We’d like to present our newest recipient of the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship, Max McKellar!
Each year the pool of Berklee Bass students to select from is ripe with extraordinary talent yet there is always someone who stands out and is indeed the right choice for this distinguished award. Max has been on my radar for several semesters now. 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.”
It’s been a pleasure working with Max for Danny Mo’s Family Reunion!
Welcome to the family, Max!