The rhythms of the samba and the bossa nova...are so seductive and sensual to my ears.
Will has been playing music since the age of 6, starting on piano and taking up guitar at age 12. Mandolin and bass soon followed, and he’s been leading bands since he was thirteen. He studied at Middlebury College in Vermont and discovered a deep connection with the rural landscape there. “Vermont called to me immediately as the place I wanted to call home… I love to travel, and I love returning to these Green Mountains.”
His travels have taken him to Rio, Paris and the Caribbean as well as all over the U.S. and Canada, playing rock and roll, folk, bluegrass, Brazilian music, and jazz. His bands have opened for Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Maynard Ferguson, John McLaughlin and Toots Thielemans. He has shared the stage with Roy Eldridge and Mose Allison and is featured on many recordings as a bassist and mandolinist. During the last twenty years he has been visiting and playing in Paris, and his collaborations with legendary gypsy guitarist Ninine Garcia as documented on his recordings have received critical acclaim both in the U.S. and abroad.
He has also had a lifelong passion for Brazilian music. ” The rhythms of the samba and the bossa nova and the sound of the Portuguese language are so seductive and sensual to my ears. And the spirit of the Brazilian soul, as expressed in the music, is very moving.” He has been exploring the music known as choro with his band Estrela do Norte, and the group plays many of his original compositions in this genre. The music features eloquent Portuguese melodies set against a harmonic backdrop of American jazz and propelled by the powerful rhythms of Brazil.
His recordings, made with his long time working ensemble as well as guest artists such as Ninine, have all been very well reviewed nationally and have been heard on folk, World and jazz radio shows all across America, as well as on NPR. There is a wide variety of styles represented on the CDs but the music is unified by the sound of the mandolin, violin, guitar and string bass. There are some cuts that bring to mind a smoky Parisian bistro, while others evoke a shady plaza in the heart of Bahia.
“I’ve been very fortunate in being able to play the music I love, and to find wonderful, inspired musicians to play with. The response has been really heartening.”