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Monday, August 26
7:00 PM
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Kuumbwa Jazz Presents

Fred Wesley & the New JBs

6:00 PM
All Ages
Dinner Specials can be purchased in advance or at the counter (subject to availability). To guarantee the purchase of the Dinner Special, please order in advance. The menu will be posted to this event page as soon as it is selected by our chef. If you are purchasing a dinner before the menu is announced, you will receive the menu via email within a week of the concert date. Please click the ‘Café Kuumbwa' button above for more information. Thank you!

Fred Wesley is a legendary trombone player who has since performed with and composed for some of R&B’s most successful artists. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, he grew up listening to Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and the likes. He first started to learn the trombone at the request of his father, the leader of a big band, who needed a trombonist for his band. As a teenager, he played trombone in a band for Ike and Tina Turner, but he attributes his most important musical training to the time he spent in the U.S. Army, playing in the 55th Army Band in Huntsville, Alabama.

From 1968 to 1975, Wesley was music director, arranger, trombonist, and a primary composer for James Brown’s Band, The J.B.’s. And he is credited with helping the band to shift its sound from soul to funk, a style that would soon become dominant in R&B music. The New JBs pay tribute to this iconic oeuvre of Brown and Wesley’s music.

In a 2003 interview for the NPR series ‘All Things Considered,’ Wesley stated, “I’ve accepted my position as a funk trombone player, so even when I play jazz now, I don’t suppress the funk…I’m a funky player who can play jazz.”

Fred Wesley Website
(Ticket Includes 5% City of Santa Cruz Admission Tax)


Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, 95060 United States
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