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WESFEST 12 FEATURING PATRICE RUSHEN – SUNDAY, MARCH 12 AT THE BAKED POTATO IN LOS ANGELES

WesFest 12, the annual concert celebrating the life of Wes Wehmiller—and the fundraiser for the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at Berklee College of Music–returns to The Baked Potato on Sunday, March 12th. This year’s headliner is jazz pianist and R&B vocalist Patrice Rushen.  Bassist and 2016 scholarship winner, Jonathan Elyashiv, will be featured playing with Danny Mo & the Exciters, JR Robinson, Marty Walsh, and Kira Small. Special guests Hayley Jane Batt and Will Snyder, both previous scholarship winners now based in L.A., will open the show.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. The Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Even if you can’t go the concert, you can still donate to the scholarship fund. Go here for more information about purchasing tickets and/or donating to the scholarship.

http://weswehmiller.net/wesfest/wesfest-12/

WesFest12PosterWeb

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WESFEST 11 ANOTHER SUCCESS – GREATEST FUNDS RAISED TO DATE

THIS APPEARED ON BERKLEE .EDU

https://www.berklee.edu/berklee-today/summer-2016/wesfest

WesFest Tribute 11.0
abraham-steve-bailey-maddie-jay
Bass summit (left to right): Abraham Laboriel, Steve Bailey, and Maddie Jay Lough

The power of music to honor the memory of composer, bassist, and photographer Wes Wehmiller ’92 was on full display March 6 at the Baked Potato in Studio City, California. The annual WesFest tribute reached new heights as music and Wehmiller’s spirit filled the club during this memorable celebration.

Over the past 11 years, WesFest has grown into an extended annual fundraising campaign in support of the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship Fund at Berklee that has raised more than $250,000. The Wehmiller Scholarship is awarded annually to a bass student at Berklee who best exemplifies the values that Wes represented. As an endowed scholarship, it will honor Wehmiller’s legacy for decades.

At this year’s celebration, Derek Frank, Shania Twain’s touring bassist, opened with a powerful set that quickly took the energy level into high gear. His quartet, featuring keyboardist Ty Bailie, drummer Mike Bennett, and guitarist Andrew Synowiec, set the tone with remarkable musicianship and groove.

Danny Mo’ and the Exciters always deliver a set full of heart and soul, and this year was no exception. Members of this all-star band included Danny Morris ’78, John “JR” Robinson ’75, Scott Gilman ’80, Kira Small ’93, Fred Kron, assistant professor Marty Walsh, and inaugural Wehmiller Scholarship recipient Will Snyder ’07.

The most recent recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship, Maddie Jay Lough, was featured on bass as she led the band in her original composition “Throw Away Your Hate.”

Left to right: Peter Gordon, Abraham Laboriel, John “JR” Robinson, and Danny Morris

The Exciters closed their set with an Aretha Franklin-styled version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” that almost took the roof off, courtesy of Kira Small and the trio of background singers Samantha Schultz ’13, Jeniffer Criss-Williams ’07, and Latoria Boyd ’10. In a special moment preceding the headline set, Maddie Jay Lough, Abraham Laboriel ’72, and Steve Bailey, chair of Berklee’s Bass Department, performed a bass trio version of the Horace Silver tune “Peace,” with musicality and artistry that typified the evening.

Open Hands, a quartet featuring Laboriel (bass), Justo Almario ’71 (tenor sax and flute), Bill Maxwell (drums), and Tim Carmon (keyboards), delivered a headline set that was inspiring, spiritual, and musically dazzling. Paula Wehmiller, Wes’s mother, observed that “in a moment that seems somehow out of human time, [Laboriel] beckoned the crowd to join him in gentle rounds of hallelujah as he spoke to us of [gratitude], of generosity, of love, of peace, of Wes. Now the crowd was on its feet.” It was a powerful performance.

Following the most successful WesFest in terms of funds raised, Stacey Ferguson, the event producer, stated, “This kind of sustaining passion for a scholarship fundraising event is rare. But you know what? So was Wes and everything he did.”

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WesFest 11 – TOMORROW NIGHT

The Baked Potato – Studio City

Headliners: Abraham Laboriel and Open Hands

Get your discounted tickets through tonight!  Tomorrow’s tickets can be bought at the door for $35.  Remember to get there early and get your baked potato!

We expect to go to standing room only!

WesFest 11 2016

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WESFEST 11 TICKETS NOW ON SALE

Abraham Laboriel
MARCH 6 – THE BAKED POTATO
WITH
ABRAHAM LABORIEL and OPEN HANDS
STEVE BAILEY
DANNY MO & THE EXCITERS
KIRA SMALL
JR ROBINSON
MADDIE JAY (The 2015 Wes Wehmiller Bass Scholarship Recipient)
Click here for all the info you need!
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Maddie Jay Introduced As The Newest Recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship

Maddie J, D Mo, Berklee trustee and Wes' Aunt Sara Lawrence Lightfoot and her son Martin...Scholarship recipient Maddie J, D Mo, Berklee trustee and Wes’ Aunt Sara Lawrence Lightfoot and her son Martin

Maddie Jay - clean photo

On November 16, 2015 Maddie Jay performed with professor Danny “Mo” Morris and many others at Berklee’s David Friend Recital hall on the the Boston campus.

