THRILLING FANS SINCE 2004
Since 2004, hundreds of thousands of fans have witnessed the excitement of Who's Bad Music productions on stages around the world.
Dedicated to recreating authentic live experiences, Who's Bad was originally founded by Vamsi Tadepalli in 2003 as a tribute to Michael Jackson's musical legacy. Now, as an umbrella organization, Who's Bad Music boasts a stable of three shows: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience, 20/20: The Evolution of Pop, and Who's That Girl, a celebration of the greatest divas in music history.
Each individual show is designed and constructed through unparalleled study of the artists' original performances, and infused with new energy, so that they can be brought to life for fans by some of the finest entertainment professionals on the planet.
From Motown to MTV and CDs to mp3s, the musical landscape has changed dramatically over the last half century. Who's Bad Music draws from the most iconic stars and smash hits spanning generations to embody the expression "Seeing is Believing."
Innovation is the key element in the DNA of Who's Bad Music, dedicated to putting on the baddest shows on the planet.
MEET THE TEAM
Vamsi Tadepalli, Whether paying tribute to the King of Pop in front of thousands of fans, performing small group jazz for discriminating listeners, writing and arranging, or teaching, Vamsi Tadepalli invests all of his musical pursuits with a confluence of creativity, professionalism and versatility.
Born and raised in North Carolina to Indian parents, Tadepalli is the first American-born member of his family. His parents, scientists by trade, placed a high value on the arts and on music in particular. Accordingly, he was exposed to Indian Classical Music and Dance from his earliest years. At the age of 8 he began formal musical study on the keyboard at the Yamaha Music School in Durham, NC. Although it wouldn’t be until high school that Tadepalli would study sitar, his early exposure to Indian Classical Music had a broader impact: its emphasis on improvisation undoubtedly contributed to Tadepalli's affinity for jazz, America's improvised classical music.
After taking up the saxophone at the age of 12 and several years of private instruction, Tadepalli entered Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham. Jordan boasted an exceptional jazz combo program rivaling those of many colleges, and Tadepalli began listening to and emulating recordings of such masters as Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. He also started performing professionally in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Tadepalli continued his study of jazz at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving both academic and music scholarships and majoring in Jazz Performance. He also studied with outstanding altoist Justin Robinson and sought out the expertise of legendary bebop guru and exponent Barry Harris, participating in Harris’ workshop at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He has shared the stage with Harris, Slide Hampton, Eric Alexander, Joe Farnsworth, Antonio Hart, Vincent Herring, and Jamey Aebersold, and has appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival and Smoke Jazz Club in NYC.
Concurrent with Tadepalli’s commitment to jazz was an interest in marching band, both as an instrumentalist and as a writer/arranger. He taught himself to play the mellophone in order to participate in Drum Corps International, marching in Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the latter in 2002. He has written for the UNC Marching Tarheels, the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and has written and arranged the wind book for many competitive corps style high school marching bands, including West Johnston High School (a 4 time Bands of America Semifinalist) and Panther Creek High School.
Tadepalli has also taught extensively, serving as the marching, brass and woodwind instructor at Jordan and West Johnston High Schools, the jazz director at West Johnston High School, the Assistant Band Director at Rogers Herr Middle School, and as a longtime private saxophone instructor. Additionally, Tadepalli spent several years in San Francisco at Ubisoft SF Studios working on an educational guitar game called Rocksmith.
In 2003, Tadepalli founded Who’s Bad, a group dedicated exclusively to performing the music of pop icon Michael Jackson. As manager, arranger, saxophonist, keyboardist and choreographer of the group from 2003 until 2011, Tadepalli has had the opportunity to employ his full range of skills, performing saxophone and dance routines at 100+ shows per year worldwide. At the end of 2011 he came off the road and continues to manage the band residing in Los Angeles.
James Times III was born and raised in sunny Miami, FL and has always been a student of the art of music, dance and general entertainment. The core of his musical abilities began at Miami Springs Senior High School with his involvement in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Choir, Music Theory and Music History throughout high school.
After graduating and being accepted into Florida International University’s School of Music, James also became a member of Drum Corps International’s Phantom Regiment and Bluecoats from 2007-2009. It was the Drum Corps activity that shaped James into the person and perfectionist that he has become today.
