Will Boyd

Will Boyd

Instrument: Woodwinds | Location: Knoxville

A mostly gospel record coming from an unexpected place, these jazzbos dress things up in secular clothes, add a few songs about fighting for freedom and wind up opening the ears to the kind of service that brings new faces into the tent. One spin through this and you'll know the real origin of the term ‘joyful noise' Well done throughout.
—CHRIS SPECTOR, Midwest Record

Updated: September 22, 2021

Born: February 13, 1974

Multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, educator Will Boyd hails from soul sax tradition like artists Eddie Harris, Hank Crawford, David “Fat Head” Newman, King Curtis and Yusef Lateef. Originally from Orangeburg SC by way of Queens NY, Will currently resides in Knoxville TN. He is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and currently has 2 solo albums “Live at the Red Piano Lounge” and “Freedom Soul Jazz”. Will also co-leads a group with Wife, jazz radio host, and founder of the Knoxville Women in Jazz Jam Festival Kelle Jolly.

Will was playing with professional local R&B groups before he was 18. He then received more training at the music program at South Carolina State University where he received BA in Music Business and met future wife vocalist Kelle Jolly. There he played on the jazz ensemble that boasted distinguished alumni such as tenor man Houston Person, trombonist Ron Westray (Lincoln Center Alum), and trumpeter Charlton Singleton (Ranky Tanky). There he also played in the concert band and the Marching 101. Was inducted into the university’s jazz hall of fame in 1997.

Will would later become a staple in the music scene in Columbia SC where he would play with mostly fusion, funk, and soul bands. There he got opportunities to play with legends in this field including local guitarist, educator Robert Newton, drummer John Blackwell (Prince, Justin Timberlake), trombonist Fred Wesley (JB’s, James Brown) and soul singer William Bell

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More than one jazz artist has told me that his goal on stage is to recreate the joy and intensity of church music. Saxist and flute player Will Boyd does that in spades as he takes on the Great American Sunday Hymnal and gives it extra spiritual muscle with support from Bobby Lyle/org-p, Kelle Jolly voc-uk, Gregory Tardy/ts, Larry Vincent- David Bivens/g, David Becher/b, Kenneth Brown/dr and Kevin Krapf/perc. While most of the tunes are spirit-filled instrumentals, on a couple of tracks Jolly gets the place rolling on inspired takes of “Every Time I Feel The Spirit” as well as the strutting “Marching to Freedom Land” and closing up the service with the anthem “We Shall Overcome” accompanied by the leader’s rich soprano

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Gato Barbieri
Sonny Rollins
Wayne Shorter
John Coltrane
Hank Crawford
saxophone, alto
Eddie Harris
saxophone, tenor
Yusef Lateef
David "Fathead" Newman
saxophone, tenor
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto



Pro Marketing Entertainment



Mr. Mac

From: Soulful Noise
By Will Boyd