Born into a traveling military family, bassist Victor Wooten relied on music as a source of stability and familial connection. Wooten’s formal training began “as soon as [he] could sit up straight,” and by the age of six, he and his brothers’ soul band were opening for legends like Curtis Mayfield and The Temptations. After moving to Nashville a few decades later, Wooten met banjoist Béla Fleck and formed Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, whose revolutionary blend of funk, bluegrass and jazz catapulted Wooten into the spotlight. Despite his impressive musical resumé, which includes five Grammy Awards and a spot on Rolling Stone’s top ten bassists of all time, Wooten has remained humble and a champion for the arts by running “Wooten’s Woods”, a nonprofit camp for musical development. Wooten’s charitable philosophy is derived in part from his instrument of choice. “As I started getting older and really looking at the bass,” he explains to the Chicago Sun-Times, “I realized, ‘wow, the whole purpose of this instrument is to serve other people’ … I’ve grown to love it for that reason.”
Victa has been a long time friend of greenarrowradio and it was great caching up aGain ahead of the April 18th event, The Victor Wooten Band & The Wooten Woods Experience at Memorial Union’s Shannon Theater. This is another fantastic hang with a man who devotes as much energy to the creation of new music as he does to the give back to students of life. We get into the feelings he has of the 20th year of Music & Nature Camps, and how this tour is unlike anything else he’s done. He will not only be playing music. We talk about who will be playing with him as “the” band, but we will also be treated to current and former students, instructors, and counselors from the camps to share in the holistic view of the different ways of teaching/learning, using nature as a guide to use what we learn straight away. There will also be a couple of teachers from the camps other special guests. We highlight some other unique moments that will take place during this interactive experience, with someone from the audience invited to learn and share and the fact that at every show, a bass guitar will be given away to start someone else’s new journey. Since, this is right around Record Store Day, I make sure to find out what Victa thinks are some albums best suited for vinyl play and who was sitting right next to him as we were discussing all this. This conversation reminds me why I love Vic and his approach to going about it all. Please check it out and share, even if you are not in Madison for this particular event.