|2012 Wes Wehmiller scholarship winner Jed Lingat|
In honor of Wes Wehmiller '92, an accomplished bassist, athlete, and photographer, his family and friends from around the world invite you to join them at the Roxy in Hollywood on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 for WesFest 8, a celebration of Wes's life and legacy, and fundraiser for the prestigious Wes Wehmiller scholarship, which is awarded annually to the electric bass student that best carries on Wes's talent, generosity, and verve.
The Wehmiller family and Wes Wehmiller's extended family of friends from around the world invite you to join them in the ongoing celebration of the life of Wes Wehmiller '92, a highly accomplished bassist, athlete, and photographer who died of thyroid cancer in January, 2005. The Wes Wehmiller Scholarship is awarded annually to a continuing student of the electric bass at Berklee whose musicianship, spirit, and visibility as a performer demonstrate his or her potential to carry on the talent and spirit of Wes.
WesFest, a tribute concert held annually in Hollywood in celebration of Wes’ musical legacy, serves as the centerpiece of the continuing drive to raise funds for what has become one of the most prestigious awards given by Berklee College of Music. Click here to make a contribution to the scholarship and to become part of the spirited WesFest community giving forward in the way Wes so generously gave and still gives to us.
Wes, who won a scholarship to attend Berklee, was mentored here by bassist/professor Danny Morris who became a close colleague and friend. In 1993, Wes moved to the west coast where he collaborated with a vibrant Los Angeles community of Berklee alumni. From 1997 through 2001, Wes 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. Wes also performed with Missing Persons, avant-garde solo artist Mike Keneally, and several other L.A. based bands, and his work appears on numerous recordings produced in the L.A. area and in Vancouver. At www.weswehmiller.net you can learn about Wes, and the people he touched. This site is packed with music, videos, photography by and of Wes, and much much more.
|2011 Wes Wehmiller scholarship winner Hayley Batt performs at WesFest 7|
On March 4, 2012, WesFest 7, the seventh annual WesFest benefit concert, took place at The Roxy in Los Angeles. The WesFest 7 concert was headlined by rock/fusion supergroup The Aristocrats, comprised of guitarist Guthrie Govan (Asia/GPS, Dizzee Rascal), bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dethklok, Mike Keneally), and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, UKZ, Adrian Belew). The Aristocrats’ set also featured special guest guitarist/keyboardist Mike Keneally, the headliner from the very first WesFest concert (and participant in nearly every show) on three roof-raising tunes. “It's extremely gratifying to see how WesFest has not only continued but flourished, both as a support system for new musicians on the scene and as a way to keep Wes Wehmiller's name and presence alive,” says Keneally. “I'm forever grateful to the Fest for the way it spurs those of us who loved Wes to refocus our remembrance and appreciation of him, year after year. Long live Wes - and long live WesFest!”
In a long-standing WesFest concert tradition, the 2011 Wehmiller Scholarship winner performed at WesFest 7. London-based bassist Hayley Jane Batt – a British citizen, and one of the many international students at Berklee – wowed the crowd with not just her superior bass chops, but her lead vocal prowess as well. She anchored Danny Mo & The Exciters, a band of mostly Berklee graduates featuring legendary drummer John “JR” Robinson (Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Madonna, Eric Clapton), as well as singer/songwriter Kira Small (Peter Frampton, Martina McBride) on lead vocals. The band was led by Wehmiller’s Berklee Bass Professor and close friend Danny Morris, who is instrumental in selecting the scholarship winner, and is central to the WesFest community both in Boston and Los Angeles.
Other performers at WesFest 7 included many musicians who knew and worked with Wes during his twelve years in Los Angeles, such as Jackie Daum, Joe Brooks, Colin Keenan, and The Casualties Of Jazz (featuring Matt Rohde, Chris Golden, and Jimmy Paxson)..
Peter Gordon, Director Of The Berklee Center In Los Angeles, offered this about WesFest 7: “It’s a real statement that for seven years going, regardless of circumstance, WesFest’s reach continues to expand, and the impact continues to be felt ever more strongly in the Los Angeles community as well as in the Berklee student body in Boston. This event, and the energy surrounding it, is making a real difference.”
A unique aspect of the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship is that each year the new scholarship recipient travels with Danny Morris to Los Angeles to perform at WesFest 8 and, on the evening of the awards ceremony in March, performs with Berklee Bass Professor Danny Morris at Danny Mo's Family Reunion. This year, we are pleased to welcome Jed Lingat as the newest recipient to join our family of talented young bassists who receive this scholarship in honor of Wes and what he stands for as a bassist and musician. Danny Morris, Wehmiller’s Berklee Bass Professor and close friend says, “Wes would have loved Jed’s approach to playing music. Jed is soft spoken, seemingly shy, yet with a bass in hand, he speaks volumes possessing fluency on the 5 string bass that will dazzle and spark a nerve in your soul. He understands the language of music, which combined with his unique approach to bass playing, sends pure love and joy into the air that inspires fellow musicians and listeners alike. It’s going to be a great two nights of music celebrated in Wes’ honor – WesFest 8 on Sunday, March 3rd at the Roxy in L.A., followed by Danny Mo’s Family Reunion at Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall in Boston on Tuesday, March 12th. We hope to see lots of folks at both of these shows to celebrate the life, the love and the groove of Wes Wehmiller.”