Bill Kirchner

This month’s feature puts the spotlight on one of the most respected and well-rounded musicians I have encountered in my career.

Bill Kirchner is a jazz savant and an accomplished woodwind artist, composer, arranger, author, record/radio producer, educator, jazz historian and bandleader who has amassed a list of accomplishments and knowledge that is truly staggering. He is the acclaimed author of The Oxford Companion to Jazz (Best Jazz Book 2001) and A Miles Davis Reader. Among the many album liner notes that Bill has written, he received the 1996 Grammy for “Miles Davis and Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings” and the 1995 NAIRD Indie Award for the Smithsonian Collection’s “Big Band Renaissance: The Evolution of the Jazz Orchestra.”

Bill was the leader, composer and arranger for the highly successful Bill Kirchner Nonet which recorded 5 albums. He also has 4 solo albums to his credit with such artists as Mike Abene, Marc Copland, Harold Danko and Jackie Cain joining him. As a composer/arranger his works have been played and recorded by Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Konitz, The Smithsonian Jazz Ensemble, and Patti Austin, among others. Bill hosted the radio show “Jazz from the Archives” on WBGO- FM for 13 years and has been a revered teacher of jazz history, jazz styles, score analysis, arranging and composition at New School University, Manhattan School of Music and New Jersey City University. I could go on for quite a few pages about Bill but I think the reader would be best served by checking out this website and purchasing a number of Bill’s recordings and books. He is a musical force that deserves a great deal of attention.


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