When I'm not working on music related activities, I love to cook and to hang with friends. Take a peek at my Instagram feed (@chezvamsi) below, or scroll down further to learn more about me.


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 books for many competitive corps style high school marching bands, including West Johnston High School and Panther Creek High School, both of which were Bands of America Semifinalists.

Tadepalli has also taught extensively, serving as the marching, brass and woodwind instructor at Panther Creek, 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.


In 2003, Tadepalli founded Who’s Bad, a group dedicated exclusively to performing the music of pop icon Michael Jackson.  Since its inception the group has performed over 1,000 shows internationally and shared stages with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, The Backstreet Boys, The Four Tops, Boys II Men, and hip hop superstar, Pitbull. Captivated fans include LIVENATION’s Anthony Nicolaidis who calls Who’s Bad, “the real deal,” and Michael Jackson’s longtime friend and manager Frank DiLeo who proclaimed after attending a Who’s Bad show in Nashville, TN, “the show was great….Michael would have been proud!” 


At the end of 2011 Vamsi took a backseat from touring with Who's Bad to focus on management.

Tadepalli spent the next two years in San Francisco at Ubisoft SF Studios working on a music "edutainment" game called Rocksmith that teaches beginning to advanced level musicians how to play their favorite rocks songs on guitar. After a 6 year stint in San Francisco, Vamsi moved to Los Angeles to further his career in the music industry.

In 2019, Tadepalli formed two new tribute groups, Who's That Girl and The Evolution of Pop.

While Tadepalli takes his music seriously, he clearly likes to have a good time. I mean, look at this photo of him in a robe. Tadepalli enjoys taking the stage as a working musician for a number of bands performing at festivals, clubs, theaters and also in the private sector for weddings and corporate events. 

For any inquiries, please contact Vamsi here.

© 2020 by Vamsi Tadepalli.