WAYNE LINSEY - consummate musician, producer, arranger, songwriter and artist in his own right, Wayne Linsey’s list of credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary music. Legendary names like Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are among the plethora of artists with whom the L.A.-based maestro has worked on stage and in the recording studio. Super producers like Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and hitmakers like Whitney Houston and Earth, Wind & Fire always call Wayne to work on their projects; as a touring musician, Wayne spent many years with the ever-popular band Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, lending his distinctive and soulful touch as the primary keyboardist to the group’s energetic live show.
While he maintains a non-stop schedule of touring and studio work, Wayne’s focus in 2009 is his first solo project: “As a professional, I’ve been blessed to work with every artist of my dreams. I also see the purpose of my gift to provoke thought and enjoyment through my own music.” In keeping with an array of personal musical influences – which include Duke Ellington, Parliament, Oscar Peterson, Donny Hathaway, Wonder, Beverly and Davis – Wayne’s new project runs the gamut from jazz and R&B to world music and rap: “The album is not based on one dimension stylistically,” he notes. “Diversity is important to me. There’s enough material on the CD for the smooth jazz market: as an instrumentalist, that can be your only outlet for radio. But I didn’t approach this album the way the industry usually does by favoring one musical style…”
As a multi-talented instrumentalist, Wayne plays keyboards, guitar, bass and drums on the record; special guest players include trombonist Fred Wesley, Bobby Brown, Michael ‘Patches’ Stewart on trumpet, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Teddy Campbell., Kevin Ricard on percussion, Hiram Bullock, Paul Jackson Jr., John “Jubu” Smith & Tariqh Akoni on guitars and vocalists Leon Ware, Louis Price Jr., Lamont Van Hook, Sy Smith and Wayne’s former wife, artist in her own right, Lynne Fiddmont, among others. Incorporating funky grooves, soulful slow jams and pieces with topical lyrical messages and including “Bookendz,” a tune originally commissioned by Miles Davis which appears on his live recordings as “Wayne’s Tune,” Wayne’s new CD, “A Song Without Words,” reflects the broad spectrum of music he’s mastered since his early days studying at Washington DC’s Howard University.
His obvious talent as a drummer and pianist earned him a full scholarship to the prestigious school and his own Wayne Linsey Trio drew a loyal following in and around the D.C. area. It wasn’t long before Wayne was hired to work as a musician with R&B bands such as Starpoint and after relocating to Los Angeles, word-of-mouth quickly spread resulting in shows with Aretha, Wonder and Beverly. With the nickname ’Ziggy,’ Wayne was an integral member of Maze for many years; in between tours with the band, he also performed frequently on the road with Whitney Houston while session work included dates with everyone from Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams and Nancy Wilson to The Jacksons, James Ingram, Stanley Clarke, Terrence Trent D’Arby and Bobby Brown. Wayne is also the man who named popular jazz saxophonist, "Boney James".