Maddie Jay is the latest in a long list of recipients of the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee College of Music and will be performing at WesFest 11 in Los Angeles on March 6, 2016.

Read all about Maddie here and check out her website HERE

 

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WESFEST 11 with ABRAHAM LABORIEL and OPEN HANDS

On March 6, 2016 WesFest will be returning to The Baked Potato with Abraham Laboriel and Open Hands!  They will be joined by Steve Bailey (Berklee’s Bass Chair) and more special guests yet to be announced!  Stay tuned for information about how to get tickets and make donations!

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WILL SNYDER–FIRST SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT–RELEASES FIRST ALBUM!

Will SnyderWill Snyder, the first Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at Berklee College of Music, is releasing his first album!

http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/09/24/3333020_pop-musician-will-snyder-to-celebrate.html?rh=1

Pop musician Will Snyder to celebrate his ‘futuristic weirdness’ with Hilton Head release party

In an ugly office complex on Hilton Head Island, sandwiched between a real estate agency and a dentist office, is the studio space where art pop musician Will Snyder finished his debut album.

It’s where he experimented with futuristic sounds like spaceship landings and “drums that sound like they’re from a robot’s mouth.” It’s where he sat for an interview, nursing a cup of coffee from a broken mug, his open button-down shirt and slightly bloodshot eyes betraying a late night of drinking after a gig. But when the subject turned to his music, Snyder, 29, eagerly and coherently explained his latest project.

His first LP, five years and four tries in the making, is complete.

Titled “2028,” the tracks are supposed to sound like they were beamed back from the future.

“I think it would sound very good in 2028,” Snyder said.

The album is a mash of techno flourishes, voice manipulation and bass drops set to up-tempo dance beats.

“If you were to ask me to name the style of the record, I’d have to make up something like Bonkers Electronic Smart Pop,” said William Hensley, one of the album’s mixing engineers.

Hensley and Snyder will celebrate the album’s release with a party and performance Sept. 28 at Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar on Hilton Head.

Originally from Chicago, Snyder first started playing music on Hilton Head during summer vacations in the late ’90s. After high school at the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy in California and postsecondary education at Berklee College of Music, Snyder eventually made Hilton Head his home in 2010. His parents also live on the island.

For years, he played nightly gigs on accompanying bass or piano, saving money for his record. He played blues and rock tunes for tourists, reserving his “futuristic weirdness” for the recording studio. Each time he finished a recording however, he quickly became dissatisfied.

“You think it’s done, but then you listen to it and it doesn’t sound right. I constantly battled with that,” he said.

“A lot of people liked the first thing I came out with. They said it was very organic-sounding.

“Maybe if I had released it then, it would have been a hit, who knows?”

He paused. “I’m glad I waited actually. It’s been a fun process but it’s also been brutal.”

Part of the problem was that each time Snyder learned a new editing trick or had a new idea, he’d rush to add it to a rerecording. Hensley’s task was to rein Snyder in.

“On a lot of the tunes, he recorded every idea he had. It was my job to make sure the listener had something to focus on at all times and could enjoy everything else going on with the track,” Hensley said.

Miles Walker, another sound engineer who worked on “2028,” (and who mixed the YouTube hit “What Does the Fox Say”) loved Snyder’s kitchen-sink mentality.

“It’s cacophonous and crazy and there’s so many different sounds, but (they’re) rooted in great harmony,” he said. “It was challenging to work on because Will’s vision is a dense production with a lot of sounds that would normally never go together. Like a robot voice and natural wire. They’re weird combinations, but it works for him.”

Contentwise, the songs are not especially futuristic. “San Francisco” describes a trip to the Golden Gate city, “Paradise” is about making life what you want it to be, and “Outta the House” laments living with an unfaithful partner. Only the title track, “2028,” bears the lyrical stamp of the prospective space age.

“It’s about the end of the world. An alien comes, sees a beautiful woman, and can only save one person, so he chooses her,” Snyder said.

He wrote the song with fellow Hilton Head musician and mentor Angie Aparo.

“We get into some weird stuff, Angie and I.”

The “weirdness” of the album worries Snyder. He doesn’t think it will be well-received in the South.

“Down here people like country, which is not a wild sound. It’s a very straight ahead, run-of-the mill sound. That’s cool, that’s conventional,” he said. But “2028” is “pretty fresh sounding. I’m not sure people will get it.”

It will probably find an audience in New York and Europe, he added. Here it just might be as alien as the extraterrestrial he sings about. But that’s OK. Hilton Head, at least, is a supportive bubble for his music.

