Wilkenfeld performing in November 2008
|Born||2 December 1986|
|Genres||rock, blues rock, folk, indie rock, funk, Jazz, jazz fusion, folk rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, bandleader|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, guitar, vocals|
|Associated acts||Jeff Beck, Jackson Browne, The Allman Brothers Band, Prince, The Who, Mick Jagger, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, Chick Corea, Toto, Vinnie Colaiuta, Wayne Krantz, Ryan Adams, Blake Mills|
Tal Wilkenfeld (born 2 December 1986) is an Australian singer, songwriter, bassist and guitarist whose career began performing alongside artists including Jeff Beck, Prince, Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock and Mick Jagger. In 2008, Wilkenfeld was voted "The Year's Most Exciting New Player" by Bass Player magazine readers' choice poll. In 2013, Wilkenfeld was awarded Bass Player Magazine's "Young Gun Award" by Don Was, where she performed "Chelsea Hotel" by Leonard Cohen.
Wilkenfeld is a bandleader of her own eponymous bands in which she sings, plays bass and guitar. In her earlier work, she was backed by musicians such as Wayne Krantz and Vinnie Colaiuta. She opened for The Who on the North American part of The Who Hits 50! tour in 2016. In 2016, Wilkenfeld released a single entitled "Corner Painter" which features Blake Mills and Benmont Tench. Rolling Stone praised "Wilkenfeld is working on new music that sees her evolving from an instrumental prodigy into a formidable singer-songwriter" On 15 March 2019, Wilkenfeld released her vocal debut album Love Remains, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseeker charts on the first week of its release. Love Remains has been highly praised by the press and featured in Rolling Stone, Relix, Paste, Billboard and Forbes. Rolling Stone described Wilkenfeld's vocal debut as "ten dense, riff-heavy tracks with brazen, introspective lyrics—prove her songwriting abilities." Wilkenfeld has also been a guest on popular podcasts including Marc Maron and Bill Burr. Wilkenfeld was featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine's March 2019 issue. On 22 July 2019, Wilkenfeld appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing "Killing Me" and "Corner Painter".
Wilkenfeld began playing guitar in 2000 when she was 14 years old. Two years later, she dropped out of high school in Sydney and immigrated to the United States where she studied electric guitar. Within a year, Wilkenfeld switched to electric bass. Wilkenfeld graduated from Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in 2004. She accepted an endorsement from Sadowsky Guitars and devoted herself to forming a band and composing songs. At the age of 18, Wilkenfeld moved to New York City and began making a name for herself in New York's jazz clubs. "I was actually walking around to like several clubs every night till the sun came up, sitting in at jazz clubs just learning. I was really the only one that would go into these clubs with an electric bass, because these were like, you know, places that played exclusively bebop. So I got some funny looks for quite some time. But it was a priceless education."
While playing at a club in New York in 2006, Wilkenfeld met some members of The Allman Brothers Band. She credits Oteil Burbridge and Derek Trucks with encouraging her to join them at the Beacon Theater, her first time on a large stage. "Oteil just handed me his bass at the beginning of "Elizabeth Reed" and literally just ran into the audience and was watching me in the audience, smiling." The jam lasted about 40 minutes and Wilkenfeld sent a recording of the performance to Jeff Beck when she auditioned for his band.
In 2006, months after performing as a guest with The Allman Brothers Band, Wilkenfeld recorded her debut album, Transformation, in just two days. Wilkenfeld composed, produced, arranged and played bass on seven songs with Wayne Krantz, Geoffrey Keezer, saxophonist Seamus Blake and Keith Carlock.
Professional bass playing career
Upon learning that Chick Corea was seeking a bassist for an upcoming tour, Wilkenfeld sent him demos of Transformation and was selected for his 2007 Australian tour, with Frank Gambale and Antonio Sanchez. A few months later, she joined Jeff Beck, Vinnie Colaiuta and Jason Rebello for Beck's summer European tour. The group completed their tour at Eric Clapton's 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, Illinois, performing to a sell-out crowd of approximately 40,000 people. By November 2007, Wilkenfeld had rejoined Beck and the other band members for a week-long residency at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Beck selected that venue to record a new DVD and CD, with guests that included Clapton, Joss Stone and Imogen Heap. It was recorded, filmed, and released as Live at Ronnie Scott's. On the same trip, Wilkenfeld joined Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, singer Corinne Bailey Rae and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta on a session filmed for the A&E series, Live from Abbey Road. Wilkenfeld completed 2007 with two standing-room-only Greenwich Village shows with Krantz.
