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| File:Bill Anschell, at piano, from|
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Occupation(s)||Pianist, composer, musical director, band leader, arranger, writer|
|Years active||1982 to present|
|Label(s)||Summit Records, LoveCat Music|
Jazz pianist/composer Bill Anschell has recorded four albums of his own original compositions, and performed or recorded with a host of other top jazz players including Lionel Hampton, Nnenna Freelon, Tierney Sutton, Russell Malone, Richard Davis, Russell Gunn, Ron Carter, and many other greats. His original compositions and piano work are prominently featured on Freelon's Grammy Award-nominated recording Shaking Free (Concord Records) and her CBS recordings Heritage and Listen. In 2002 Anschell moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Seattle, Washington where he performs with both local and visiting jazz legends. In February 2006 he won the "Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year" Golden Ear Award (Earshot Jazz), and in January 2007 his trio received a Golden Ear as the "Northwest Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year."
Anschell has performed in premiere jazz festivals and clubs throughout the United States and abroad, leading his band, the Bill Anschell Trio, and as pianist, composer and musical director for vocalist Nnenna Freelon and others. His concert credits include six European tours and four South American tours, involving over 100 performances ranging from the Nice Jazz Festival in France to the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. Anschell has performed thousands of concerts in the United States, from the Monterey Jazz Festival in California to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. His performances have been widely broadcast on radio and television including National Public Radio's JazzSet, hosted by Branford Marsalis. Anschell's Seattle-based Wellstone Conspiracy trio includes Jeff Johnson on bass and John Bishop on drums; his 2006 CD also features bassist Doug Miller, drummer Jose Martinez, saxophonist Rich Cole, and trumpeter Tom Marriott.
Anschell grew up in the Seattle area. He attended Oberlin College and Wesleyan University and received a music degree from Wesleyan in 1982. At Wesleyan, he studied composition privately with Bill Barron; and South Indian rhythmic theory with T. Ranganathan. He later spent three years in Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked with legendary bassist Richard Davis.
From 1989 to 2002 Anschell was based out of Atlanta, both as a bandleader and as a coordinator for the Southern Arts Federation for visiting and resident jazz artists. During that period the Bill Anschell Trio appeared in leading events across the Southeast, including the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto. In 2001, he was selected by the American Composers Forum for its “Composer-in-the-Schools” program; his residency included a commissioned piece for chamber orchestra.
Anschell released his debut album, Rhythm Changes, in 1995 (Consolidated Artists Productions), and was praised by reviewers for his composing, arranging, and piano playing on the disc. He appeared as the featured artist in the December, 1997 issue of Jazz Player magazine, which included a "play-along" CD of his original music.
Anschell's follow-up album, A Different Note All Together, was released in 1998 by Accurate Records. The album spent eight weeks in the top 50 for jazz airplay nationally, and was named by United Press International (UPI) as one of the "10 Best" jazz releases of the year.
Anschell's 2001 album, When Cooler Heads Prevail (Summit Records) is the first recording to feature him exclusively in the trio format. It spent eleven weeks on the national radio airplay charts, and received a full-page profile in JazzTimes.
More to the Ear Than Meets the Eye, Anschell's latest album, was released October 17, 2006 by Origin Records.
Anschell is also widely known for his work as a writer and producer. He has written reviews and feature articles for numerous arts periodicals and is the author of two books: Jazz In the Concert Setting, published by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; and a manual for jazz grant-writing, Who Can I Turn To?, published by the Southern Arts Federation (SAF). He is the creator and producer of SAF's JazzSouth, an innovative radio program broadcast on more that 200 stations internationally from 1992–2002.
His musical compositions have been featured on several network and cable programs including NBC's The West Wing, FX's Damages, HBO's The Wire, and the soundtrack of the PBS movie Old Settler. Many of Anschell's original compositions are published by LoveCat Music.