Welcome to “Making It With Terry Wollman”, the show that explores the secrets, successes and strategies for making it in the music biz.
In the studio, the classroom, and in my travels, I so often get questions about the creative process, so I created this show to focus on what it takes to have a lasting career in the ever-changing landscape of the music business. You’re really in for a treat, as I have invited my friends, some of the best and brightest in music, to share their stories. I guarantee you’re going to love it.
Time passes quickly, and I’ve learned that we should do what’s in our hearts, and do it well without apologies or excuses. I encourage you to create music in your own unique way and express your artistry with joy and abandon. Be willing to work uncompromisingly for what you believe in. Success will have a better chance of finding you when you live your life with integrity, focus, and passion. Be selfish with your discipline and selfless in your performance. And have fun. Remember, it’s called playing.
Terry Wollman moved from Miami to Los Angeles after graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music with a degree in Arranging. He quickly built a solid reputation as an in-demand Producer, Guitarist, Music Director and Composer. Terry has worked with an array of artists including Melissa Manchester, Billy Preston, The Crusaders, Little Richard, Wilson Phillips, Joan Baez, Joe Walsh, Keb’ Mo’, and Eartha Kitt, to name just a few.
Terry has produced artists including Tony Bennett, Dick Van Dyke, Dave Grusin with Alan Bergman, and Melissa Manchester’s 20th album “You Gotta Love The Life” with special guests artists Stevie Wonder, Joe Sample, Dave Koz, Dionne Warwick and Al Jarreau. Wollman’s debut album “Bimini” (1988) received worldwide critical acclaim. He recently released his 7th CD, a 25 year retrospective entitled “Silver Collection”. His first single “Welcome To Paradise” (featuring Terry with Dave Koz on alto sax) debuted at #1 Most Added on Billboard.
Verdine White & Shelly Clark White - Hit Songs, Philanthropy & Gratitude
Shelly was born Mashelle Clark in Brooklyn, New York. An original member and cofounder of The Honey Cone, Shelly has had a remarkable career. Beginning as a child star at the age of seven she headlined at the renowned Apollo Theatre and the Palace Theatre before making her Broadway debut with Pearl Bailey and Diahann Carroll in the celebrated hit musical "The House of Flowers."
Clark went on to dazzle audiences touring with Cab Calloway in his renowned Cotton Club Revue followed by her work with artists including Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Little Richard, DJ Rogers and Richard Harris. She also toured nationally with The Ike & Tina Turner Revue as one of the historic Ikettes. With The Honey Cone, Shelly was part of creating an enduring legacy of Billboard No. 1 and Top 10 hits that garnered numerous gold records and esteemed industry awards.Shelly has been married to Verdine White, the iconic bass player and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire for 40 years.
Verdine White is best know as the visionary entertainer, producer, fashion trend setter and electrifying bass player of Earth Wind & Fire. Born and raised in Chicago, he easily might have followed his father’s footsteps into the field of medicine. It turned out however that music chose Verdine instead. He saw a Double bass in his high school orchestra class and there began his formal training.
In Verdine’s words… ”The instrument was standing alone in the corner of the orchestra class....tall, mysterious and majestic, so different from all the others, it called me and the love affair began."
Verdine honed his skills in local jazz clubs throughout Chicago and neighboring cities which allowed him to perfect his unique electric bass style and technique. Already an accomplished bassist, Verdine joined his brother Maurice White in Los Angeles to form one of the most successful POP and R&B bands of all time... Earth Wind and Fire.
Ron Walters Jr, (Music Director/Barry Manilow) - The Art of Music Directing and Enjoying The Journey
Ron Walters Jr is a keyboardist, composer, arranger, producer, and conductor. This Chicago native began his musical journey at an early age singing and playing drums in church. Heavily influenced by the music of Walter Hawkins, Andrae Crouch, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Ron fell in love with the piano and never looked back. He went on to study with Chicago jazz piano legend Eddie Baker and composer/arranger William Russo. Ron graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Composition and a minor in Conducting.
