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Bill Kirchner

Bill Kirchner is a composer-arranger, saxophonist, bandleader, educator, record and radio producer, and jazz historian. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Bill graduated in 1975 from Manhattan College in New York City. From then until 1980, he lived in Washington, D.C., playing with the Mike Crotty big band, the Bernard Sweetney quartet, and his own groups.

Since July 1980, Bill has lived in New York City. A few months after moving back to New York, Bill began the Bill Kirchner Nonet. His intent was to have an ensemble with the intimacy and adventurousness of the best small groups and the power and excitement of a big band. Most of the Nonet's compositions and arrangements — rich in tonal, harmonic, and rhythmic colors — are by Bill. The players, improvisers all, are among New York's finest. The Bill Kirchner Nonet has appeared at major festivals, concerts, and nightclubs throughout the United States.

Bill's arrangements, in addition to those for his Nonet, have been recorded by Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Konitz, the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble, and singer Patti Austin. Among his sideman credits as a player are live performances or recordings with Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra; the American Jazz Orchestra; singers Anita O'Day, Chris Connor, Sheila Jordan, Karen Akers, and Anita Gravine; violinist Joe Kennedy, Jr.; bassist Reggie Johnson; and bandleaders Mousie Alexander, Ray Anthony, Mario Bauza, Larry Elgart, Tom Pierson, Tito Puente, and Bobby Rosengarden.

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”Bill Kirchner is one of those rare musicians who is able to synthesize an awareness of the past with his own voice, taking jazz in new directions that are firmly based on tradition.” —Benny Carter
Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Advanced only


The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music: Adjunct Faculty, 1991-present (all undergraduate students). Classes include: Advanced Composing/Arranging (1991-present); Jazz History (1996-present); Jazz & Ballet (2000-01); Composers Forum (2001-02); Composition Styles (2002-05); Improvisation Ensemble (2006-07, 2014-present); Contemporary Jazz & Its Exponents (2010, 2013-14); Music of Bill Evans (2013). Manhattan School of Music: Adjunct Faculty, 2004-present. (undergraduate and graduate students). Music of Duke Ellington; Music of Miles Davis. New Jersey City University: Adjunct Faculty, 2002-2015. Jazz History (Master’s Program); Jazz Composition Styles (Master’s Program). Rutgers University/Newark: Guest Lecturer of Graduate Seminars, 2002-03, 2006 (Jazz-Research Master’s Program). Artist-in-Residence: KUG Institut für Jazz (Graz, Austria), 2001, 2014; Muzikhochschule Luzern (Switzerland), 2001; Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland), 2002; U.S. Embassy in Armenia (sent by U.S. State Dept.), Jazz Appreciation Month, 2004; Composer-in-Residence, Henry Mancini Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 2000. Clinics: Colleges and schools across the U.S. and overseas for over 35 years.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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For All We Know

Self Produced


An Evening Of Indigos

Jazzheads Records


Quiet Now



Everything I Love

Evening Star Records


Trance Dance





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