He is often called the most electrifying bass player in the world. A consummate entertainer whose primary goal is to ignite and excite his audience. Intelligent, articulate, charismatic, and outrageously stylish with a flair for the extraordinary……..meet Verdine White.
Born and raised in Chicago, Verdine’s father, (Dr. Verdine Sr.) wanted him to follow in his footsteps and enter the field of medicine, it turned out however that music chose Verdine instead. He started his formal training in his preteens studying the upright bass. “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.”
After performing several years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Verdine began his professional career playing the electric bass in local jazz clubs throughout Chicago and neighboring cities. His jaunts at the hot spots allowed him to perfect his inimitable 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. (EWF)
For over 35 years, EWF’s tour and concert performances have taken them around the world spanning the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America. Verdine’s creative insight was instrumental in producing many of EWF’s performances. The stage productions were an unforgettable experience replete with spectacular costumes, laser lights, pyrotechnics and fascinating illusions bringing international attention to their magnetic style while raising the live concert bar to new levels.
More than technical finesse, EWF defined the era of sound that embodied passion, joy and the warm feeling of love with people of all ages, races and religions. On stage, Verdine’s constant motion, enthusiasm and energy (to the point of disbelief) have deemed him the “ultimate fire” of the band. His musicianship keeps the elements in perfect alignment. Verdine’s stand out bass solo is one of the highlights of the show. Many ask, “How is he able to sustain the nonstop nuclear dynamism for over 90 minutes?” He has a few secrets. Verdine attributes keeping fit with his daily regime of Hatha Yoga, meditation, a gym routine and eating a clean, healthy diet. The daily ritual keeps him ageless, energetic, focused and full of stamina. He gratefully approaches each performance like it’s the first and last time he’ll ever be on stage.
EWF’s songs and role in popular music history have touched audiences worldwide. EWF was recently inducted into the ever-prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition EWF have received numerous awards, eight Grammy’s, Four American Music Awards, The Image Award, ASCAP, NAACP and BET Lifetime Achievement Awards, Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band has an impressive track record of sales over 70 million albums worldwide, numerous gold and double platinum albums. Verdine’s TV appearances include: The CBS Show, Today Show, VH-1 Documentary “Say It Loud” Produced by Quincy Jones, Access Hollywood, Extra, BET, MTV, MAD TV, Everybody Hates Chris, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen Degeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, EWF TV Documentary “Shining Stars”, The Winter Olympics, A&E Live With Earth Wind and Fire, Magic Johnson NBA All-star Show, Dick Clark New Year’s Eve Show, Super Bowl Pre-Game Show, The Grammy’s, The Emmy’s, as well as the Platinum DVD “EWF and CHICAGO Live At The Greek”. In addition, Verdine was selected to land a seat as celebrity judge on the number one rated show “American Idol”. To add to his visibility he also graced the covers of Monitor, Bass Player and Aware Magazines.
Remaining true to his passion of creating music, Verdine produced such groups as “Level 42”, “Pockets”, “Red and the Boys” and “The Emotions”.
His instructional booklet, “How to Play the Bass” was so successful it led to a follow up video, “Rhythm of the Earth-Advanced Bass Techniques.” He is the featured bassist on Jennifer Lopez’s CD, “The Reel Me”. Verdine’s music can be heard in conjunction with EWF in numerous TV and radio commercials and motion picture sound tracks, “Dancing in September”, “Hearts of Fire”, “Scooby Doo”,”Baddass”, “Soul Food”, “Drum Line”, “Hitch”, “Robots”, “Roll Bounce”, 6 Target Commercials, and others.
Verdine is the co-founder of the Wright Life Center, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged and at-risk youth to become musicians by offering lessons, scholarships, and grants.
Verdine strongly believes the key to his longevity and youthfulness lies in hard work, belief of mind over matter, faith in a higher power, and solid family support. Married for over 25 years, his wife and son have kept him focused on the value of life without allowing him to take things too seriously. He is a dedicated family man with hobbies that include fashion, reading, hiking, and sharing long walks with his wife and the family dogs. He believes artists should remember to give back to the community and the world in general.
Verdine’s gifts as a visionary, entertainer, producer, musician and fashion trend setter touches fans, friends and family with a refreshing sincerity and sense of humor that forms a lasting bond forever. It’s great to know Verdine White is a rare art form of the new millennia.