Tal Wilkenfeld: On Ringo and women in rock

Tal Wilkenfeld

Tal Wilkenfeld, who comes from Australia and now lives in Los Angeles, is all of 33 years old. Despite her youth, the base player is one of the busiest as well as the most musically flexible musicians in the world – with a truly incredible list of references: along with guitarist icons Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Steve Lukather, the blond-haired musician has also worked together with folk bard Ryan Adams, the jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and – you can't get greater – with ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. "Many people don't take Ringo seriously as a percussionist", says Wilkenfeld in an interview with our Newsletter, "but for me he is one of the greatest. He possesses an incredible musicality. He has been one of my most important musical experiences."

This virtuoso bass player is expanding her range of experience with her new album, "Love Remains", on which she appears more than ever as a singer-songwriter. Help came to her in this new career move from no less than songwriter genius Jackson Brown. "We have become good friends by now. As a story-teller he is unsurpassed – there was a lot there for me to learn."

As a woman in a jazz and rock scene still dominated by men she has it neither easier nor more difficult. "If anything, it is a marketing aspect", she says, "but if you are playing in a certain league, then it's only the music that matters – and how you are as a person." How to get more girls to grab sticks, bass or guitar is something she does not know either. "It's up to the girls", she says, "you can hardly force it, or not at all." One possibility might be to find suitable role models – examples of what she might become. "Obviously, if a girl feels inspired by my music to learn an instrument, then I think that's great. I can certainly recommend it whole-heartedly. Music is extremely enriching and offers people so many possibilities."

Tal Wilkenfeld

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