Berklee to launch Victor Bailey scholarship

bassist Victor BaileyBerklee to launch Victor Bailey scholarship

Bass department seeking funders to help honor late Weather Report bassist

By David Sands
December 23, 2016

The loss of Victor Bailey hit the bass community hard last month. But the Berklee College of Music, where the former Weather Report bassist studied and later taught, is taking steps to ensure that his legacy lives on.

The school is now raising money for a scholarship to honor his memory. According to Bass Department Chair Steve Bailey, it’s intended to eventually be an “endowed scholarship that will be awarded to one or two students per year, and will also fund the Victor Bailey Visiting Artist Series, which will fund up to 3 visiting artist clinics per year.”

“Between individual ‘grass roots’ donations and hopefully some industry support, we can make this happen, in a big way,” he says.

The bass department announced the scholarship in a holiday video montage, also dedicated to the late bassist. (SEE VIDEO BELOW.)

Bailey passed away in early November due to complications from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neurological condition similar to muscular dystrophy. He was 56.

Besides his work in Weather Report, Bailey produced seven solo albums, the most recent being 2010’s Slippin’ ‘n’ Trippin’. He was also an accomplished sideman, recording with artists as varied as Chick Corea, Madonna, Pharoah Sanders and Mary J. Blige.

“Victor’s legacy as a player, composer, bandleader, and educator is one of the most diverse in our field,” says Steve Bailey. “I really look forward to working with our faculty and Victor’s family to help pick our scholarship recipients.”

Those interested in honoring Bailey’s memory with a donation can do so by visiting the scholarships GoFundMe site or sending an email to Berklee’s bass department at for more information.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 22), the Victory Bailey Scholarship GoFundMe campaign had raised $2,045 of a $150K goal.

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