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George Clinton

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George Clinton and his band Parliament-Funkadelic revolutionized funk sounds and came up with No. 1 singles like “Flash Light” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” His first solo album, ‘Computer Games,’ was a hit in the early ’80s and featured another No. 1 track “Atomic Dog.”

Musician George Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina on July 22, 1941. His music career began in a barbershop where he created a doo-wop group called The Parliaments. Clinton eventually reorganized the musicians who would become known as Funkadelic and Parliament to create new sounds and dazzling, out-of-this-world live shows with R&B chart toppers like “Flash Light,” “Aqua Boogie” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” He later embarked on a solo career, releasing the album Computer Games in 1982 as well as additional studio projects.

Background and Early Career
George Clinton was born on July 22, 1941, in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, Clinton began his music career in the 1950s while working at a barbershop in Newark, New Jersey. Having also been influenced by mambo, he founded a doo-wop singing quintet he called the Parliaments out of the shop’s backroom. When Clinton headed to Detroit in the early 1960s to work as a staff songwriter for Berry Gordy’s Motown, the group stayed in New Jersey but continued to work together long distance.

Landing a deal with Revilot Records, the Parliaments turned out their first hit in 1967 with the single “(I Just Wanna) Testify,” which landed at No. 3 on the Billboard R&B charts. The only member of The Parliaments to actually appear on the recording, however, was Clinton; no one else was able to travel to Detroit for the session, so studio musicians filled in.

Parliament and Funkadelic
When Revilot went bankrupt later that year, the group’s name became tied up in litigation. In 1968, they renamed themselves Funkadelic, after Clinton’s backup band. In 1972, when Clinton was finally able to get back the Parliament name, the group began using both the Parliament and Funkadelic monikers, but under different record labels. Often referring to himself as “the Referee,” Clinton mixed and matched the musicians and singers in his groups, which helped maintain a fresh, innovative sound.

Inspired by the sounds of revolutionary bands like the Stooges and MC 5 as well as musicians Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Sly Stone, Clinton began looking for ways to experiment with his musical compositions. Parliament explored and invented new sounds through funk—a twist on soul that included psychedelic guitar, deep bass groove and out-of-the-box sound effects—while Funkadelic cultivated a rock sound.

Commercial Success
Eventually featuring contributions from prominent band members Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic released more than 40 R&B hit singles and several gold and platinum albums during the ’70s, all while cultivating an otherworldly, edgy aesthetic partially inspired by sci-fi. Their output included such albums like Mothership Connection (1975), Chocolate City (1975), The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976) and Motor Booty Affair (1978) as well as the R&B top 10 hits “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk), “Flash Light,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Aqua Boogie” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” with the latter four singles topping the charts.

But as the musical powerhouse reached the ’80s, Clinton became weighed down by legal difficulties arising from Polygram’s acquisition of Parliament’s label, Casablanca. Clinton was forced to rename the groups again in 1982, this time signing to Capitol as a solo act and as the P.Funk All-Stars.

Solo Albums and “Atomic Dog”
His first solo album, Computer Games (1982), was a hit and contained the Top 20 single “Loopzilla” as well as the No. 1 R&B classic “Atomic Dog,” a dance club staple which would later become a popular sample for future recording artists. Clinton stayed with Capitol for three more years, releasing more Top 40 singles including “Nubian Nut” and “Do Fries Go With That Shake?” But as the ’80s rolled on, Clinton and his group faced a decline in popularity. Nonetheless, Clinton was able to sign with another revered disciple of funk, the one and only Prince, and released 1989’s The Cinderella Theory and 1993’s Hey Man, Smell My Finger under the Paisley Park label.

Rock Hall of Fame
In the 1990s, Clinton’s music experienced a resurgence as rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur began sampling his work. In 1996, Clinton released Greatest Funkin’ Hits, which featured an array of his most prominent songs remixed with contemporary artists. The following year, he received an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

Clinton continued to record into the new millennium, releasing such albums as 2004’s 500,000 Kilowatts of P-Funk Power and 2008’s George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love. In 2014, the pioneering musician released his tell-all autobiography Brothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?


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Award Winning Faculty

Students develop a personal relationship with our world-class music industry faculty. Cumulatively, these pros have had hit song placements, worked with the stars, have received numerous awards and enjoy immense success in their own careers. Read about our accomplished Department Heads below.

Jerry Watts

Jerry WattsBass Department Head

Jerry Watts, Jr. has an extensive list of recording credits, having appeared on hundreds of CDs, numerous films; TV soundtracks, as well as commercials, film trailers, and instructional DVDs. Jerry has a wealth of international touring experience, representing a broad spectrum of artists at the highest levels of rock, pop, jazz, and “world” music.

