Bootsy Collins, the music legend whose revolutionary work with James Brown and Parliament/Funkadelic and as frontman of Bootsy’s Rubber Band brought bass to the forefront of modern sound, has announced several of the special guest professors who will be teaching with him as he takes on his new role as lead professor of the world’s first ‘Funk University’.
Among the bassists participating:
Les Claypool: The mastermind behind funk/rock outfit Primus, Claypool’s reputation as a irreverent mind is matched only by his standing as one of the most innovative bassists of his generation, combining strumming, tapping and slapping into a style that takes direct cues from Collins and makes them all his own. Primus are best known for the albums Sailing The Seas Of Cheese and Pork Soda. His most recent release is his solo album Of Fungi And Foe.
Victor Wooten: Winner of Bass Player Magazine’s Bass Player Of The Year award three times in a row, Wooten is one of today’s most respected and sought-after bassists, collaborating regularly in the studio and onstage with the likes of Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and the Dave Matthews Band. He is also the bassist for Bela Fleck & The Flecktones.
John B. Williams: From growing up to the sounds of Sonny Rollins practicing bass two doors down from his Harlem home to working with legends like Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Horace Silver and Roy Ayers, John B. Williams is one of the last living links between the funk era and the jazz era that preceded it. Williams was part of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show band through the early ’70s, and the Arsenio Hall Show band through the early ’90s. His latest release was 2005’s Gratitude.
Divinity Roxx: As bassist for Beyonce, the flamboyant Roxx is one of the world’s most active bassists. Her virtuosic, funky bass style and trademark blonde dreadlocks are seen year-round on stages worldwide. She also works with Victor Wooten.
T.M. Stevens: You’d be hard-pressed to find an experienced musician who doesn’t know the name T.M. Stevens. A former member of English group The Pretenders, his list of collaborators speaks for itself: Miles Davis, James Brown, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Steve Vai, 2Pac and Living Color to name only a few. He also records and tours the world regularly with his band Shocka Zooloo.
Dennis Chambers: Playing alongside Bootsy as Parliament/Funkadelic’s drummer from the late ’70s through the early ’80s, Chambers, more than almost any other drummer today, knows the complexities and subtleties of complimenting and challenging an advanced bassist. He has also collaborated with Steely Dan and John Scofield, and is currently touring with Carlos Santana.
Bootsy’s Funk University begins its first semester on July 1, 2010, with classes being taught from the ‘virtual campus’ at TheFunkUniversity.com, where new lessons, lectures and content on the evolution, theory and practice of bass guitar will be uploaded daily.
Staff reviews of students’ performance will be conducted periodically along with office hours to answer students’ questions. Professor Bootsy will also be judging student track submissions as part of a series of regular school competitions.
Bootsy’s Funk University is produced by SceneFour, the notorious L.A. creativity house responsible for projects with Al Gore’s Current TV, MTV-U, Nine Inch Nails, the RZA, Marilyn Manson, The Pixies, and Beck.
Interested players are encouraged to sign up for exclusive information at www.thefunkuniversity.com.
For more information and interview requests, contact James Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-666-5336.