Amp Fiddler, Iconic Detroit Soul Legend and Music Educator, Passes Away at 65

Amp Fiddler, Iconic Detroit Soul Legend and Music Educator, Passes Away at 65

Amp Fiddler, Iconic Detroit Soul Legend and Music Educator, Passes Away at 65

Detroit soul icon Joseph Anthony Fiddler, known as Amp Fiddler, has passed away at the age of 65.

The news was first reported by Faith Fanzine on December 18th via X (formerly Twitter), hailing him as “the king of the new era of Detroit soul.” Although the cause of death has not been disclosed, Fiddler had initiated a crowdfunding campaign last December to support his recovery from an undisclosed illness and return to the stage. Two recent fundraising events were held at Detroit venues Marble Bar and Spot Lite.

Amp Fiddler, Iconic Detroit Soul Legend and Music Educator, Passes Away at 65

Amp Fiddler leaves behind a profound musical legacy. As a singer, songwriter, producer, and keyboardist, he embarked on his musical journey in the ’70s as a member of the soul group Enchantment. In the following decade, he joined George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic groups as a keyboardist.

His collaborations spanned a wide spectrum, including notable artists like Prince, Jamiroquai, Moodymann, Theo Parrish, and J Dilla, whom he personally instructed in using the Akai MPC drum machine. Fiddler’s music graced labels such as Mahogani Music and Sound Signature, with his final release being the collaborative single “Come On Over” with Luke Solomon in June.

Beyond his musical contributions, Amp Fiddler served as a musical educator. In the ’80s, he founded the music production school Camp Amp while residing in Los Angeles. Upon his return to Detroit, he brought the school with him and actively encouraged local kids to participate. Influential artists such as J Dilla, Waajeed, and Andrés were among those mentored by him.

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