Fred Wesley (trombone, vocals), Bruce Cox (drums), Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Coleman Woodson III (keyboards), Reggie Ward (guitar), Gary Winters (trumpet), Jay Rodriguez (sax)
Fred Wesley was born in 1943 into a family with very close ties to music. As a child he studied the piano and learned to play the trumpet. At the age of 12, his father brought home a trombone, Wesley’s inseparable companion ever since. His career as a professional started while he was still a teen, playing the trombone with Ike and Tina Turner. Shortly afterwards he enlisted in the US army where he graduated at the School of Music.
He returned to civilian life in 1967, creating his own project called The Mastersound and, a year later, was invited by James Brown to join his band. He stayed with Brown and his band until 1975, not only playing the trombone but working as the music director, arranger and composer. He later went on to participate in numerous projects with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins.
His music is one of the most sampled of all times and, in his long career, Wesley has worked, as well as with the above-mentioned artists, with big-name musicians including Ray Charles, Maceo Parker, Count Basie, Van Morrison, Earth Wind & Fire, Pee Wee Ellis, Vanessa Williams, The S.O.S. Band, Cameo, De La Soul, Curtis Mayfield, Usher,…
Wesley continues to record and play with his New JBs, while still working on arrangements, productions and studio sessions, combining it all with the teaching through which he shares his enormous wealth of knowledge with young musicians from all over the world.
The great North American trombone player is, without a doubt, one of the leading composers and arrangers in the history of funk, and one of the musicians to have made the greatest contribution to defining the genre.