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Bill Anschell
File:Bill Anschell, at piano, from
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, USA
Genre(s) Jazz
Occupation(s) Pianist, composer,
musical director, band leader,
arranger, writer
Instrument(s) Piano
Years active 1982 to present
Label(s) Summit Records,
LoveCat Music
Website BillAnschell.com

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."

Contents

Performances

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.

Background

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.

Original compositions and recordings

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.

Publishing, radio, and TV works

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.

External links

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Bill Anschell, jazz pianist, performer, composer, arranger, band leader.'


Seattle native Bill Anschell recently returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after spending 25 years studying, composing, and performing across the country and around the world.

Anschell left Seattle after high school, studying for two years at Oberlin College (Ohio), then earning his Music Degree from Wesleyan University (Connecticut). At Wesleyan, Anschell worked closely with saxophone great Bill Barron. He also studied semi-privately with South Indian mrdangum master T Ranganathan, kindling a passion for rhythmic experimentation that has driven Anschell's music ever since.

After touring widely for several years, Anschell settled in Atlanta in 1989. He was initially drawn there by the opportunity to serve as Jazz Coordinator for the Southern Arts Federation (SAF), the regional arts agency of the South. Firing up SAFs jazz program virtually from scratch, Anschell launched a quarterly newsletter, established a regional jazz database, ran an annual jazz conference, published a book on grant-writing for jazz artists and organizations, and created JazzSouth, an internationally syndicated radio program. At night he dove headlong into the city's thriving jazz scene, working as a sideman with various groups and leading his own band, the Bill Anschell Trio.

By 1992, Anschell's performing itinerary had grown to the point where it demanded his full attention. He left the SAF post, continuing to produce JazzSouth out of his home while focusing on playing and composing. Over the next ten years, Anschell ascended the jazz ranks in Atlanta, leading his trio at major festivals and becoming a first-call accompanist for visiting jazz greats. His trios performing highlights included the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, the Montreux Atlanta Festival and four extensive international tours of South America.

During the same period, Anschell enjoyed a lengthy association with vocalist Nnenna Freelon, serving as her pianist, arranger, composer, and musical director. Among their many performing highlights were the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Monterrey Jazz Festival in California, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, and six European tours. Their concerts were broadcast on Radio France; French national television; and National Public Radio's JazzSet. Anschell made guest appearances as pianist and composer on two of Freelons early Columbia Records releases. He was featured as pianist and arranger throughout her 1996 Concord release "Shaking Free," which was nominated for a Grammy Award as the year's best jazz vocal recording.

Anschell was the featured artist in the December, 1997 issue of Jazz Player magazine, which included a "play-along" CD of his original music. His own CDs have earned critical acclaim and widespread airplay. Anschell's 1998 release, A Different Note All Together (Accurate Records), spent eight weeks in the top 50 for jazz airplay nationally, and was selected by United Press International (UPI) as one of the 10 Best jazz releases of the year. His 2001 CD, When Cooler Heads Prevail (Summit Records) spent eleven weeks on the charts, and received a full-page profile in JazzTimes.

Anschell has played and/or recorded with a host of jazz greats including Richard Davis, Ron Carter, Benny Golsen and Russell Malone. 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. The same year, his piano work was featured in the soundtrack of the PBS movie, Old Settler. Since 2003, Anschells original compositions have received widespread cable and
network exposure, appearing on programs including NBC's The West Wing and HBO's acclaimed series The Wire.


External links

  • jazz pianist Bill Anschell's website.
  • Richard Davis' website, musician and professor of bass, jazz history and combo improvisation.
  • jazz bassist Ron Carter's website.


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