A die-hard fan of Michael Jackson knowingly since the age of 3, James didn’t realize his unique gift of dance until August of 2009, the year of MJ’s passing. James’ dream of performing as MJ on stage became a reality when he made an email inquiry to MJ LIVE and was accepted to perform with them in Las Vegas in 2015. His time performing with MJ LIVE served as the ultimate preparation for joining the ranks of Who’s Bad.
Like Michael, James is a self taught and innate dancer. It has been said by most people that James captures effortlessly the mannerisms, uniqueness, and deep soulful dancing of Michael Jackson. That is the result of the countless hours of studying MJ’s every hand, foot, finger, head, upper and lower body placement and angle in each song/performance, along with his natural similarity to Michael Jackson’s height, weight, and body type. An absolute true perfectionist, James has set a strict standard and motto for himself and that is, simply, “If it’s not the way Michael did it, it’s not right”. James has never had the great honor of meeting Michael himself, but through his music and dance it becomes clear that the two souls are connected when James takes the stage as Michael Jackson, A.K.A. ”Light”.
Taalib York Singer, dancer, and well-known songwriter, started singing and dancing at the young age of 7, mimicking his lifetime idol Michael Jackson. He began developing his voice, singing in Arabic and English, also mastering the art of dance. By the time Taalib graduated high school he began working in the music industry, writing and recording his own music and singing hooks for hip hop artists and backgrounds for various musician. In addition to singing,
Taalib also choreographs dance routines professionally, leading award winning dance teams. But when it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words. You'll watch Taalib perform, seeing the influence Michael Jackson has had and you’ll agree: the similarities between the two are simply amazing.
As one of the original members of Who's Bad since its founding, Taalib brings a wealth of experience and know-how to the stage.
Drusell De Vose who also goes by his dance/stage name “SiD” (which stands for Switch iDance) is a professional Dancer, Choreographer, and Dance Teacher. Specializing in the areas of HipHop, Contemporary HipHop, and Street Jazz. Stepping out on faith SiD moved away from home to become better and to train harder. Outside of training and dancing with “Live In Color” a professional dance company based in Miami Florida, SiDs growth has led him to some really great adventures. Performing with artists like Justina Valentine (NEW Jersey), Karena Clarke (Miami), Touring all over the map with Who's Bad and has also performed on the reality show The First Family Of HipHop behind Lea Robinson (Sugarhill Gang in New York) on Bravo Television. SiD also ventured off into acting, where he landed a role in the independent film Last Love Lost, directed by Jahmar Hill, of which he also choreographed.
SiD has toured and performed in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Colorado, Philadelphia, Canada, China and Switzerland just to name a few. During his growth period he became part of a Family/Organization named “Rhythm City” out of Bronx, NYC. His passion, drive and energy is completely experienced in each class he teaches, as he pushes dancers to experience a new and different level within theirselves. SiDs motto is "Greatness within can only be achieved when you have someone great helping you to see how great you are capable of becoming."
His hard work and training gives him the ability to always share something new, different and challenging in all of his classes. SiDs main goal is to inspire those to bring to life the person they dream to be or have dreamed of becoming,
and to believe in themselves.
Justin Caminero is a dancer born in the Bronx, NY, from the Dominican Republic. He did small training in community groups bringing him to his first mentor, Randy Luna, who taught him
elements of hip hop, street jazz, and performance. With the skills attained he moved under Alonzo Williams, who further shaped Justin into the professional dancer he is now, beginning
with training in his team (Rhythm City). His first professional experiences came from becoming a dancer for Domo, a pop/hip hop singer/performer, performing in several events including
festivals, award ceremonies, music videos, and parades from New York to China. Justin further expanded in his dance career, requested for music videos by YouTube figure Cessa La Princessa, and granted the opportunity to dance with Justina Valentine’s (Wild N’Out star) in music video for “Voicemail.”
Alongside his growing work with artists, he participated in several dance competitions with Rhythm City from New York, to DC, to Switzerland, also partaking in many dance showcases, reaching the Madison Square Garden stage. Most recently, his work has allowed him to become a part of a successful Michael Jackson Tribute group called “Who’s Bad.” Aside from Justin’s growing performance experience, he also teaches hip hop in different studios to several ages, aiming to instill into his students not only the training, but the love he obtains for dance. To Justin, it’s important for his students to understand that they cannot grow or become better if there is no present drive or passion for anything they partake in. His biggest
goal for his students is to become successful doing what they love and he tries to be a living example of that to become an inspiration for others.