The WesFest 2 benefit concert event was held on March 6, 2007, and raised nearly $10,000 for the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at Berklee College Of Music. The headliner for the show was bassist Stu Hamm. Below you’ll find details about the event, as they were published at the time of its promotion.
WESFEST 2 BENEFIT CONCERT RAISES NEARLY $10,000 FOR WES WEHMILLER ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP FUND AT BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
WesFest 2, the second annual WesFest benefit concert, took place at The Gig in Los Angeles on March 6, 2007, and raised just under $10,000 for the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship Fund at Berklee College of Music. The energy, spirit and music that defined the inaugural WesFest event in 2006 were again evident in full force at WesFest 2, which entertained an enthusiastic crowd of over 200 people.
Headlining WesFest 2 was virtuoso bassist and early Wehmiller influence Stu Hamm, whose technically amazing and personally entertaining set embodied the tone of excellence and warmth for the evening. Co-headlining the event was a band featuring the first recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship, Berklee student bassist/keyboardist Will Snyder. His outstanding musicianship was on display as he performed with Danny Mo’ and The Exciters, a group led by Wehmiller’s Berklee Bass Professor and close friend Danny Morris, and featuring legendary R&B drummer James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye) on drums. Singers (and former Berklee instructors) Jude Crossen and Kira Small belted out lead vocals for an exciting set of classic R&B, which proved to be an effective contrast to the virtuoso solo set by Stu Hamm. It also served to establish the tradition of Wehmiller scholarship winners playing at the following year’s WesFest event.
Five other acts, all touched by the life and musicality of Wes Wehmiller, performed to round out the six-hour concert. Performers included Janet Robin, Jariya, The Dirty Janks, Jude Crossen, and The WesFest All Stars, a rotating-frontman band consisting of many performers from last year’s show, including original WesFest headliner Mike Keneally.
“It was a pure, unadulterated celebration,” says WesFest 2 producer Bryan Beller. “And there’s a reason to celebrate when you can see and hear the results of everyone’s generosity right in front of you, and groove to it at the same time. Checking out Will Snyder as he played classic, legit R&B with members of Wes’ Los Angeles musician community brought everyone together in a really organic way. And watching Stu Hamm was just amazing, ridiculous. You get a sense of how broad Wes’ musical world was when you consider all the different influences he drew on. And we’re just trying to carry that spirit on and give something back all at once.”
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 Wes 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.
The original WesFest concert is available on DVD, with net proceeds also going to benefit the fund. For additional biographical information on Wes Wehmiller, WesFest and the WesFest DVD, 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, Director of the Berklee Center in Los Angeles, at (818) 380-3041, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORIGINAL PUBLICITY INFORMATION
A Concert to Benefit the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at
Berklee College Of Music
Featuring Stu Hamm
The Dirty Janks
Danny Mo and the Exciters
* featuring 2006 Wehmiller Scholarship Award Winner Will Snyder and drummer James Gadson
The WesFest All-Stars
* featuring performances by WesFest veterans: Mike Keneally, Ali Handal, Kira Small, Griff Peters, Bryan Beller, Tristana Ward, and I, Claudius
March 6, 2007
7302 Melrose Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90046
2006 SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT
First recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee Announced
On March 15, 2006, the first recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee College of Music was officially announced. The recipient is Will Snyder, a sixth-semester bassist. Will received his award at an afternoon luncheon ceremony, and then that evening he teamed up with Danny Morris (Danny MO) in a wonderful musical event. Among the many highlights were the times when each of them performed with Wes’ Tyler bass. A photograph by Wes of a passion flower graced the background on stage.