Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bill grew up in North Carolina, where he began his professional career in the late sixties as a backup musician in pickup bands. During this period he played with R and B recording artists such as Eddy Floyd, Spider Turner, Gary US Bonds, Rufus Thomas and others. On the concert stage he has opened for a diverse lineup of acts, including Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, Tommy James, Blue Oyster Cult, Michael Henderson, Betty Wright, Tommy Roe, The Marvelettes, Sam the Sham, Len Barry, The Turtles and KC and the Sunshine Band. At the age of 19 he toured with Atco Records star Arthur Conley (Sweet Soul Music,) on a series of concert dates to promote the release of Conley’s single, Funky Street. His love of jazz had him leading experimental groups in the late sixties and seventies, while continuing to play in road bands backing up artists such as The Drifters, Platters, Coasters and perennial Carolina favorites like singer Scotty Todd and The Showmen of Norfolk Virginia. Working out of Atlanta in the mid seventies, he toured the country with the progressive rock band Sweetfire and worked the Underground as a house musician at Scarlett O’Hara’s. Soon he was back on the road as the lead guitarist for Salsoul recording artists Ripple and the jazz-funk horn band ATL. He wound up living in New York City in ’79, where for the next 13 years he was an active studio musician, doing sessions with Don Casale for Easy Street Records and Malaco Records, later working with Sax player and writer John Bastianelli on projects for Columbia. However, heading his own jazz guitar trio had been his long-term goal and, while paying dues with other ensembles, he was forming his concept for a different approach to the traditional trio, one which would meld the edginess of fusion and hard bop with the passion and sensitivity of blues and Latin, seasoned with elements of traditional Japanese and Indian music. He is mostly self-taught; drawing on his influences, which include jazz giants Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin, George Barnes, Bucky Pizzarelli and Lenny Breau, although he acknowledges a tremendous debt of gratitude to New York bebop guitar master Mark Marino, LA guitarist Cliff Kuplen, legendary pianist Lynne Arriale and Bellarman University’s Jazz Guitar Professor Jeff Sherman, all with whom he had studied privately. Thematically, much of his music is influenced by Eastern philosophy. He has long been a devotee of Zen and Taoism, as well as a student of martial arts. In 1996 he earned a first degree black belt and is registered with the American Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo Association. He formed his first trio in 2000, recording his first album, Zensibility, featured on Public Radio WFPK’s Album Spotlight. Later on he recorded his Live! At the Jazz Factory CD. With his latest release,Winds of Bodhgaya, he aspired to a theme of ascension and spiritual evolution, woven into a musical tapestry which incorporates the simplicity, power and acoustic integrity of the traditional jazz guitar trio with a unique amalgam of over three decades of musical experience, recorded in real-time without the usual multi-track overdubbing or heavy artificial sweetening. Bill currently resides in New Hampshire. He is managed by Powers Management Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sweeeet chops Bill......totally tasty indeed. Great pix too! We're aligned in many areas....thank you for sharing the sweet stylings of your musicianship...I'm in Maine now...but was "hatched" as a Tarheel...my momma still lives in Charlotte...and as soon as I sell my house...will re-invent my life in a more southerly mode...the shot here i took in '74, Preservation Hall, New Orleans...Sweet Emma at the piano...have some great guitarist friends up here in the Maine area...drop in anytime...my best to you ....always b
Thank you, Bill for stopping by my page. I love your music. Especially the blues in shar-truze and kinda kenny. I'm trying to put together a tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr with Kenny. He's now the director of ethnomusicolgy at UCLA
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."