Wil Blades

Young Wil Blades is receiving critical acclaim as well as international recognition. Blades is a Chicagoan and has quickly gained momentum across the country as the first call organist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was named as a “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s 2008 and 2007 polls for organ. Over the years Wil has been wowed by Bay Area audiences with his groups “O.G.D.,” Motherbug”, Amendola Vs. blades”, and “Steppin’.” Wil has recorded and performed with many legendary artists, including John Lee Hooker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Don Braden and Donald Harrison. Wil was born in 1979. He started playing drums when he was 8, and guitar at 13. Then he discovered his true calling with the Hammond B-3 at age 19. Wil began studying Jazz at New College of California under Herbie Lewis. He landed weekly gigs in John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room in San Francisco while he was studying Jazz. Oscar Myers and other veteran musicians took Wil under their wing, even though he was barely of legal age. The weekly gigs, which Wil learned on his own organ, proved to be one of the most valuable lessons. Wil received instruction from Dr. Lonnie Smith, a Jazz Organ master. “Yes, he does it…he is on it. He’s the future of the B-3 organ legend. Wil preserves the classic sounds of Jimmy Smith and Larry Young while creating a more personal, modern sound. Wil says that he feels indebted and influenced by the Hammond Organ’s tradition, but that he is also trying to bring his contemporary influences to the table. His playing is rhythmic and funky, but his original compositions are unique and harmonically interesting. Wil leads his own group in the Bay Area. He is also teaching privately the Hammond B-3 Organ at the Jazzschool, Berkeley. Current musical collaborations include a group with Will Bernard, Jazz legend Idris Mohammed, and a duo with Scott Amendola. The debut album of Wil, “Sketchy,” is now available from Doodlin’ Records. from http://www.wilblades.com

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