Born in Columbus, Georgia, and raised in Mobile, Ala., Fred Wesley began his career as a teenage trombonist with Ike and TinaTurner. Helater was musicdirector, arranger, trombonist and a primary composerfor James Brown. From 1968-1975, then arranged for and played with Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
With Brownand, as leader of his backing band, The JB‘s Wesley was the world’s most famous sideman, orchestrating the sinuous grooves and contributing the bold, surgically precise solos that defined the language offunk.Inteaming with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, he played a key role in taking funk to the next level. Wesley is featured in the documentary film Soul Power, as well as the Oscar-winning When We Were Kings and countless other documentaries about James Brownand funkmusic.
Seminal hits he helped create include Brown’s andt heJBs’ Big Payback and Pass the Peas. Others include Parliament’s P-Funk and Bootsy’s Stretching Out. A veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra, Wesley also has worked with a who’s who of other artists including Ray Charles, Pancho Sanchez, Van Morrison, Usher,t he SOS Bandand Cameo, as well as with his close friends and cohorts Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis.
Today,he plays and records with his own jazz-funkband,the New JB‘s,and is one-third of the innovative “klezmer-funk” collaboration Abraham Inc. He also freelances as an arranger, producer and studioperformer,and shares his wealth of musical knowledge with young musicians and music students in educational settings worldwide.
THE NEW JB‘s:
Fred Wesley – Trombone
Bruce Cox – Drums
Dwayne Dolphin – Bass
Peter Madsen -Keyboards
Reggie Ward- Guitar
Gary Winters -Trumpet
Phillip Whack – Saxophone