In 2008, Wilkenfeld accompanied Krantz at shows in Los Angeles before an Australian tour with Krantz and Carlock, a reunion of the band that appeared on Transformation. At the conclusion of the tour, Krantz, Carlock and John Beasley backed Wilkenfeld during her headlining set for Bass Player LIVE! 2008 in Los Angeles. In July, she accompanied Jeff Beck in a tribute to George Martin in Los Angeles. She appeared at Warren Haynes's 20th Annual Christmas Jam, reuniting and performing with The Allman Brothers Band and guesting with Gov't Mule, Ivan Neville and Robben Ford.
In 2009, Wilkenfeld toured Australia and Japan with Jeff Beck, who referred to her as a genius, saying "She will pick up mistakes that...Vinnie and I miss. So, she's a great anchor as well." Weeks later, the group toured the United States, beginning with Beck's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they played "Beck's Bolero" and were joined by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page on "Immigrant Song".
A DVD of this performance, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Legends, was released in 2010.
Between touring Japan and America, Wilkenfeld performed with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as their first musical guest, after which she joined Jeff Beck's summer tour through Europe, Canada and the UK. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour sat in with the group during a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
In October 2009, Wilkenfeld reunited with Beck at Madison Square Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary two-night concert. The set included Buddy Guy on "Let Me Love You Baby", Sting singing "People Get Ready" and Billy Gibbons on "Foxey Lady". The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts DVD, which also included "Big Block", "A Day in the Life" and "Freeway Jam", was released in 2010.
In 2009, Wilkenfeld began working with Prince, and recalled Prince allowed her freedom to express her voice on his songs, saying she was "honored...he wasn’t looking for (her) to be a carbon copy of him." Prince premiered his song "Hot Summer" featuring Wilkenfeld on Minnesota public radio station 89.3 on 7 June 2010.
In 2010, Wilkenfeld contributed to Hancock's The Imagine Project on "A Change is Gonna Come" and "Don't Give Up" She played on Macy Gray's The Sellout on "That Man" and on Lee Ritenour's Six String Theory on "68", "In your Dreams", "Give Me One Reason" and Guthrie Govan's song "Fives".
In 2010, Wilkenfeld appeared in The Baked Potato's 40th anniversary show at the Ford Amphitheater with Steve Lukather's band, and accompanied Hancock across the U.S., Canada and Europe to promote a new release on which she had played. The tour included a show at Carnegie Hall to celebrate Hancock's 70th birthday.
In September 2011, Wilkenfeld accompanied Steven Tyler and Jeff Beck at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Sting, who also accompanied Tyler on a song, recalled in a 2017 interview with Bass Player that Wilkenfeld had corrected him on an Aerosmith song. "I really respected her courage to come up to me and teach me the right way to play the part, and I was very grateful. She’s an amazing bassist with great ears."
In 2013, Wilkenfeld joined alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams as a collaborator on his studio album, Ryan Adams (2014). She contributed to two tracks on the Toto album Toto XIV, and co-wrote a song called "Running Whiskey" with Billy Gibbons. Running Whiskey was released in 2016 by Supersonic Blues Machine.
Wilkenfeld has recorded on projects with Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Toto, Todd Rundgren, Macy Gray, Dr. John, Trevor Rabin, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Rod Stewart, John Mayer, Sting, Ben Harper, David Gilmour, Pharrell, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Hiram Bullock, Susan Tedeschi, and Hans Zimmer.
On 3 March 2016, Wilkenfeld released a single called "Corner Painter" featuring Blake Mills and Benmont Tench. On 15 March 2017, Judd Apatow featured "Corner Painter" on season two of his Netflix series Love.
Wilkenfeld opened for The Who on the North American part of The Who Hits 50! tour, starting in Detroit on 27 February 2016. Wilkenfeld headlined of her own between The Who dates, starting in Toronto, Ontario on 29 February 2016.
On 14 December 2018, Wilkenfeld released a song entitled "Under The Sun." In 2019, Billboard magazine premiered her new single "Killing Me". Wilkenfeld released her debut vocal album "Love Remains" on 15 March 2019. The album includes Blake Mills on guitar, Benmont Tench on keyboards and Jackson Browne as executive producer. 'Love Remains' reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseeker charts on the first week of its release. 
Wilkenfeld states that standup comedy is one of her favorite forms of entertainment. She has appeared on several comedians podcasts promoting her album "Love Remains", from Marc Maron, Bill Burr and twice on Jeff Ross's podcast, once with Dave Attell. She co-wrote and produced a song for Marc Maron named "New Boots" for a movie titled Sword of Trust.
