Mon. May 20th, 2024


Amp Fiddler, the Detroit musician renowned for blending funk, soul, and electronic music, passed away at 65. A post shared on his Instagram account indicated he died following “an extensive and noble battle against cancer. Unfortunately, we now bear the painful responsibility of sharing Joseph ‘Amp’ Fiddler’s demise as our dearly-held ambassador of funk soul electronica has transitioned at 65.”

Joseph Anthony Fiddler was an integral member of Detroit’s musical landscape for nearly thirty years as an influential keyboardist, singer-songwriter, and pianist – known for releasing numerous solo albums. He has worked with artists like Prince, Raphael Saadiq, and Maxwell. From 1985 until 1996, he served in Parliment-Funkaedic as a Keyboardist before mentoring producer J Dilla on production tactics before connecting him with Q-Tip to launch his career.

Fiddler’s family is also seeking donations to cover funeral costs; donors can contribute via the GoFundMe page set up to cover Fiddler’s medical costs and recovery after surgery and extended hospital stays in 2022.

Amp Fiedler’s contribution to music

Fiddler made numerous contributions to funk, soul, hip-hop, and dance music throughout his career. Working alongside George Clinton in Parliament-Funkadelic was only part of it; other musicians that worked alongside Fiddler include Prince, Sly & Robbie, Carl Craig Moodymann, as well as J Dilla (later become J Dilla himself), including Q Tip and A Tribe Called Quest, among many more. Known for giving J Dilla their first Akai MPC drum machine, he also introduced J Dilla (later hip-hop legend) to A Tribe Called Quest, which ultimately brought together A Tribe Called Quest members he had met before introduced J Dilla was introduced by Carl Craig. He introduced future hip-hop legend J Dilla with Q-Tip as Q Tip introduced Q Dilla into A Tribe Called Quest’s Q Tip to introduce J Dilla himself.

Born Joseph Fiddler of Detroit, Amp Fiddler started playing piano as a child before enrolling at Oakland and Wayne State Universities and studying under jazz pianist Harold McKinney of Detroit. By 1984, he had joined Enchantment before replacing Bernie Worrell as President-Funkadelic leader 1984; during that period, he also briefly lived and recorded with George Clinton’s orchestra of 18 musicians before touring and recording with them for several years until briefly rejoining Prince’s Graffiti Bridge track “We Can Funk.”

First ALBLUM Release

Fiddler released his debut album under his stage name, Mr. Fiddler, with his brother Thomas Fiddler in 1991; during touring, he recorded sessions with artists found there, including an appearance on Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite by Maxwell himself. By the end of that decade, Fiddler had begun exploring dance music by working alongside Moodymann and Theo Parrish’s DJ sets, later producing solo records such as 2003’s Waltz of a Ghettofly, where his funk roots combined with house/techno influences to explore further in-depth.

Fiddler was revered for his contributions to Detroit hip-hop culture and for mentoring budding artists at Camp Amp, his informal production school. Expressly, he’s noted for introducing Q-Tip and J Dilla together while introducing J Dilla to the Akai MPC sampler he became well known with. Fiddler valued collaborative production over individual efforts. As stated to DJ Msg in 2020: “Magic happens when working together rather than sitting by ourselves all by ourselves.”

Questlove and Waajeed their respects Amp Fiddler’s passing-

Questlove and Waajeed paid their respects following Amp Fiddler’s passing: Questlove remembered how mentoring J Dilla helped shape them both musically, Gilles Peterson called Amp Fiddler “Detroit royalty… an enormous influence on musicians around the globe”, while Waajeed wrote, “Friend, Brother Confidant Mentor Architect It has been our pleasure sharing time.”


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