In 2004, Barry Manilow took Ron "under his wing" as his new music director. Ron moved to Los Angeles and has served as Barry's conductor/MD/keyboardist ever since. With Mr. Manilow, Ron has performed on stages and TV shows all over the world. His most memorable experiences so far have been conducting and performing for the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2010, and conducting both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestra in 2019. His conducting and playing earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Music Direction for the PBS special: "Barry Manilow Sings Songs of The 70's".
Ron’s new Christmas EP "Incredible Love” is currently available on all music outlets.
Ron Powell - Percussionist/Artist: Knowing Your Worth, the Art of Preparation, Balancing Musicianship & Showmanship
Ron Powell is an accomplished musician, clinician, author and educator with over 40 years of performance experience.
In addition to touring with Sergio Mendes for 20 years, as well as with Kenny G and Diana Ross for the past 30 years; Ron has recorded and performed with renowned artists including Black Eye Peas, Santana, Madonna, Maria Carey, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Justin Timberlake, George Duke, George Benson, Sheena Easton, Josh Groban, Lee Ritenour, Barry White, Brand New Heavies, Gloria Estefan, Boyz 2 Men, Annie Lennox, Pattie Austin, The Four Tops, Poncho Sanchez, Jeffery Osborne, Donna Summers, Peabo Bryson, Donny Osmond, The Supremes, The Commodores, Lou Rawls, India Irie, Michael Bolton, Patti Labelle, David Cassidy, Faith Hill, Al Jarreau, Boy George, Merv Griffin, Paula Abdul, Najee and Cirque De Soleil.
Ron has also played for The American Music and Grammy Awards, Smokey Robinson’s Motown Review, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno & Johnny Carson, American Idol and also has been a member in my band for many years.
Sandy Shore - Founder/CEO of SmoothJazz.com, Visionary Radio Personality & Global Music Innovator
She thought she could and so she did. This California radio personality, concert event producer and global music innovator has been on the radio since she was 15 years old, starting her career on John Steinbeck's Cannery Row in Monterey, California in 1979. She has worked her way up and down the Coast to broadcast on many respected FM frequencies including The Wave in Los Angeles and KKSF in San Francisco.
Known in the music industry as a visionary in regards to Internet Broadcasting and music programming, Sandy has dedicated her talent to introducing the lifestyle vibe of contemporary jazz to millions around the world by keeping the sound fresh and warm. She believes that the genre is evolving and appealing to a new breed of listener who enjoys a diverse music mix. Shore describes it as a modern and robust blend that includes both the "relevance of pop and the depth of jazz."
Music is her life. Shore works personally with today's hottest jazz artists and recording labels, building successful branding by integrating marketing and social media. She also works closely with music producers consulting on radio singles and developing new artists, all the while spearheading SmoothJazz.com's event partnerships with jazz festivals all over the world.
Hussain Jiffry - From Sri Lanka to Sherman Oaks, a GRAMMY Winner's Journey
Since arriving in California in 1988 from his native land of Sri Lanka, Hussain has become a first call bass player in Los Angeles. His feel, versatility and joyful attitude has kept his phone ringing for over thirty years. His presence is a joy to behold on the bandstand and in the studio, raising the level of musicality and inspiring both the audience and the musicians that he plays with.
Born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Hussain grew up surrounded by the richly varied traditional music of his country, but was also drawn to Pop, Jazz and R&B that he heard on the radio. He started singing in school choirs at 10, took up piano and accordion at age 12, and at 17 started playing electric bass.
After living in Europe for 6 years he moved to Los Angeles to study music at the Musicians Institute, where he graduated with the school’s highest honors. Armed with his bass, his passion and dedication Hussain’s stellar reputation has lead him to travel the world many times over, playing music with some of the most beloved artists of our generation.
