Fred Wesley

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Legendary jazz and funk trombonist Fred Wesley first made a name for himself in the '60s and 70's playing with legendary acts like James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, but lately it's his red-hot solo work that's burning up the stage. Performing with his group The New JBs (James Browns), Wesley proves he's as sharp as ever, singing and playing the trombone with fearless precision while the band feeds off his infectious energy. Whether he's playing funky classics like "You Can Have Watergate" or treating fans to his own acclaimed jazz work, Wesley always sets a mean groove, delivering a soulful and upbeat concert experience fans won't want to miss.


Georgia-born, Alabama-raised Fred Wesley grew up surrounded by music -- his father was a big band leader, and he began piano and trumpet lessons in early childhood. At age 12 his father bought him a trombone, and Wesley quickly took to the instrument. By his late teens he was performing as the trombonist for Ike and Tina Turner, and in the mid-'60s he joined James Browns backing band the JBs. Wesley took a prominent role in the group, serving as the lead arranger and playing on many hit recordings including "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" and "Mother Popcorn". In the '70s he moved on to various other gigs including several years performing with Parliament-Funkadelic. He made his debut as a bandleader with the New JBs in 1974, releasing the back-to-back albums Damn Right I am Somebody and Breakin' Bread. In 1988 he joined the Count Basie Orchestra, releasing his jazz debut album To Someone that same year. Since then he has continued to record and tour with the new JBs, releasing more than a dozen albums and earning a reputation as a consummate showman who never fails to impress with his energy and virtuosity on tour.