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WesFest 4 Packs L.A.'s Knitting Factory

 
  From the left: Professor Danny Morris and past WesFest scholarship recipients Justin Schornstein '09, Will Snyder '06, Claire Finley '07, and Steffi Willis '08
  Photo by John Wehmiller

In times like these, fundraising events face obvious challenges, and expectations are not always optimistic. This makes the success of WesFest 4 all the more remarkable. The February 20 concert at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood attracted a larger audience than at previous events in the series. As well, the funds raised exceeded previous totals by 30 percent.

WesFest concerts always feature memorable music, but this year the bar was raised when an all-star band featuring guitarist Allan Holdsworth, keyboardist Alan Pasqua, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Chad Wackerman headlined the show. "I was thrilled to be a part of this wonderful scholarship fundraiser," said Haslip who generously performed even though he had a Yellowjackets gig the following night in Boston. Other great musicians took the stage that evening, including Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller '92, Marco Minnemann, Kira Small '93, Colin Keenan '93, Griff Peters '93, Rick Musallam, Ali Handal, and Tamara Silvera.

 
Bassist Jimmy Haslip and keyboardist Alan Pasqua played at WesFest with guitarist Allan Holdsworth and drummer Chad Wackerman.  
Photo by Leonard Montes Jr.  

WesFest is an annual concert series that benefits the scholarship fund established in memory of the late bassist Wes Wehmiller '92, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 33. The award is given annually to a continuing Berklee student who best exemplifies the excellence and grace Wehmiller displayed in his music and personal life. Each year, the Wehmiller scholarship recipient from the previous year is invited to perform onstage with Danny Mo & the Exciters, an all-alumni band led by Bass Professor Danny Morris. Steffie Willis, the 2008 recipient, sounded great with the band, as they filled the room with a fun vibe and solid grooves.

To learn more about WesFest, visit www.weswehmiller.net.

-Peter Gordon