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Will Boyd

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. Through a chance encounter with saxophonist Patrick Langham (Brubeck institute) would lead him to Knoxville TN.

Will moved to Knoxville in early 2000s, and enrolled into the University of TN program where he would receive his Masters of Jazz Studies. During this period Will worked with many local soul, blues and jazz bands, while also studying and performing with prominent jazz educators saxophonist, author Jerry Coker (Woody Herman), South African free jazz artist Zim Ngqawana, and pianist, composer, producer Donald Brown (Art Blakey Jazz Messengers).

Since then, Will has had the opportunity to perform with many artists across genres including Leslie Odom Jr (Hamilton), Wycliffe Gordon (Lincoln Center), Doc Severinsen (Tonight Show), Crissy Collins (Beyonce), Chris Blue (The Voice), Glen Jones, Jeff Coffin (Bella Fleck, Dave Mathews), Rick Simerly, Blanch McCallister- Dykes (Donald Lawrence), Elise Testone (American Idol), Amy Bormet, Laura Theadore, Dave Eggar, Regina Carter, Four Tops, Tommy Dorsey, and Harry James big band. He is also on recordings which include artists such as Nicholas Payton, Michael Dease, Greg Tardy, Bobby Lyle, Jonathan Scales, Eric Reed, Carmon Bradford, Chris Potter, Jeremy Pelt, Tim Green, Russell Gunn and Darryl Hall. Will has performed at many music festivals from Big Ears in Knoxville TN, to Peter Barakan's It's Magic in Tokyo JP.

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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. The band gives a hip Crescent City beat to the fervent “…Spirit” while delving into a deep and rich modal mood for “Go Down Moses.” Boyd’s baritone sax takes you to a Memphis house of worship for “August Eighth” while his bass clarinet is a balm in Gilead for the flowing “Deep River.” Boyd brings his alto sax into a trio mode with accompaniment by Lyle on organ and Brown’s drum for a gospel beat of “Keep Your Hand On The Plow” with the whole band shuffling down the pews on June Teenth.” Stick around for the Bible study! George W. Harris Jazz Weekly, November 21 2019

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

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Soulful Noise

Will Boyd Music
2021

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Freedom, Soul, Jazz

Will Boyd Music
2019

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Will Boyd Live at the...

Will Boyd Music
2018

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Tenors and Satin

Independent
2010

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Dreams of Muroran

Independent
2008

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https://soundcloud.com/user-65918612/02-will-boyd-every-time-i-feel-the-spirit

Mr. Mac

From: Soulful Noise
By Will Boyd

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