The Aristocrats with Bryan Beller to Headline WesFest 7 Benefit Concert At The Roxy… Rock/fusion supergroup The Aristocrats, comprised of guitarist Guthrie Govan (Asia/GPS, Dizzee Rascal, The Young Punx), bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dethklok, Mike Keneally), and Marco Minnemann (Adrian Belew, Steven Wilson, UKZ, Necrophagist) will headline an all-star lineup for WesFest 7: A Concert to Benefit the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee College Of Music at The Roxy in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The event is sponsored by Gallien-Krueger Amplification, Mike Lull Custom Basses, D’Addario Strings, and DW Drums.
“The Aristocrats are an especially appropriate headliner for WesFest 7,” said Peter Gordon, director of the Berklee Center in Los Angeles. “not just because they recently played The Berklee Performance Center in Boston and connected with the student body there, but because Bryan Beller – a longstanding part of the WesFest organization and close friend of Wes – is a member of the band. Plus, Guthrie and Marco are unbelievable players, and many of tomorrow’s great musicians are studying their playing styles right now.”
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 is the centerpiece of an annual fundraising drive for the scholarship fund, and that fund is projected this year to top $100,000 in total monies raised since its inception in 2006.
Formed unexpectedly after a wildly enthusiastic response to a single performance at The Anaheim Bass Bash during the Winter NAMM show in January 2011,WesFest 7’s headliner The Aristocrats were cleverly dubbed instrumental rock/fusion’s “rowdy new democracy” by Guitar Player Magazine in a recent cover story on guitarist Guthrie Govan. Their self-titled debut album – featuring three compositions from each band member – contains a uniquely explosive band chemistry, translating each individual’s well-known virtuosity into an aggressive, melodic, and sometimes even cheeky group dynamic in which anything goes. The resulting record became a melting pot of their respective influences, ranging from ’70s fusion (Return To Forever) to prog (King Crimson, UK) to instrumental rock (Vai, Satriani) to groove metal (Rage Against The Machine) to just plain absurdity (Frank Zappa). The Aristocrats garnered rave reviews worldwide (“…deserves to be in your record collection between [Jeff Beck’s] Blow by Blow, [Mahavishu Orchestra’s] Birds of Fire, and [Steve Vai’s] Passion & Warfare” – Guitar Extreme [FR]), and became one of the hottest and most lauded fusion releases of 2011. The internationally-minded Aristocrats are hittingLos Angeles just before launching a tour of the U.K., Western Europe, and the Middle East in March of 2012. Find out more at www.the-aristocrats-band.com.
The event will feature four additional acts: The Casualties Of Jazz, a jazz organ trio that exclusively plays Black Sabbath material, featuring keyboardist Matt Rohde (Jane’s Addiction, Christina Aguilera, Roger Daltrey, Kelly Clarkson), bassist Chris Golden (Carly Simon, Mick Fleetwood, Engelbert Humperdinck), and drummer Jimmy Paxson (Alanis Morrissette, Rod Stewart, Steve Vai, Ronnie Montrose); the WesFest All-Stars, featuring the music of previous WesFest performers Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani), Joe Brooks, Jackie Daum, and Colin Keenan; and Danny Mo and the Exciters, featuring Wehmiller’s Berklee bass professor and close friend Danny Morris, as well as 2011 Wehmiller Scholarship award winner Hayley Jane Batt and legendary drummer John “JR” Robinson.
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 7 advance tickets are available through March 3 for $35 per pair of tickets or $20 per single 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://www.weswehmiller.net/wesfest/wesfest7.