It might be easier to say who Bill King hasn’t played with. Over the past half century, pianos seduced by this strapping lad from Indiana have backed up Linda Ronstadt, Janis Joplin, Martha Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, Ronnie Hawkins, John Allan Cameron, and Stan Rogers. And there are hundreds more he arranged for, composed for, backed up, and hung out with. With black and white; playing classical, jazz, rock, blues, soul, and boogie. On the East and West Coasts of the continent, in Europe, and Asia, Bill has been there.
His first teacher had been the “Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy’s keyboardist. In Greenwich Village in the 1980s he was the house piano player at Louis Jordan’s bar. He played on countless demo recordings at Atlantic records. He has been on some of the great concert stages around the world. Since moving to Canada in the 1970s he’s founded his own record label, published his own Jazz Magazine (Jazz Report), and is the musical director of the Beaches Jazz Festival, an annual event that attracts hundreds of thousands to a massive outdoor venue on Toronto’s waterfront.
Bill King continues to be active at a pace that would exhaust men half his age. Touring, recording, and producing.
The Department of Style caught up with him at a recording studio where he was working on his latest project. Bill King is not just a man of style. He is a man of many styles.