Born: July 4, 1943 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Through his ventures as a trombonist, arranger, and composer, Fred Wesley has established himself as one of the preeminent funk musicians. Wesley has performed with artists such as James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Maceo Parker. He has arranged music for groups such as Parliament and Bootsy's Rubber Band, and has led his own groups, including Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns. Wesley has also performed jazz with the Count Basie Orchestra and other groups. Currently, Wesley continues to tour, perform, write, and educate. His most recent CD is Full Circle from Be Bop to Hip Hop. Wesley's new book, Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman from Duke University Press, describes the trials and triumphs of a well-seasoned funk musician.