Music History Of The Week

Music History Archive

For news, music history archives and a weekly original mini track: The Email Newsletter

Tal Wilkenfeld


On 02/12/1986: Tal Wilkenfeld was born. She was born in Sydney, Australia. When she was 14 she started playing the guitar. Two years later she dropped out of high school and moved to the US to study electric guitar. Within a year she had switched to electric bass.
In 2004, Wilkenfeld graduated from Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music. Within a few months, she had accepted an endorsement from Sadowsky Guitars. She was dedicated to forming a band and composing her own songs.
In 2004, she moved to New York. She began to make a name for herself playing in New York Jazz clubs.
In 2006, she met members of The Allman Brothers Band whilst playing at a New York club. Oteil Burbridge and Derek Trucks encouraged her to go with them to the Beacon Theater. They brought her up to play a jam that lasted around 40 minutes. In the same year, she recorded her entire debut album "Transformation" in two days. It was a 7 track original album and also featured Wayne Krantz, Geoffrey Keezer, saxophonist Seamus Blake and Keith Carlock.
Chick Corea was looking for a bassist and Wilkenfeld sent him demos of "Transformation" to apply. She was selected to join him on his Australian tour in early 2007 along with Frank Gambale and Antonio Sanchez. A few months later, she joined Jeff Beck on his European tour. The band also included Vinnie Colaiuta and Jason Rebello. After the tour, they played at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. In November, the Jeff Beck band played a week-long residency at Ronnie Scott's Jazz club, London. The residency was filmed and they had guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Joss Stone and Imogen Heap. Whilst in London, Wilkenfeld also joined Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, singer Corinne Bailey Rae and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta on a session filmed for the A&E series, Live from Abbey Road. Wilkenfeld finished the year with two gigs with Krantz in Greenwich Village, New York.
In 2008, Wilkenfeld accompanied Krantz on gigs in Los Angeles before embarking on a tour of Australia with Krantz and Carlock. At the end of the tour, Krantz, Carlock and John Beasley backed Wilkenfeld for her headline set at Bass Player LIVE! in Los Angeles. In July, she joined Jeff Beck again for a George Martin tribute concert in Los Angeles. In December, she was reunited with The Allman Brothers band when she appeared at Warren Haynes 20th Annual Christmas Jam, which also included Gov't Mule, Ivan Neville and Robben Ford.
In 2009, Wilkenfeld joined Beck on tours of Australia, Japan and the US. Between Japan and the US, Wilkenfeld performed with The Roots on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon". At the beginning of the US tour, Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were to be joined by Jimmy Page on stage. Ten minutes before going on stage Tal recommended they play "Immigrant Song". With no time for rehearsal, they played "Becks Bolero" with a cut in the middle to introduce Jimmy Page and play "Immigrant Song", with no one aware they were going to perform it. In the summer, they toured Europe, Canada and the UK. Whilst in London, David Gilmour joined them on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. In October, Wilkenfeld joined Jeff Beck at Madison Square Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary Concert. The set included guests Buddy Guy, Sting and Billy Gibbons.
In 2010, Wilkenfeld featured on Jeff Beck's album "Emotion and Commotion". Wilkenfeld decided to return to composing and recording as a solo artist. Whilst in Los Angeles she contributed to Herbie Hancock's album "The Imagine Project". She contributed on Macy Gray's album "The Sellout". She also contributed to Lee Ritenour's album "Six String Theory" and Guthrie Govan's song "Fives". In May, she appeared in The Baked Potato's 40th Anniversary Show with Steve Lukather's band. In June and July, she accompanied Herbie Hancock on his US, Canada and Europe tour. The tour included a show at Carnegie Hall to celebrate Hancock's 70th birthday.
In 2014, she appeared as a collaborator on Ryan Adams album "Ryan Adams".
In 2015, she appeared as a contributor on Toto's album "Toto XIV".
In 2016, she opened for The Who on their US tour. She also performed her own headline shows on days between the concerts.
Wilkenfeld has recorded on projects with Prince, Macy Gray, Trevor Rabin, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Toto, Todd Rundgren, Ryan Adams and others.
She has performed with Hiram Bullock, Susan Tedeschi, Rod Stewart, John Mayer, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Pharrell, and Hans Zimmer.
In March 2016, Wilkenfeld released the single "Corner Painter" featuring Blake Mills and Benmont Tench from her upcoming solo album.