On July 1, 2010, classes will commence at the Funk University, the online bass guitar school created and curated by Bootsy Collins, the iconic bassist whose otherworldly work with James Brown and Parliament/Funkadelic cemented him as one of the greatest bass players to walk this or any other planet.
As F.U.'s lead professor, Bootsy has designed an intense curriculum tailored for intermediate to advanced bass players as well as anyone interested in a deeper understanding of funk, and has enlisted a dream team of bass legends to serve as guest professors. Every school day, the virtual campus at TheFunkUniversity.com will offer new lectures, lessons and exercises to its students, who will learn from the finest assembly of bassists the world has ever seen, teaching the techniques that made them immortal.
Imagining the sound of modern music in a world without Bootsy Collins is no easy task. In the eleven months spent in James Brown's backing band The JBs, the outfit cranked out a galaxy of classics like "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine", "Super Bad" and "Soul Power", songs which established the bass guitar as an instrument capable of commanding a song, rather than simply supporting it. Soon after, he found his spiritual home in the seminal funk organization Parliament/Funkadelic, taking bass into space on jams like "Aqua Boogie" and "One Nation Under A Groove"which have become, literally, the backbone of hundreds, maybe thousands of hip-hop songs.
Bootsy's post P-Funk work - which includes collaborations with Talking Heads all the way to Deee-Lite's mega-hit "Groove Is In The Heart" - speaks to the respect his name commands across genres, earning him a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1997.
50 years ago, a bass player in your band was optional. Today, a song without bass is hardly a song. It is no exaggeration to say that Bootsy Collins brought the funk to Planet Earth.
The launch of Bootsy's bass school falls on a big year for Collins, who is set to release a new album in the fall titled Boot-Z Class University that features an all-star cast, along with the release of Bootsy's Signature Bass by Warwick.
Enrolled students gain access to the 'virtual campus' at TheFunkUniversity.com. In Bootsy's Lecture Hall, Bootsy will provide extensive lectures on funk, the bass, and his body of work, while an A-list assembly of professors - whose names will be released in the coming weeks - articulate Bootsy's lectures with lessons and exercises on bass and rhythm inside the classroom areas. The library will house a wealth of multimedia learning content, from video and audio to gear tutorials.
Staff reviews of students' performance will be conducted periodically, and professors will also hold office hours to answer students' questions. Professor Bootsy will also be judging student track submissions as part of a series of regular school competitions.
Bootsy's Funk University is produced by SceneFour, the notorious L.A. creativity house responsible for projects with Al Gore's Current TV, MTV-U, Nine Inch Nails, the RZA, Marilyn Manson, The Pixies, and Beck.
Bootsy's Funk University begins its first semester on July 1, 2010 with enrollment based on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested players are encouraged to sign up for exclusive information at http://ping.fm/Oc2Mv.
"The best day of my life was when I graduated from P.U.," Bootsy exclaims. "The next best day of my life will be to see students graduate from F.U."
As for the motivation of launching The Funk University at this point in his career, Collins remarks, "Funk don't funk around for nobody, so get funked up while you can."
For more information and interview requests, contact James Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org