Bill Mays

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Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, 1905 Kentucky Ave, Winter Park

Pianist Bill Mays’ career as a professional musician spans the last 60 years and includes a multitude of musical endeavors. Following four years as a bandsman in the U.S. Navy Bill spent 15 years as a session player in the Hollywood studios. In 1984 he re-located to New York City, firmly establishing himself as an in-demand sideman and leader of his own ensembles. He has worked with jazz legends Benny Golson, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Gerry Mulligan, Bud Shank, Frank Sinatra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, and Phil Woods. His many recordings as a leader (solo, duo, trio and sextet) are well-documented on the Chiaroscuro, Concord, DMP, Palmetto, and Steeplechase record labels.

A prolific composer and arranger, Mays has written extended suites for bass, flute, woodwind septet, and pieces for big band and orchestra (New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Turtle Creek Chorale, WDR Big Band, U.S. Air Force Airmen Of Note). His latest recordings include Phil & Bill (with saxophonist Phil Woods), Side By Side: Sondheim Duos (with bassist Tommy Cecil), Front Row Seat (solo piano), Bill Mays Trio Live at COTA and Mays Plays Mays. His songs have been used in movies and television: Anamorph, Burn After Reading, Hamlet, Looker, Succession, The Fifth Estate and Tribeca. His keyboard work has been heard on hundreds of film soundtracks, among them Fargo, Fur, Godfather 2, Hail, Caesar!, Jaws 2, Julie & Julia, Rocky 2, Superman, The Big Lebowski, The Good Liar.

Mays has received rave reviews with the publication of his first book, Stories Of The Road, The Studios, Sidemen & Singers: 55 Years In The Music Biz.

Awards and Honors: • Arranger, pianist and producer on Grammy-nominated Bop For Kerouac (Mark Murphy/Muse)

• Pianist on Gold Album Paradise Cafe (Barry Manilow/Arista Records)

• “Talent Deserving Of Wider Recognition” in the piano category, Downbeat Magazine

• Nominated for “Most Valuable Player” Award, Los Angeles

• International Society of Bassists: “Friend Of The Bass”

• Performance grants from Meet The Composer, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, N.E.A., PennPAT

Jazz Festival/Jazz Society appearances: Brecon Jazz Festival, Calgary JF, C.O.T.A., Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Detroit JF, Duke Ellington Society, Frei JF, Gold Coast Jazz Society, Halifax JF, Honolulu JF, Jazz Baltica, JVC JF, Luzerne Music Festival, Mainly Mozart, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, Marciac JF, Montreal JF, Mt. Hood JF, Napa Valley JS, New Jersey JS, Oregon Coast Jazz Party, Oslo JF, Ottawa JF, Otter Crest, Paradise Valley JS, Pittsburgh JS, Playboy JF, Portland JF, Ravinia Festival, San Francisco JF, Saskatoon JF, Sedona Chamber Music, Steinway Society, Taipei JF, Tucson JS, Toronto JF, Vancouver JF, West Coast Jazz Party, Ystad JF, and 92nd St. “Y” Jazz in July.

University/clinic appearances: Berklee School, Brubeck Institute, Centrum Jazz Camp, Cornish Institute, IAJE, Ithaca College, JEN, Manhattan School of Music, U of Nevada, U of New Hampshire, New York U, U of North Texas, U of Oregon (Eugene), Palm Beach Atlantic U, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford U, U of So. Calif., William Paterson.

Charitable work: Aids Names Project, Big Brothers, Hospital Audiences, Jupiter Performing Arts Fund, Palm Beach Jazz Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, WJFF Radio