Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson will perform at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on Saturday, April 29th at 9:00pm. Tickets are $31.50 and are available at the door or online.
Alto saxophonist Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson grew up in the tough Bedford Stuyvesent and Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, NY. By the time Anderson was 14 years old, he was deeply involved in the local jazz scene (thanks in part to his father, a drummer) and attending jam sessions at then-active Brooklyn and Queens jazz clubs like the Blue Coronet, Pumpkin's, and the Turbo Village.
Anderson later studied at Harlem's famed Jazzmobile workshops with the likes of Frank Wess, Charles Davis, and Frank Foster. Wess Anderson also met Wynton and Branford Marsalis, who were both playing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers at the time. At Branford's urging, Anderson soon departed New York to study with famed clarinetist Alvin Batiste at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
Wess' first big break in the Jazz scene was with singer, Bettye Carter. In 1987 Wynton Marsalis asked Anderson to tour with the Wynton Marsalis Septet. As a premiere alto saxophonist, Wess toured hundreds of jazz venues, concerts, and colleges for nearly 25 years. Simultaneously, Anderson was the principal alto saxophonist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City for nearly 10 years.
It was during his time with Marsalis' group that Anderson began to develop his own sound: a mix of traditional New Orleans jazz (likely Batiste's influence) and a sweeping blues style similar to that of Cannonball Adderly. Anderson's 1994 debut album, Warmdaddy In the Garden of Swing (Atlantic Records), featured Anderson playing a set of all original compositions with big-name sidemen like pianist Eric Reed and bassist Ben Wolfe. Anderson truly came into his own, however, with 1998's Live at the Village Vanguard in New York City. In 2009 Wessell Anderson released the critically acclaimed album " Warm It Up, Warmdaddy!" on Nu Jazz Records.
From 1999 to present Wess also taught countless students at Juilliard School of Music, Michigan State University College of Music and Loyola University in New Orleans. Many students have continue to pass on the teachings of Warmdaddy.
April 30, 2017 sets the date for Warmdaddy to launch his latest CD " Natural History" with trumpeter Mark Rapp, drummer Chris Burroughs, and organist David Ellington, The premiere of this record is set at the New Orleans Jazz Festival which is the first for Anderson as a headliner.