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Bryan Lipps

Bryan LippsBrass & Woodwind Department Head

Trumpeter, writer and educator Bryan Lipps is on a mission to play, create, and share as much music as physics will allow. From his time in the Joe LaBarbara quintet to his tenure as international touring soloist for multi Grammy recording artists Michael Buble and John Mayer, he has been featured on nearly every continent, every major entertainment TV show, and every major jazz festival in the world.

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Ralph HumphreyDrum Department Head

Ralph Humphrey is one of Los Angeles’ most demanded studio drummers, recording for TV, motion pictures, albums and jingles. His most recent projects include Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and Star Trek Enterprise. His past touring and recording experience includes the Don Ellis Big Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, among many others.

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Ralph Humphrey

Molly MillerGuitar Department Head

A Los Angeles native, Molly Miller has performed, toured, and recorded with the likes of Jason Mraz, Wynton Marsalis, Ashley Clark, Bushwalla, Kenton Chen (The Sing Off), and Morgan Karr (Spring Awakening). She grew up playing guitar on stage in a band with her four siblings, performing on national television, and winning music awards all around the country.

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Molly Miller
Kait Dunton

Kait DuntonPiano Department Head

Kait Dunton is a Los Angeles based composer & pianist with an unconventional approach to composition and to the piano trio, best expressed by her genre-pushing supergroup, trioKAIT. Kait has produced and released three albums of original compositions, with a fourth featuring her equally out-of-the-box arranging style. Her third record, trioKAIT, made the Huffington Post’s list of “The Best Jazz for 2015.”

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David Joyce

David JoyceVocal Department Head

David Joyce is a singer/keyboard player/songwriter who has worked with the likes of Chris Isaak, U2, Oasis, Natalie Cole & many more. He has played & sung on many television shows & films including, Saved by the Bell, Days of Our Lives, The Tonight Show, I Am Legend & King Kong. David has produced a number of  artists in LA & has scored PBS documentaries & AFI films. In 1986, David was a Grammy Award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Group with Clare Fischer’s 2 + 2 Plus.

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Mark CrossCVM Department Head

Mark Cross is an award winning Producer, Composer, Mixer, Educator and Author with an extensive discography in both film and television that spans over 2 decades. As a Engineer / Mixer Mark has worked on numerous albums, film scores, and television episodes, including “I Am Shelby Lynne”, “CARS” and “Meet the Parents”. As a composer he has created original music for Last Comic Standing, American Idol, Curb Your Enthusiasm and many others.

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Mark Cross

Andre KnechtMPR Department Head

André Knecht’s professional background includes a 7 year stint as a Sound Designer, Recording Engineer, Music Supervisor and composer with the Swiss Broadcasting Company (SSR), where he also hosted both radio and TV shows. In 1983 he moved to California where he began a twin track career in audio engineering and marketing at Warner Bros. Records. Today, he is active as a freelance engineer and producer, as well as a consultant & instructor.

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Andre Knecht
Erin Workman

Erin WorkmanEVP Career Development & Student EngagementMusic Business & Songwriting Department Head

With over 15 years of experience, Erin Workman brings an expertise in areas of Music Publishing, A&R, Artist Development, Vocal Coaching, Industry Relations and more. A degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance prepared her to enter into the industry as a signed staff songwriter and recording artist for Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, TN, which led to entry into writing for Film/TV projects and various publishing/licensing ventures. Erin can be found on projects as varied as Rufus Wainwright, Russell Crowe – TOFOG, Disney’s “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, and various Film and TV projects.

Click here to view more of our Music Business Faculty.
Click here to view more of our Songwriting Faculty.

Dave Pozzi

Dave PozziDean of Faculty & StudentsBrass & Woodwinds Faculty

Dave Pozzi has been a Los Angeles based free-lance artist since 1979, recording and playing with artists like: Henry Mancini, Mel Torme, Celine Dion, David Foster, Johnny Mathis, Jeff Hamilton, Rich Little, Charlie Shoemake, Melissa Manchester, Marvin Stamm, and others. Big band credits include Ray Anthony, Bob Crosby, Bill Watrous, Louie Bellson, Bob Florence, and Doc Severinsen. Dave is featured as a soloist on recordings with John Patitucci, Nick Brignola, Dick Berk, Bob Magnusson, Ray Pizzi, and Milcho Leviev. Other recording work includes radio and TV commercials, TV shows like The Osbournes, and numerous demos and record dates.