Internationally renowned London-based bassist Pino Palladino, in a rare west coast appearance, will headline WesFest 6: A Concert to Benefit the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee College Of Music at The Roxy in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, appearing as part of the superstar fusion trio PSP (Palladino, drummer Simon Phillips, and keyboardist Philippe Saisse). The show will mark their debut performance in Southern California, and the event is co-sponsored by Mike Lull Custom Basses and D’addario Strings.
“We’re beyond thrilled to have Pino and PSP headlining our sixth WesFest event,” said Peter Gordon, director of the Berklee Center in Los Angeles. “Simon, Phillipe and Pino perfectly exemplify the musical excellence embodied by Wes himself, and we’re proud to have their very first L.A. performance happen atWesFest 6. But there’s a deep personal connection as well – Pino Palladino was literally Wes’ favorite bassist.”
The scholarship fund honors Wes Wehmiller (1971-2005), a Berklee graduate (’92) and highly accomplished bassist, athlete and photographer who died of thyroid cancer in January 2005. Established by his family and friends, the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to a continuing student at Berklee who best exemplifies the excellence and grace Wehmiller showed as a bassist and as a human being. The WesFest concert series has raised more than $70,000 for the fund to date, and this sixth annual concert is the centerpiece of an annual fundraising drive for the scholarship fund.
WesFest 6’s headliner, PSP, is an extraordinarily gifted trio of musicians – drummer Simon Phillips, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, and bassist Pino Palladino – that have collectively performed with the crème de la crème of contemporary pop music over the past several decades, including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Toto, David Bowie, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, and Paul Simon. They first joined forces onstage for a series of dates at Billboard Live inJapan, the results of which are featured on their debut CD, PSP LIVE [C.A.R.E. Music Group, Germany, 2009]. While they all have continuing careers as first-call session players and recording/touring artists, the internationally rooted ensemble is intent on making PSP stick, “We realized after our live gigs together, that what we’re doing musically feels pretty special,” attests Palladino, “so we’re committed and excited about seeing how far we can take it.”
The event will feature four additional acts: Gryphon Labs, led by Zappa Plays Zappa bassist Pete Griffin; guitarist/songwriter and WesFest veteran Rick Musallam (Ben Taylor, Mike Keneally) and his band R.M.G.; the WesFest All-Stars (featuring the music of Kira Small, Ali Handal, Colin Keenan, and Tamara Silvera); and Danny Mo and the Exciters, featuring Wehmiller’s Berklee bass professor and close friend Danny Morris, as well as 2010 Wehmiller Scholarship award winner Joshua Tyson and a band of all Berklee graduates.
From 1997 through 2001, Wehmiller toured worldwide with the multi-platinum pop band Duran Duran, and appeared on many TV shows with them as well, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, VH-1’s Storytellers, and Hard Rock Live. He performed with Missing Persons and several otherL.A. based bands, and his work appears on numerous recordings produced in the L.A. area and in Vancouver. He gained endorsement deals with SWR bass amplification systems and La Bella Strings.
WesFest 6 advance tickets are available through Feb. 25 for $35 per pair of tickets or $20 a ticket. Tickets are $30 each at the door. Ticket orders and donations will be accepted via check or credit card. Complete ordering instructions and procedures can be found online at: http://bit.ly/wesfest6.
For any questions about ordering tickets or donating to the fundraising drive, please contact Peter Gordon at 818.380.3041 or [email protected] For additional biographical information on Wes Wehmiller, and more information on the WesFest concert series, as well as new details about WesFest 6 as they become available, please visit the official Wes Wehmiller Tribute Website at www.weswehmiller.net.