Musicians selected for Pee Wee Ellis residency

Pee Wee Ellis jazz legend

Musicians from the North West have been selected by funk legend and James Brown band leader Pee Wee Ellis and trumpet player Gary Winters (Aretha Franklin, George Clinton, Lenny Kravitz) to collaborate during a four-day funk and jazz residency in Manchester.

The 15-strong group were selected during a competitive call-out and include members of 10 piece brass collective Twisted Tubes, Manchester’s Afro-rock-funk outfit Agbeko, jazz-fusion quintet Mercury and funk rock band Mamma Freedom.

The group will split into two funk outfits and work with Ellis and Winters over four days to create brand new music, before performing it live at Manchester’s Band on the Wall on 20 August. The Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly will headline the show.

Nick Waldock, one of the selected musicians, said: ‘One of my earliest memories of loving music is dancing around the living room listening to James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” which later became one of the first bass lines I ever learned.

‘Getting to work alongside a musician who has been hugely influential to me will be enormously inspiring and will bring a childhood dream to reality…This is going to be a genuine funk fest!’

The residency forms part of music charity Brighter Sound’s commissioned Artistic Directors Series to guide new talent towards bright futures.

Brighter Sound Director Debra King said: ‘With a career that spans six decades and includes collaborations with heavyweights James Brown and Van Morrison, as well as touring the world with his band The Pee Wee Ellis Assembly, Pee Wee Ellis is the perfect artist to lead a creative music residency.

‘He brings a wealth of music industry experience as a musician, band leader, arranger and composer, and will be an inspiring role model to all involved.’

Ellis, who co-wrote James Brown hits including Cold Sweat and Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud said of the residency: ‘It is a pleasure to share my knowledge of how to be a complete musician, arranging, writing and working with other musicians to play together in a band, passing on what I’ve learned in sixty years of doing what I love.’

Tickets are on sale now via the Band On The Wall website.