can hear him playing during the scene when Rudy Ray Moore and his team start cleaning up the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel to make a movie set and home for the film’s subject. Kudos and thanks to Scott Bomar for the vision to include Fred’s unmistakable sound. Click here to read a Variety magazine article about the movie’s music.

-An old interview with Fred also is featured in the documentary “Tear the Roof Off: The Untold Story of Parliament Funkadelic,” available now on Amazon’s Prime Video.

-Finally an abbreviated retrospective of Fred life and career are told in a recent segment of the show “Palmetto Scene.” Fred is featured in the first nine minutes of the Oct. 24, 2019, edition of the the show.####

Monday, September 9, 2019

Documenting Fred’s story in music

Fred is at LITTLE BIG BEAT STUDIOS in the tiny rich nation of Liechtenstein  where he welcomed three key elders from his hometown of Mobile/Prichard, Alabama, to participate in the first of three Live Sessions that will form the crux of a documentary being made about his life. The session, entitled the Early Years, will feature original and popular music from the 1950s and ’60s, the early years of Fred’s musical career. 

Ranging in age from 76 to 83, the four Mobilians traveled up into the mountains to admire the natural beauty in the region and to reminisce a little about old times. Pictured, left to right, are Fred, his friend, saxophonisst and former jazz mentor Joe Lewis; another friend, jazz mentor and vocalist, Fannie Dees Bell, and Theodore Arthur, with whom he’s played music since they both were 15-year-old youngbloods, and who played many years with Bobby “Blue” Bland’s band and also will contribute vocals to the session.

One hundred people wearing headphones will witness the first session on Tuesday, Sept. 10, which will feature tunes including “Minor Coated,” a composition of the late EB Coleman, a former bandmaster of Fred’s, as well as the Bobby Bland hit “Further On Up The Road,” and Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears.”

The three live sessions will feature the New JBs, Fred’s band for the past 30 years, along with special guests including the three elders, plus Gary “Mudbone” Cooper  a key voice with Parliament Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie. ####

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Honored by Alabama State University

Fred donated a trombone and was honored Sunday, Aug. 18, by the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University. Enjoy these family photos and click here to view photos on the Center’s facebook page. 

In other news, the soundtrack is out for Socalled’s puppet, dance, musical, comedy “The 2nd Season,” in which Fred starred and played as the only human character. " Click here to listen to "The 2nd Season" on your favourite music platform now.

Also this summer, on July 4, Fred turned 76 years old. Happy Birthday, Fred!

Finally, thank you to Marie Demeire for this beautiful photo coverage of the New JBs’ appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Heading to the Montreal Jazz Fest!

Fred Wesley and the New JBs are among the surprise guests funking up a free 40th birthday celebration opening this year’s Montreal Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in the world. The party starts at 6pm Wednesday, June 26, on the TD Bank Stage in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles. 

Be there to enjoy the free show, and get your autographed copy of Fred’s latest release, the live vinyl album recorded at Little Big Beat Studios in Liechtenstiein. Or click here to order your copy online. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Tuning up for 2019 in France

Fred arrived in France on Valentine’s Day for a two-day funk master class in advance of the New JBs tour of France, happening Feb. 20-March 2. 

Fourteen French musicians, including two singers, gathered at HF Music Studio in the 14th arrondisement for the master class organized L’Association K’Dense, which has presented master classes featuring Fred in France for more than 10 years. 

In addition to benefiting from his vast experience and inherent musicality through playing the music, students also were treated to words of funk wisdom to live by:
  • “It can’t be early and it can’t be late. It has to be right on time;”
  • “If you just play the notes any kinda way, then it’s noise. If you play them correctly, then it’s music;”
  • “The Blues are what makes the funk funk.”

Speaking of Blues, stay tuned this year for the forthcoming “From the Blues and Back” album from Fred and the New JBs.

Speaking of the New JBs, Fred will meet up with his Cats, most of whom have been with him nearly 30 years, on Tuesday to start their winter tour Wednesday at Lo Bolegason in Castres. Click here for tickets and to learn more about the nine shows. After a quick week at home, he’ll head back to Europe to meet up with his Generations Trio for a monthlong tour throughout Europe. 
Master class students work on the JBs 1974 version of “Watermelon Man.”
Fred with Kristle Reynaud and Djamila Alioua of L’Association K’Dense.