His credits include Sergio Mendes, Tom Scott, Michael Bolton, Deniece Williams, Helen Reddy, Jim Messina, Joe Williams, John Raitt, Petula Clark, Freda Payne, Kenny Kirkland, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Lamont Dozier, Pauline Wilson, David Foster, Michael McDonald, Bobby Brown, Russell Ferrante, Dionne Warwick, Captain & Tennille, The Perri sisters, Chaka Khan, Crystal Gayle, Jonathan Butler, The Four Tops, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Gloria Gaynor, Robben Ford, Phoebe Snow, Marty Stuart, Sam Moore, Steve Winwood, Whitney Houston, Tito Puente, Al McKay, Yanni, Dave Weckl Band, Carol King, Melissa Manchester, Christopher Cross, Stewart Copeland, Terry Wollman and Kenny G. Hussain currently tours and records as a member of Herb Alpert and Lani Hall’s quintet.
Nathan East (Bassist/Artist) - Making a Difference through Peace, Love & Harmony
A founding member of the chart-topping contemporary jazz group Fourplay, East was 16 years old when he got his first break and found himself on the road with Barry White. The next time the phone rang, Quincy Jones was on the line. The calls kept coming and for the last forty years, East has been churning out hit songs with artists as legendary as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.
His genre-crossing groove has earned him both the recognition – a Congressional Record for his contributions to the worldwide music community, for one – and the boundary-busting respect of his peers, illustrated by his current appearances on two hit records as diverse as Andrea Bocelli’s Passione and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Suffice it to say, it’s been a busy four decades. “There are only so many hours in the day,” East concedes. “But for years, friends have encouraged me to record a solo album. Some for so long they’d given up. However the best music that I’ve made over the years has always been a collaboration with my friends, so I decided it was time to take the plunge.”
Communing with friends is a theme for East, so it was only natural that he team up with Yamaha Entertainment Group, with whom he has had a personal and professional relationship for over 30 years.“They have an undeniable world-wide presence, so when Chris Gero started this label and shared his vision, I was in from the first ask.” Less obvious to East, was how to approach stepping out as a lead artist. “I always felt, especially as a bassist, that a solo album was a very difficult thing to try to come up with. I’m used to a more supportive role playing as a sideman, which is why it’s taken me this long to actually get my head around what kind of record to make.”
But the uncertainty stopped there. “Chris said, ‘I don’t want to just make an album that you’d predict you would make. I want you to come away from it with that feeling of ‘What just happened?!’ He has all these ideas going on and he’s hearing symphonies in his head. It’s like Quincy Jones, where he has a knack of putting ideas and people together. Chris comes with an exceptional production value and wants everything to be epic, so we’re trying to bring that spirit to this record.” And spirited it is. Joined by a veritable who’s who of fellow musicians and vocalists, East immersed himself in the studio experience. “The thing I love most about the recording process is that you never know exactly what’s going to happen. I always leave room for that element of surprise because so often it’s what you didn’t plan on that turns into the focal point – that magical moment – on the record.”
One such moment is the triumphant re-imagining of Pat Metheny’s “Letter From Home,” where soaring orchestration contrasts poignantly with the track’s pensive mood. It’s exactly the kind of narrative in which East gravitates. “I tend to lean towards passionate ballads and I’ve asked Michael McDonald, one of my favorite singers, to join us on this record. There’s just so much emotion and heart in his music.” Destined to capture every heart is East’s duet on “Yesterday” with his 13-year old son Noah, who plays the piano. “Noah came to the studio, put the headphones on and the sound was so beautiful his face just lit up! It’s surreal to play with your son. You are changing his diapers one minute and the next thing, you’re making music with this person.”
East keeps it in the family with one of four co-written songs on the album, “101 Eastbound,” a tune penned along with brother Marcel East. Originally released over 20 years ago on Fourplay’s debut album and newly imbued with an exotic flair, the track captures the vitality of East’s divers
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great podcast on life, art and music!
Terry Wollman is a great musician and composer with a curious mind and deep interest in the creative process. Great conversations with some of the most interesting artists and creatives from all walks of life. Subscribe and enjoy!
What it takes to make it in music biz
Great interviews with SERIOUSLY successful musicians. Kids, don't drink the "gonna be a rock star" kool-aid...this is how to actually have a career making music.
Love the Stephen Bishop episode :D