Bill Keis

Bill Keis is a pianist, composer, producer and musical director. Since over 40 years, he has taught music and performed or recorded with Darlene Love, Mark Isham and Ronnie Spector. One of Bill’s compositions appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Bill was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 7, 1958. His grandparents and his parents were all music teachers. After moving to New York state, Bill began piano lessons with his mother at age 5. Soon after, Bill discovered that he had perfect pitch. Then he began lessons in classical piano and, as he grew older, he also studied trombone and cello. Bill was a cellist in the orchestra, trombone player in the marching and concert bands, and he also sang in the jazz choir. He also played the piano in the jazz band. Bill was classically trained and received “A” grades in state piano competitions. However, he discovered a love for Jazz and Rock music. At age 14, he was playing piano/trumpet in his first professional gig. There were many quintets, quartets, and trios that followed. They included music from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker as well as Santana (The Allman Bros.), Steely Dan, Chicago, and others. Bill also performed his solo piano arrangement, “Laura”, on a radio show. Lee Shaw, an Oscar Peterson student, began teaching Bill at age 16. Shaw is a well-known pianist. Lee allowed Bill to study with many jazz pianists, including Bud Powell, Billy Taylor and Horace Silver. He also studied Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley. His two greatest influences were Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea. After graduating from high school in 1976 in Boston, Bill attended Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. After playing and studying in Boston, Bill moved to Los Angeles where he began teaching private lessons at the Jamie Faunt School of Creative Music. Bill also began his career in Musical Theatre. He was a performer for two years, including Jay Leno and Billy Crystal. Bill also served as the musical director and pianist for many shows and workshops in vocal performance. During this time, Bill worked with Rose Weaver (jazz vocalist), Kaye Ballard (comedienne), Sam Harris (vocalist), and Karen Black (singer/actress). Chuck Lorre’s live comedy rock show, The Ministry Of Rock n Roll featured Bill as a keyboard player. The band performed at famous Hollywood venues such as The Troubadour and The Whisky. Bill was also hired as the pianist/musical Director for Maxine Nightingale, multi-platinum singer. Then came a two-year stint with L.A.’s 13-piece R.

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