Tal Wilkenfeld is rapidly moving ahead of the bass playing pack. This 24 year old bass guitar prodigy has already done more than most bass players could do in a lifetime. Tal Wilkenfeld has proven time and again that she has what it takes – and she is just getting started.
Tal Wilkenfeld in the beginning
Born on December 2, 1986 in Sydney Australia, Tal Wilkenfeld started playing guitar when she was only 14 years old. Tal dropped out of high school, after turning 16, and emigrated to the United States. She studied guitar formally for about six months and decided to switch to the bass guitar. Tal found her true calling.
Tal moves to Los Angeles
To learn all she could about the bass guitar, Tal Wilkenfeld enrolled in the Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music and graduated in 2004. Tal quickly caught the ear of Roger Sadowsky soon after graduating and was offered an instrument endorsement. She accepted and still uses Sadowsky bass guitars exclusively.
Tal takes New York by Storm
Tal was 18 and on her way. She decided to move to New York and make a name for herself playing in the many jazz clubs the city had to offer. Her plan worked. Since then, she has performed and toured with many famous rock, blues and jazz artists.
The stars Tal has performed with reads like a who’s who of famous musicians in several genres. The list is extensive and includes Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Vinnie Colaiuta, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John Beasley, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Sting (as the singer), Robert Cray and Eric Clapton.
Tal meets Jeff Beck
Tal Wilkenfeld recorded her first solo album in 2006 called Transformation when she was 20 years old. A year later she went on tour with Chick Corea in her native land of Australia.
Tal sharpened her skills by playing and touring extensively with Jeff Beck and his drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. The chemistry of these three musicians playing together is amazing. Jeff was knocked out about how such a young girl could play so well.
When asked about it Jeff Beck said “It’s interesting to have some amazing players in my band like Tal, who is about, you know half, a quarter of the age of either Vinnie or me. She’s a genius. She will pick up mistakes that we, even Vinnie and I miss. So she’s a great anchor as well.”
Currently, Tal is working on her latest CD that is scheduled to be released this April. Tal Wilkenfeld is just getting started. Watch out for some amazing things to happen with this girl. Critics have compared Tal’s bass prowess to be similar to Jaco Pastorius. There could be no better compliment.
Chris Jisi “Tal Wilkenfeld.” bassplayer.com
“Tal Wilkenfeld.” talwilkenfeld.com
“Tal WIlkenfeld.” pittsburghsymphony.org