“You can always come back and be supported by the local scene,” he said. “It’s a great mothership.”

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.


Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2014/09/24/3333020_pop-musician-will-snyder-to-celebrate.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

 

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WESFEST 9 RAISES $24,000 FOR WEHMILLER SCHOLARSHIP

John Patitucci JR & Max

Today–ON WES’S BIRTHDAY–we’d like to share with you the great news! The numbers are in!  We were able to make the largest contribution to the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship to date!  Many thanks to Justin Randi and The Baked Potato and to YOU!

 

 

 

Here’s the official press release:

WESFEST 9 BENEFIT CONCERT RAISES $24,000
FOR WES WEHMILLER SCHOLARSHIP FUND
AT BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
9th annual event brings in 2nd largest total to date

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 12, 2014)WesFest 9, the ninth annual WesFest benefit concert, took place at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles on March 16, 2014. The concert and related fundraising drive raised more than $24,000 for the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship Fund at Berklee College of Music. The total amount generated by the WesFest initiative since its inception in 2006 has now reached $200,000.

Officially supported this year by corporate sponsors Mike Lull Custom Guitars, D’Addario Strings and Warwick Basses & Amps, the WesFest concert series has made the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship one of the leading awards for performance majors at Berklee College of Music. Established by Wes’ family and friends in 2005, the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship is awarded annually to a continuing student at Berklee who best exemplifies the excellence and grace Wehmiller showed as a bassist and as a human being. The WesFest concert series serves as the centerpiece for a continuing fundraising drive for the scholarship fund, which honors the legacy of Wehmiller, a Berklee graduate (‘92) and highly accomplished bassist, athlete, and photographer who died of thyroid cancer in January 2005.

“We are so grateful for the loyalty and kindness of everyone involved, including the crew, musicians, audience, donors and sponsors,” says WesFest producer Stacey Ferguson. “The fact that everyone pulled together for the ninth year in a row to build another successful event just shows how dedicated we are to keeping Wes’ spirit thriving and helping more bass students realize their dream of blessing the world with their talent.”

The WesFest 9 concert was headlined by one of the world’s most respected musicians and educators, three-time Grammy Award winner John Patitucci, and offered a rare opportunity for fans as he returned to Los Angeles to play for the first time in four years. He was  accompanied by John Beasley (Miles Davis, Chaka Khan), who was a regular member of the John  Patitucci Group between 1987 and 2000, as well as young drumming phenom Jonathan Pinson (Herbie Hancock). The headlining set also featured a very special guest performance by renowned bassist Steve Bailey (Jethro Tull, Willie Nelson) who is also the new Chair of Berklee’s Bass Department.

“The level of commitment, both in LA and Berklee Boston, that led us up to the event was nothing short of amazing,” says Bailey.  “The spirit that I felt from ALL involved, before, during, and after the event was also huge. That so many people can join together – bonded by the spirit, love and energy of another who was strongly felt and heard to do wonderful things for all – it doesn’t get any better!”

In a long-standing WesFest concert tradition, the 2013 Wehmiller Scholarship winner performed at WesFest 9. Bassist Max McKellar showed the standing-room only venue exactly what they were supporting, laying down heavy grooves with Danny Mo & The Exciters, a band of mostly Berklee graduates featuring legendary drummer John “JR” Robinson (Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Madonna, Eric Clapton), as well as singer/songwriter Kira Small (Peter Frampton, Martina McBride) on lead vocals. The band was led by Wehmiller’s Berklee Bass Professor and close friend Danny Morris. Danny plays a key role in selecting the scholarship winner, and is central to the WesFest community both in Boston and Los Angeles.

“Working with the scholarship recipient is a joy beyond description says Danny. “ It’s as though Wes and I are teaching, grooving, and mentoring together. To watch the scholarship recipient grow from the LA trip is real special and this year was no exception. Max McKellar plays a variety of music styles well, and adds his unique vibe to each and every performance. He knows how to contribute with beauty and grace a foundation replete with verve and soulfulness. Listening to Max and JR was a trip. The rhythm section bass and drum pocket was deep and the audience felt the heaviness of the music at the Baked Potato. It was a powerful show!”

Other performers at WesFest 9 included many musicians who knew and worked with Wes during his twelve years in Los Angeles, including bandleader Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa), Griff Peters, Colin Keenan, Dorian Heartsong and first-time WesFest guitarist Yogi Lonich.

For additional biographical information on Wes Wehmiller, WesFest, and all related merchandise, please visit the official Tribute To Wes Wehmiller Website at www.weswehmiller.net.  For more information on the scholarship, or to find out how to contribute to the fund, please contact Peter Gordon at (818) 380-3041, or by e-mail at pgordon@berklee.edu.

Let the WesFest 10 planning season begin!!  Keep watching this space for information to start popping up and we’ll see you next year!

~Stacey

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