TALLAHASEE, Fla. – Armenians can be found in nearly any corner of the world and in nearly every profession, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the longstanding members of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic collective, a group which is one of the standard bearers of funk music, is Armenian-American Daniel “Danny” Peter Bedrosian. Bedrosian simultaneously remains involved in Armenian music and culture.
Parliament-Funkadelic, known as P-Funk for short, has its roots going back to the 1950s and 1960s. It consists today primarily of two bands, from which its name is composed, and dozens of musicians, all led by George Clinton, also performing in various spinoff groups. It created numerous top-ten and number one hits on American rhythm and blues music charts.
Into the World of Music
The 40-year-old Bedrosian has performed as keyboardist with P-Funk for 18 years and worked for Clinton for almost 22 years. Born in Lawrence, Mass., Bedrosian was classically trained in piano, as his parents ran a piano school, and studied from the age of 3 until he was 18 or 19. He began training in jazz and then learning about rhythm and blues and funk when he was 11 or 12, but he maintains a regime of classical music training to this day, doing anywhere between three to six hours daily.
Bedrosian laughingly said his parents did not expect their children to enter into music professionally, and perhaps did not even wish it on them, as they knew what a difficult field it was through which to earn a regular living. They were pleasantly surprised, he said, when one of their children followed their vocation and reached a comfortable position in life. Bedrosian related, “They always say, we thought maybe he would meet George Clinton one day, but we didn’t know he would end up doing all of this.”
He related that ever since he was 11, Parliament-Funkadelic “was my favorite band, just for the fact that they played all genres, and had been around forever, even by the time I was a little kid… I loved the music, so I was always really drawn to it.” He said part of its allure was its status as the longest-run popular music band of all time, with the largest discography of any production unit of all time, and the most sampled band of all time (meaning that segments of its music are reused by other contemporary musicians).