TROMBONE PLAYER: Fred Wesley has no equals in American music. Whether it’s jazz, funk, R&B, blues or other, his solos are always hot.
BANDLEADER: From his direction of James Brown’s fabled JBs to today’s Fred Wesley Group, he knows how to choose the best musicians and meld them into tight units that generate mad heat.
ARRANGER AND COMPOSER: Some of funk music’s biggest hits by James Brown, the JBs, Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band are living testaments to his skill, as are his soulful jazz compositions such as “For the Elders,” “La Bossa” and “No One.”
SIDE MAN: The reliability and fire he’s contributed to bands ranging from the Count Basie Orchestra to the American Idol Band, make him a sure bet in any setting.
AUTHOR: His half-century career is a treasure trove of stories, some of which fill the pages of his compelling memoir “Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Side Man.”
MUSICOLOGIST AND EDUCATOR: Wesley shares his wealth of musical knowledge and experiences through liner notes, articles and interviews, and with young musicians in settings including classrooms, band rooms and recital halls at colleges and universities worldwide.
Columbus, Ga., and raised in