The Wes Wehmiller Memorial Endowed Scholarship honoring the life and legacy of Wes Wehmiller ’92, accomplished bassist, athlete, and photographer, was established in 2005 by the Wehmiller family and Wes’s extended family of friends from all over the world. Each year, the Berklee Bass Department awards this prestigious scholarship to a continuing student of the electric bass whose musicianship and spirit demonstrate their potential to carry on the same talent and generosity of spirit that Wes had. The central fundraising event for the Wehmiller Scholarship has been an annual tribute concert called WesFest. The event was held annually in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2018, before moving to the Boston campus in 2019. The gathering celebrates Wes’s musical legacy and serves as an opportunity for the scholarship recipient to perform alongside and be mentored by concert headliners, who have included world-renowned bassists Pino Palladino, John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Abraham Laboriel, and Doug Wimbish, all of whom were important influences on Wes.
This year the WesFest tradition continues in Boston, Nashville, and around the world, as the Berklee Bass Department welcomes legendary bassist Jimmy Haslip and Bass Extremes (featuring Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, and Gregg Bissonette). Come learn more about Wes; hear engaging, creative, and funky music; and meet Alex Polydoroff, this year’s amazing scholarship winner. The concert will be livestreamed for friends and supporters around the world.
At 17 years of age, Wes was “discovered” by Berklee bass professor Dave Clark at Berklee in Santa Fe, a workshop where he earned a scholarship to attend Berklee. He was mentored here by bassist and professor Danny Morris, who became a close colleague and friend, and he returned to Berklee many times to teach in Morris’s Survey of Bass Styles class. In 1993, Wes moved to the West Coast where, as part of a vibrant Los Angeles music community, he collaborated with a host of Berklee alumni as well as many others. From 1997 through 2001, Wes toured worldwide with the multiplatinum 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 music and photography appear on numerous recordings produced in the L.A. area and in Vancouver, Canada.
We invite you to help us honor Wes’s life and legacy by contributing to WesFest/the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship fund.