Jazzmasters Collective - WED March 28th

DJAM 2018 (month jazz programming in Dallas)

Bernie Worrell
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Bernie Worrell's Blog

The Blog of Woo | Bernie Worrell: Bernie Worrell Orchestra - Kickstarter!

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:00pm 0 Comments


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About Me:
Bernie Worrell first came to prominence as a founding member and Musical Director of Parliament/Funkadelic. While this massively influential supergroup was radically altering the course of music, Bernie was radically charting the course of emerging keyboard technology during the golden age of analog synthesis. Among the key ingredients in his sonic stew were perfect pitch and a well-honed facility with the classical canon.

A child prodigy who began studying piano at the tender age of three and gave his first public performance just a year later, Worrell wrote his first concerto at age eight and performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra at ten. His classical studies would continue throughout his adolescence, including private lessons at the Julliard School of Music, before he entered the New England Conservatory of Music. 

Upon leaving the Conservatory, Worrell served for several years as Musical Director for Maxine Brown before joining George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic crew. Worrell then proceeded to provide this freewheeling collective with a structural foundation which, while occasionally implied, was ever present. At the same time, he explored and expanded his own musical ideas in every conceivable direction with a brazenness which was both revolutionary and evolutionary. From fanciful forays on clavinet which leaped without warning from guttural gulps to squiggly squeals to liquid Minimoog bass lines which herded listeners to the dance floor, it all represented new musical language. All the while, his rapid advancements of the synthesizer's potential were actually traceable to his classical foundation.

The hits were many: "Flashlight," "Atomic Dog," "Aqua Boogie," "Cosmic Slop" and "Red Hot Mama" are only a few of the Parliament/Funkadelic classics which Worrell co-wrote, played and co-produced on literally dozens of albums -- not to mention his years of wild P-Funk performances, which quickly became the stuff of lore.
After departing Parliament/Funkadelic, Worrell resurfaced with the revamped Talking Heads lineup for several albums, including The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, Speaking In Tongues and Jonathan Demme's dazzling concert film, Stop Making Sense. Worrell's ominous colorings, this time delivered via new digital keyboards such as the Prophet 5, were central to the recasting of group leader David Byrne's musical ideas through African rhythms.

In the years since he left Talking Heads, Worrell has been a phenomenally prolific studio musician, serving as a primary change-agent in the many experimental works of producer Bill Laswell while contributing his singular flair to projects by the likes of Keith Richards, the Pretenders, Jack Bruce, Deee-Lite and Bootsy's New Rubber Band. At the same time, he has been among the most sampled musicians ever, with Digital Underground, De La Soul, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, DMX and countless others having acknowledged his timeless grooves by building their tunes around his signature riffs.
Hampton, NJ
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Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 7:34pm on September 28, 2011, VP said…
Bernie, Keep it Moving, because it wants to and can!.  Awesome, love the feeling the music emits!
At 7:52am on July 28, 2011, Lola Batiste said…
Thanx a lot for the connection and wow, there is some smoking funk on your page!
At 9:31pm on July 2, 2011, Joyce Spencer said…

Wow Bernie,just listened to your tracks from straight head to funk. You haven't lost a beat....still awesome!!!


At 9:11pm on July 2, 2011, Joyce Spencer said…

Hello Bernie, thanks for the friend connection here!!


At 8:38pm on July 2, 2011, Jett Ray said…

Excited about the connection with you - an entertainment legend and extraordinary artist.  Looking forward to hearing and reading more about all you do and witnessing the works in person. 


Peace and Love,

Jett Ray

At 7:54pm on June 18, 2011, Berardi Jazz Connection said…



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