Guest Lecturer (Jazz Piano, Jazz Voice)
On Faculty since 2005
Bradley Williams, like Coleman Hawkins, hails from Topeka, Kansas, and has been performing professionally since the age of 16. After attending North Texas State University, he recorded and traveled internationally as pianist/arranger with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd in the mid-80's. He settled in Chicago and served as musical director and accompanist at the city’s legendary Gold Star Sardine Bar cabaret. In 1995, the pianist founded his jazz variety show, the Original 21st Century Review, featuring seven musicians, three vocalists and a tap dancer.
His various ensembles perform at Oak Park's Unity Temple, the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago and appear at the Jazz Showcase, Pops for Champagne, Toulouse on the Park, Green Dolphin Street, and the Bop Shop. He’s been featured regularly at The Plaza Tavern in Chicago's downtown theater district and at The Chicago Hilton and Towers Jazz Brunch.
Bradley Williams’ eleven-piece 21st Century Review performed at The Jerusalem Jazz Festival and traveled to India for performances in Mumbai (Bombay) and New Delhi. Williams’ band, compositions and voice are the soundtrack of the recent Chicago film, Wrigley Field: Beyond the Ivy, available on CD.
The pianist’s first trio record, The Next Sound You Hear, was released in 1994. His subsequent CDs with the Original 21st Century Review include Songs for Swinging Sophisticates, Volumes 1 and 2, and Show Boat. Also, singing along with Vocalist Gingi Lahera and his trio, "Two Fun for Jazz."
His Trio and Quartet have appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival and The Ravinia Festival. As a sideman, he has shared the stage with Joe Henderson, Nat Adderley, Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, and David Liebman.
Williams has, in addition, served as co-host of the internationally syndicated public radio series, Words and Music, broadcast over Chicago’s WFMT (98.7 FM) and The Radio Networks along with the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.