Master Class: Grammy Award-Winning Bassist Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten will be joined by Rod Taylor, bass; J.D. Blair, drums; and Bob Hemenger, saxophone

The session takes place on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in Room 158 at the University Center for the Arts. The class is free, but registration is required as space is limited.

To participate in this class, you should be an instrumentalist or vocalist; please bring your instrument.

Some participants from the master class will have the chance to join the band on stage during the 8 p.m. concert. What an opportunity!
Performance Learning Concepts LogoAs educators and musicians, Victor Wooten and Rod Taylor have had successful, individual careers that have long involved teaching and performance. Through Music Matters (a division of Performance Learning Concepts) they have formed a partnership, providing music-centered, interactive educational programs. Along with Bohemian Foundation, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance is excited to bring this program to campus.

About the Artists


Victor Wooten (headshot)_webVictor L. Wooten: A five-time Grammy award winning bass guitarist, Victor Wooten is widely celebrated as an innovator, composer, arranger, producer, author, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist. Known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a member of the Grammy-winning Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, he was voted “Bassist of the Year” by Bass Player Magazine three times. In 2008, Wooten surprised critics with The Music Lesson, a book that contains many of the lessons, ideas, and ways of thinking about music that have made him famous, but in the form of a story about a struggling young musician who wanted music to be his life and wanted his life to be great. Always pushing the edge of his instrument, Victor recently wrote a concerto for electric bass and orchestra, which he has performed in 2015 with both the Nashville and Denver Symphonies. Through CDs, DVDs, presentations, workshops, and camps, Victor has used music to help thousands of musicians and non-musicians from all corners of the world better understand how music can help us in our daily lives. Rod and Victor have been working and teaching together for almost twenty years.

J.D. Blair Promo_webJ.D. Blair: Known in music circles as “The Groove Regulator,” J.D. Blair has been playing with Victor Wooten for over twenty years, but his work reaches across many musical genres. A long time resident of Nashville, he has played with some of the biggest names in country music, including Wynonna Judd, Lyle Lovett, Shelby Lynne, and Shania Twain. Along with a host of video and worldwide TV appearances, J.D. has received Dove and Grammy awards, as well as Drum! Magazine’s 2000 Country Drummer of the Year Award and the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. J.D. has a solo album, titled 2012?, on Vix Records, and his next project, Grace, will be released in 2016. J.D. has worked on educational projects with Rod and Victor on numerous occasions over the years and has served as a guest instructor at Victor’s Wooten Woods Retreat, Belmont University, Stanford University, and Berklee College of Music.

Rod Taylor_webRod C. Taylor: A professor of literature and writing, Rod Taylor, Ph.D., has long been involved in music—both as a performer and academic—and has been fortunate enough to play and/or record with Krista Detor, Artemis Robison, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Chuck Rainey, and a variety of other great musicians. A bass player for over two decades, he also writes for a variety of music magazines, including Bass Player Magazine, No Treble, and England’s Bass Guitar Magazine. He’s the author of Etunes (2014), a textbook reader themed on the digital age of music filled with numerous multimodal activities for students and teachers. He also publishes on various modernist authors, including Virginia Woolf. From 2008-2013, Rod taught in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University and then at the Honors College at Tennessee State University from 2013-2015. In 2014 he founded Performance Learning Concepts, an education and training company, and since 2015 has devoted most of his time to the programs offered through PLC.

Bob Hemenger_webBob Hemenger: Bob Hemenger is a Colorado-based saxophonist and educator. He has appeared as a guest artist with numerous bands and genres, including the Victor Wooten Band, Darrell Scott, the Zac Brown Band, the Dirty Dozen Band, Band of Heathens, the Motet, Elephant Revival, and Railroad. Bob has a Masters in Education, with an endorsement in Special Education, ESL and Science, and has been a high school teacher for the past 16 years. He also has taught on the Jicarilla Apache and Southern Ute reservations, was the principal of an alternative high school, and has successfully implemented an innovated music program based on American Roots music. Bob also has a strong background in Wilderness Survival and Animal Tracking and has run his own workshop business for 10 years and worked in the adventure travel business for 12 years.