Earth, Wind & Fire bassist opens up about his classical background, his late brother Maurice and more
Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
September 18, 2017
Those who’ve seen Verdine White in action can certainly understand why he’s often called the “most electrifying bassist in the world.” As a co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, his combination of impeccable chops, deep musical awareness and unforgettably energetic performances helped that band take R&B music to a whole new level in the 1970s. And as an electric bassist, he’s moved the instrument forward as well, picking up the musical torch lit by the great James Jamerson and others and moving it forward into a dazzling future of funk and fusion one low note at a time. His work has certainly earned him no shortage of accolades; he holds six Grammy Awards, has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and his band has earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums.
As if that isn’t enough, White has collaborated as a musician, composer and producer with Level 42, Pockets, Nathan East, Flo Rida, Dionne Warwick, Mary J. Blige, Jay Z., The Emotions and others as well. He’s also co-founder of the Verdine White Performing Arts Center, a nonprofit that helps at-risk youth in underserved communities.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman recently got a chance to speak with the celebrated musician about his upbringing, side projects, long-running relationship with Black Diamond Strings and other topics at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan.
Watch our interview with Verdine!