The Kennedy Center

Amp Fiddler


Detroit based Amp Fiddler is a celebrated soul/funk musician who shared stages and studios with everyone from Prince and George Clinton to Primal Scream and underground Detroit producer Moodyman. Amp played a pivotal role in bringing Slum Village to global attention, and was a friend and collaborator with their producer, the late J Dilla. Amp’s warm, expansive mellifluous music takes stylistic cues from all these encounters, but emerges as earthy, supremely relaxed, and rooted in the funk and soul that he feels most connected to. Amp describes it as music for the head as much as food for the heart and soul.
After learning piano as a child, Amp studied music at Oakland State University, Wayne State University, and with the jazz great Harold McKinney. He joined a do-wop group, The Enchantments, as a teen, and in 1983 received his big break when a friend, Bernie Worrell, the Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist passed a tape of his playing to George Clinton. Amp ended up replacing Bernie for a spot touring with Clinton and the P-Funk mob for more than a decade. In 1990 he signed with Elektra and released an album with his brother, Mr. Fiddler.
His first solo album “Waltz of a Ghettofly” was followed successfully by  Afrostrut
he followed up this cult classic, by replacing some of Ghettofly’s looser jam-based compositions with tighter, more traditional song forms, and his lyrics, which tended towards the universal but unspecific, became more solidified. “I’m always happy with the songs I write, regardless of what anybody thinks,” he emphasizes, “But I guess we all have something we have to grow towards, and there‘s always areas for learning. WE all have to do better at something.”

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/9/2015: Beat Sessions: J Dilla

A panel discussion that takes an up-close look at the music and life of James Dewitt Yancey (aka J Dilla) from the unique perspective of fellow music producers, highly-respected DJs, incredible artists, and special guests. Guests include Amp Fiddler, Slum Village, Musiq Soulchild, DJ Spinna, Georgia Anne Muldrow, 9th Wonder and Timothy Anne Burnside (Smithsonian NMAAHC). This program may contain mature themes and strong language. Part of D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival and the 10th Annual D.C. Loves Dilla festivities at the Kennedy Center and The Howard Theatre.

Amp Fiddler