Wayman Tisdale
Wayman Tisdale plays his five string bass like a melodic lead instrument. Many bassists tend to carry the rhythm, with occasional solos, where Wayman carries the melody. His finger patterning is more complex than the standard bass playing, putting him in the company of Stanley Clark and Marcus Miller. Wayman reached the top of his game as a 12 year NBA champion who started out by being the top high school basketball player in the country and became the first player in NCAA history to earn All- American First Team honors in his first three years of college. He progressed into winning a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics as a member of the elite dream team with Michael Jordan & Patrick Ewing and continued on as the #2 draft choice, behind Patrick Ewing, for the 1985 season. In his 12 year career, he played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns, where he was instrumental in their clinching the Pacific Division title in 1994. In 1995 he released his first CD, Power Forward, which immediately shot to #4 on Billboards Contemporary Jazz Charts and remained there for six months. His sophomore effort, In The Zone, had similar success, spending 30 weeks on the charts. At that point, Wayman decided to make a career change and pursue music fulltime in 1997.

SJN: You started out in a very different field, basketball. Please tell us which one you like best?

Wayman: I like both of them for what they are. The music side is more gratifying because it was my first love, but I loved the fact that when I was in the NBA I loved that and I had a great time doing that, and when I had to leave, I love the fact that I had music to look up to. I can’t say I love one more that the other. I’m thankful I can do both of them, so I’m living a dream.

SJN: Do you still play basketball?

Wayman: Very little.

SJN: Do you get out there with the kids?

Wayman: Yes, some what.

SJN: Do you miss it?

Wayman: No, I don’t. I’m doing what I feel I should be doing. This is what I dreamed I would be doing. I played twelve years.

SJN: When you were young, which inspired you first, music or basketball?

Wayman: Music

SJN: Which instruments did you first try and which do you play now?

Wayman: I first tried guitar and settled on the bass, but now I am going back to playing both bass and guitar.

SJN: Were your musical first influences in church?

Wayman: Yes, my Dad was a minister.

SJN: Who has influenced you musically?

Wayman: My dad got me started from a singing standpoint, because he was a great singer. Once I got older, my influences were old funk bands and bass players Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller.

SJN: Which musicians have you had the pleasure to work with who have inspired you the most?

Wayman: Probably Marcus Miller, and I got to work with Kirk Whalum, Bob James, and Jeff Lorber. These guys are just great musicians. There’s a lot of them! It’s just fun to be able to get back in and enjoy. I think it gets down to the songs. I’ve been able to have great people write songs for me.

SJN: What would you be doing with your life now if your musical career had faltered?

Wayman: Probably still wrapped up in…I’d probably be a stand up comic. (laughs) I don’t know!

SJN: You speak of your father with great respect and admiration. I understand he was a preacher. How was it growing up as the son of a preacher?

Wayman: In my case it was lots of pressure, but we liked it. My father never put any boundaries on us that we felt was unfair. I felt that we had a great time.

SJN: You are married with four children; please tell us about your wife and kids?

Wayman: My wife Regina and I had been together since 1981 when we were juniors in high school. We have four beautiful children, Danielle is 23, Tiffany is 18, going on 19, Wayman Jr. is 15, and Gabrielle is 11.

SJN: Do they go to school in LA?

Wayman: Yes, we are all here, and my two older daughters when to college at Oklahoma University. My oldest graduated last year and my second one is a sophomore.

SJN: What are they getting degrees in?

Wayman: Danielle got a degree in communications and Tiffany still hasn’t determined what she wants to get a degree in.

SJN: How do you spend your time when you aren’t making music?

Wayman: Well, I’m making music right now, but I am usually traveling, or producing for my production company.

SJN: Besides music and sports, do you have any other interests in life?

Wayman: Music, sports, and ah…I Iove to help people and kids. I love to help people who haven’t had a chance to have a lease on life like myself. I like to give them hope. So I like to talk to kids groups and give them encouragement. I have a foundation where we do a benefit concert. We have helped the adoption agency of Oklahoma by giving them a lump sum of money from the concert.

SJN: Wayman, you have a gold metal from the Olympics, you had a successful basketball career, and now you are in the mist of a tremendously successful musical career. How do you stay grounded?

Wayman: I never get caught up into it. I’m goal oriented, so even though I am successful in a lot of ways, I know I still have a long way to go. I keep myself grounded because I set such high goals for myself and I am really wanting to reach them.

SJN: You have a cruise coming up this month with an all star cast. Please tell us about it?

Wayman: It’s the hottest thing out there at this time. It is sold out and we are working on “08. It is tremendously successful, I have all of my friends coming and it is going to be the party of a lifetime.

SJN: You toured with Guitars and Saxes and this last season with the Rendezvous Tour. What are your plans for next year?

Wayman: My plans for next year are to expand my horizons and keep going at what we started. I always look at next year to be bigger than the year before. That is a sign of progress for me. That’s what I always look forward to, to get to that next level in life.

SJN: Wayman, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We wish you the best in the next year.


March 26th- Wayman Tisdale is undergoing treatment to remove a cyst from his fibula according to his manager and record label. Wayman suffered a leg injury last month due to a fall in his home. After an extensive battery of tests, it has just been diagnosed that the cause of the injury was a cancerous cyst isolated to a bone in his leg. He is already on the road to recovery and plans to resume touring in time for his Smooth Jazz Cruise in January 2008. He is also planning a new album. Appropriately, the working title is Rebound. Wayman said, “I am so pleased to report that my recovery will be 100%, and that I have been told that I am otherwise cancer-free. To recover properly, I need to curtail my touring and public appearances for a while. What this means is that I will have more free time to devote to my music. I am taking this time to work on a new record and some other very interesting projects.”


Full Name: Wayman Lawrence Tisdale

Birthday: June 9, 1964

Any Nicknames? Tis

Height 6ā€™9ā€

Color of eyes: Brown

Hometown: Born in Ft. Worth, grew up in Tulsa

Currently resides in Los Angeles and Tulsa

What kind of car do you own? Ford Navigator

Favorite Color? Blue

Favorite TV show? Animal Channel, American Idol and other Reality shows. Iā€™m really a Reality Show Junkie

Do you watch Movies? Few

If so, Favorite Movie? Anything with Densel Washington

Do you like computers or only tolerate them? Oh, I love computers, it's my whole life musically. We do everything on computers!

Do you have any hobbies? Fishing

Favorite escape? Fishing

Do you have names for your instruments? Toby

Current music you are listening to? Old Funk...Gap Band to Kool and the Gang

Pets? None
Wayman Tisdale CDs
June 3, 2008

Way Up
June 27, 2006

Hang Time
July 12, 2004
Presents 21 Days
November 18, 2003
Face to Face
March 20, 2001
October 6, 1998
In the Zone
August 13, 1996
Power Forward
June 20, 1995
Find Wayman at www.waymantisdale.com

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