Berklee BeanTown Jazz FestivalYoron Israel/Bill Pierce Quintet: Tribute to James Williams
Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is a gifted and sought-after musician whose exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional talents, are spotlighted throughout his recordings. His recordings have received enthusiastic praise from journalists, musical peers, and fans alike. They represent the extensive depth of Israel's musicianship as he continues to evolve as a leader. He brings his unique influences and experiences in jazz, world styles, gospel, contemporary Christian, funk, R&B, and orchestral idioms full circle with his compositions, arrangements, repertoire, and ensemble concept: "Music to be enjoyed by all."
Renowned saxophonist and educator Bill Pierce will perform at this Jazz at the Arsenal concert. Pierce, chair of Berklee’s Woodwinds Department, is a 1972 Berklee College of Music graduate who has appeared with artists such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In 1980, he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, serving as music director and sharing the bandstand with other talented musicians such as Donald Harrison, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Bobby Watson.
After three years of recording and touring with Blakey, Pierce joined Berklee’s Woodwind Department while remaining active in both the Boston and New York scenes and regularly performing with the Freddie Hubbard Quintet. In 1985, Pierce joined the Tony Williams Quintet. He made five recordings with Williams and toured Europe, Asia, and America. He has also recorded several albums under his own name for the Sunnyside label. Since 1999, Pierce has been a member of the Kevin Eubanks Quartet, which has released five recordings. In addition to his many performances and recordings, Pierce is an internationally recognized music educator who has presented clinics in Europe, Asia, and South America as well as throughout the United States.
Pianist James Williams channeled the gospel and R&B influences of his youth into a soulful, deeply expressive approach to contemporary jazz. A gifted soloist and accompanist, he was also a respected producer and educator.