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WesFest 9 – 2014

WesFest 9

A Concert to Benefit the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at
Berklee College Of Music


also performing:

Joe Travers & Friends
Danny Mo and the Exciters

* featuring 2013 Wes Wehmiller Scholarship Award Winner Max McKellar
with Jonathan “JR” Robinson & Kira Small

WesFest 9 is proudly sponsored by:
Mike Lull Custom Guitars
D’Addario Strings
Warwick Basses & Amps



Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Baked Potato
3787 Cahuenga Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Doors open at 7:00pm to all ages
(Come early for dinner and get one of their many delicious potatoes!)



Please send a check made out to Berklee College of Music–along with your email address–to:

Berklee College of Music
ATTN: Peter Gordon
15303 Ventura Blvd. Suite 900
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

NOTE: Please include “WesFest ″ in the memo field.



John Patitucci
with John Beasley & Jonathan Pinson

John Patitucci

John Beasley

Jonathan Pinson







This performance by one of the world’s most respected musicians and educators, three-time Grammy Award winner John Patitucci, offers a rare opportunity for fans as he is playing in Los Angeles for thefirst time in four years.

He currently has 13 solo recordings and has performed and/or recorded with greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Sting, Carly Simon, Carole King and countless others.

John was named Best Jazz Bassist in Guitar Player Magazine’s 1992, 1994 and 1995 Readers’ Poll and Best Jazz Bassist in Bass Player Magazine’s 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 Readers’ Poll.  He will be 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.  Jonathan attended Berklee on a full scholarship before moving on to the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute.  He has recently been performing with Herbie Hancock.  The headlining set will also feature a guest performance by renowned bassist Steve Bailey (Jethro Tull, Willie Nelson), the new Chair of Berklee’s Bass Department.


Danny Mo and The Exciters

Danny Mo


Max jpeg for wes site

An annual tradition at WesFest, Danny Mo & The Exciters is a group led by Wehmiller’s former bass professor and close friend DANNY MORRIS, and features the winner of the year’s Wehmiller Scholarship Award on bass.  Danny Morris says, “This year we are pleased to welcome MAX MCKELLAR as the newest recipient to join our family of talented bassists who receive this scholarship in honor of Wes and what he stands for as a musician. His ears are strong.  For a bassist that’s an essential quality.  Max has a keen sense of musicianship and is known around the Berklee bass department for his transcribing skills and strong playing ability both as a groove/pocket player and as a soloist.  His tastes vary as his breadth of music styles range from his Nashville roots and spans across the world to K Pop-Korean Pop music.  Max always brings a fun sophistication to the classroom whether it’s a lab, ensemble, or private lesson.  He has a knack for the creative side and embraces the Wes Wehmiller “less is more” concept of abstract aestheticism making his basslines provocative, dignified, and fulfilling.

Max performs around campus weekly as he is a favorite choice for bass player among his peers.  We recently performed together at the Berklee Performance Center to several hundred listeners who were entertained by Max’s playing and energy.  He is also known for not standing still while performing adding another dimension to his live performance panache.

Steve Bailey, Bass Department Chair at Berklee, adds, “Max lights up a room both musically and personally.  And he takes direction with humility and diligence, as I learned the first time he sat in with John Patitucci and me at our first Berklee clinic.  We were a little rough on him, and later I apologized if it made him uncomfortable.. he said “No!  That is what I need.  I appreciate it!”  I knew then that he had the potential for greatness.”

Also performing with Danny Mo & the Exciters

John “JR” Robinson
The Most Recorded Drummer In History

JR Robinson

We’re honored to welcome back Berklee alum JR Robinson.  Most known for his work with Quincy Jones, including Michael Jackson’s multiplatinum Off the Wall album and the charity single “We Are the World.”  Grammy winner Robinson has played on a number of motion pictures as well as with an enormous list of artist.  Check out his website HERE!


Kira Small


We also welcome back another WesFest/Berklee alum, Kira Small!  “Girl you sound like a neat glass of single malt in a world of Michelob Ultra.” – Grammy award winning songwriter Mike Reid (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”) Nashville recording artist and 2012 Independent Music Awards winner Kira Small’s albums Raise My Voice [2010 Offrow Records] and Love In A Dangerous World [2007 Offrow Records] were produced by Bruce Dees (James Brown, Ronnie Milsap) and feature many Muscle Shoals & Motown veterans. An accomplished pianist, songwriter and arranger, her impressive resume includes a stint on Berklee College of Music’s voice faculty, back-up vocalist for Martina McBride’s 2012 and 2013 Joy of Christmas Tour and work with with Peter Frampton, Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Randy Travis, Ray Price and more. For more info visit

Joe Travers & Friends

Joe Travers - photo by Mike Mesker

JOE TRAVERS has been involved with the Zappa Family Trust for 20 years. He was the drummer for Dweezil & Ahmet Zappa’s group “Z”, then fell into the job of “Vaultmeister” to archive and preserve the contents of Frank Zappa’s extensive vault. Throughout this time Joe has been involved in a number of live performing groups (Duran Duran, Lisa Loeb, Mike Keneally & Zappa Plays Zappa) and studio projects in and around Los Angeles.  This year Joe has put together an assemblage of close friends and musicians that all have one thing in common: a love of music and performing together. These musicians include Griff Peters, Colin Keenan, Yogi Lonich, Dorian Heartsong (Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience), Kurt Morgan & Ben Thomas (Zappa Plays Zappa).