Michael Williams

Professor
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617 747-8227

"There really is no typical Berklee student. Everybody's unique and different, and they come in with their own areas that they're pretty comfortable in and areas that need work. My job as a teacher is to help people achieve what they're looking for. I ask students what they're hoping to do, and I try to work with them in their areas of interest, but I also try to find areas that need extra strengthening, above and beyond the proficiency that everybody has to master. I try to take it to the next level for my students."

"I see a lot of people who are interested in blues and jazz, and those are the main areas that I love to work in. Students come in who are already blues players, wanting to work on elements of jazz, and students come in who are jazz or rock players, wanting to get more blues into their playing. I try to make students as complete as I can all-around, on guitar skills, rhythm guitar playing, and soloing. If they're interested in playing over changes, we work on that; if they want to get more into real, straight blues, I'm happy to go in that direction, as well. We dedicate a good amount of lesson time each week toward the personal strengths of the style or styles students are interested in."

"I recommend coming to Boston for the number of contacts students can make, the sheer number of other students here. But I also think the guitar faculty we have at Berklee is the most well-versed, diverse, and talented faculty at the largest contemporary music school in the world. The different styles are represented better at our college than students are going to find anywhere else."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Blues and jazz guitarist
  • Performed extensively throughout the United States and Canada as a member of Grammy-winner James Cotton's blues band and with many other artists, including David "Fathead" Newman, Mighty Sam McClain, the Bruce Katz Band, Sugar Ray Norcia, Darrell Nulisch, Toni Lynn Washington, Michelle Willson, Jerry Portnoy, the Love Dogs, blues piano virtuoso David Maxwell, and his own band, Michael Williams and Friends
  • Performed on James Cotton's CD, 35th Anniversary Jam, which won a W.C. Handy Award and received a Grammy nomination for the Best Traditional Blues Album in 2003
  • Performed on Bruce Katz's 2004 release, A Deeper Blue
  • Playing, songwriting, and arranging featured on Michelle Willson's CD So Emotional, which earned a four-star review in Down Beat magazine
  • Released Late Night Walk (Blue Tempo Records), which features ten original compositions with guest artists David "Fathead" Newman on tenor sax, Sugar Ray Norcia on vocals, and Bruce Katz on Hammond B3 organ and piano
  • Jingles for radio and television, as well as exten ded tours throughout Europe with jazz and theater groups