Wilkenfeld practices meditation. "I’m very focused on my spiritual, emotional, and mental growth" she told Rolling Stone. "I meditate every day, and I just want to continue to evolve as a person, and I hope that my music will reflect that." She elaborated with Popdust, "Meditating helps creativity flow. The more you meditate the more you realize that everything is a meditation. The silence is important." When Bass Player Magazine asked about her time working with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Wilkenfeld said: "It’s comforting to know that two of the greatest musicians alive are just as focused on their spiritual paths as their musical paths, and for them, they’re one and the same. I remember standing at the side of the stage a few minutes before I was going to play with Wayne, and he came up to me and said, 'Play eternity!' Leonard Cohen, who I was lucky enough to spend time with, was also deeply focused on his spiritual journey. Self-inquiry is a very important part of my life, and it's reassuring to meet other like-minded people."
- 2007 - Transformation
- 2019 - Love Remains
- 2016 - Corner Painter
- 2018 - Under the Sun
- 2019 - Killing Me
With Jeff Beck
- 2007 - Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck on "Cause We've Ended as Lovers" and "Big Block".
- 2008 - Live at Ronnie Scott's, Jeff Beck
- 2010 - Emotion & Commotion, Jeff Beck
- 2010 - "The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts", featuring Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck, Sting, Buddy Guy, and Billy Gibbons.
- 2010 - "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live Legends" DVD, featuring Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
- 2013 - Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival
With Herbie Hancock
With Macy Gray
With Jackson Browne
- 2012 - Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, on Love Minus Zero/No Limit, with Jackson Browne, Benmont Tench, Jonathan Wilson, and Jim Keltner
- 2014 - Standing in the Breach
With Trevor Rabin
With Wayne Krantz
With Lee Ritenour
With Steve Lukather
With Ryan Adams
With Todd Rundgren
With Keith Urban
DVD and Blu-ray
With Jeff Beck
- 2007 - Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival DVD, Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck on "Cause We've Ended as Lovers" and "Big Block".
- 2008 - Live at Ronnie Scott's, Jeff Beck DVD and Blu-ray
- 2010 - "The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts" DVD, featuring Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck, Sting, Buddy Guy, and Billy Gibbons.
- 2010 - "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live Legends" DVD, featuring Wilkenfeld with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
- 2013 - Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival DVD and Blu-ray
- 2018 - Still on the Run (Jeff Beck DVD) Jeff Beck DVD
- "Tal Wilkenfeld 2016 tour". bassplayer. NewBay Media. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- "Meet the Who's Opening Act: Bass Sensation Tal Wilkenfeld". rollingstone. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Meet the Who's Opening Act: Bass Sensation Tal Wilkenfeld".
- "Bass Ace Tal Wilkenfeld Branches Out With Solo 'Killing Me': Premiere".
- "Billboard Heatseeker Charts: Premiere". Billboard.
- "Tal Wilkenfeld: A Bass Virtuoso Steps into the Spotlight".
- McCulley, Jerry 2 August 2008 Meet Tal Wilkenfeld, Jeff Beck’s Young Aussie Bass Prodigy Archived 6 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Paul Bibby (28 April 2007). "Ace of bass just doing her thing". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Derrough, Leslie Michele. "BASS PRODIGY TAL WILKENFELD GEARS UP OPENING FOR THE WHO". GlideMagazine. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Shelter, Matthew. "Tal Wilkenfeld Paints The Corners". jambands. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- "Tal Wilkenfeld official website". Talwilkenfeld.com. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- Fitzsimmons, Hamish 20 January 2009 Rocker Jeff Beck returns to Australia
- "Prince: Requiem for a Bass Hero". bassplayermagazine. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "Hot Summer". PrinceVault. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- 7 April 2017
- "Toto XIV (2015)". Steve Lukather official website. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Running Whiskey - Supersonic Blues Machine". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Bob Weir & Wolf Bros Welcome Tal Wilkenfeld & Cover Donovan in Santa Barbara". JamBase. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Bob Weir And Wolf Bros Welcome Steve Kimock, Tal Wilkenfeld, Guest Horns in Tour Finale". liveforlivemusic. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
- 15 March 2017 Netflix show LOVE season two’s music hits the mark
- "With 'Love Remains,' Tal Wilkenfeld is raising her voice".
- "Watch Bassist Tal Wilkenfeld Perform Two Tracks on 'Kimmel'".
- "Bass Prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld Steps into Her Own Spotlight".
- "Tal Wilkenfeld: Root Awakening".
- "Featured Artists - Tal Wilkenfeld". Sadowsky Guitars. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
- "EBS Artists". EBS Sweden AB. Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- on YouTube.
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