Bill Easley

Bill Easley’s career has been diverse as a professional musician. In 1959, he joined Local 115 musicians union. 2009 marks his 50th anniversary in the professional music industry. Bill is the fourth generation in a musical family. Bill began playing professionally at thirteen with his parents. The Bob Easley Combo performed at country clubs, dances and nightclubs in Olean, N.Y. He gained valuable experience from his youth that gave him the foundation for a long, rewarding career. In September 1964, he moved to New York City. While he was part-time at the Julliard School of Music, he also got his feet wet in uptown’s Jazz Scene. The U.S. Draft Board had other plans, and Bill served his military service in Fairbanks Alaska with the 9th Army Band. Easley joined the George Benson Quartet in January 1968 and traveled with the great guitarist throughout the rest of the decade. The band played at legendary jazz venues such as Minton’s Playhouse, The Plugged Nickel, Chicago, The Jazz Workshop, Boston, and The Hurricane, Pittsburgh. Easley moved to Memphis, Tenn. after a brief stay in Pittsburgh, Pa. He did many things in Memphis, including performing and recording with Isaac Hayes and other studio work. Memphis State University was where he continued his formal education. Easley was first to tour with the Duke Ellington Orch in the middle of the 1970s. Under the direction of Mercer Ellington. Bill returned to N.Y.C. in January 1980, with the promise that he would get a job on Broadway. His Broadway credits include: Sophisticated ladies, Black and Blue and Swingin’ On a Star and Fosse. There have been many memorable experiences with famous people such as George Benson and Ruth Brown, Isaac Hayes. Bobby Short, Louie Bellson. Charles McPhearson. James Williams. Sir Roland Hanna. Earl May. Illinois Jaquett. Ron Carter. Frank Foster. Mercer Ellington. Warren Vache’. Panama Fransis. Grady Tate. He has six recordings as a leader, including Wind Inventions. First Call. Easley Said. Business Man’s Bouquet. Hearing Voices. Love Stories. His repertoire of woodwind instruments includes: Tenor, Alto, and Soprano Saxophones; Clarinet and Bass Clarinets; Flute, Alto Flute, and piccolo. Bill was part of The Jazz Repertory Movement and played in The American Jazz Orchestra, The Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, David Baker, and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In the tribute to Benny Goodman, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (Jon Faddis), he was a soloist. St. Bonaventure University near Olean (NY) presented its first Regina B. Bill Easley was presented the Quick Award on April 19, 1997. The Bill Easley Quartet performed at St. Bonaventure University for a sold-out crowd. Quick Arts Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated on April 29, 2006. It continues with a mixture of all the above activities: working in Theatre, teaching, performing, and recording with some of the best musicians in the world. from

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