- B.A., University of South Carolina
Jazz saxophonist and woodwind artist Bill King is a dynamic musician who has performed throughout the world including the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
King grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, where he studied music at the Greenville Fine Arts Center. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education/performance certificate from the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force.
In March 2009, King retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) bands after 21 years where he was a woodwind specialist. During 14 of those years King was the music director of the Jazz bands at USAF Band of the Golden West, USAF Reserve Band, USAF in Europe Band and the USAF Band of the West. He was responsible for commissioning hundreds of compositions and arrangements as well as producing numerous recording projects. He also performed in the concert band on clarinet, flute, and bassoon while often being featured as a classical saxophone soloist.
Currently based in San Antonio, King established himself by playing with some of the area’s best bands including the San Antonio Jazz Orchestra, Gerry Gibb’s “Thrasher’ Big Band, The Paul Elizondo Orchestra, The Mambo Kings and Henry Brun’s Latin Players. His skill on a variety of woodwind instruments is on display in many of the “Broadway across America” productions at the famous Majestic Theater in San Antonio. He is the founder and music director of the King William Jazz Collective, a 12-piece all-star band performing monthly at the local jazz showcases Carmen’s De La Calle and Luna Live.
Over the years, King has performed and recorded with many of the jazz greats to include Arturo Sandoval, Jon Faddis, Chris Potter, Ernie Watts, Marvin Stamm, Manhattan Transfer, Eddie Daniels, Rufus Reid, Ellis Marsallis, Jason Marsallis and Michael Abene. He also backed such musical pop stars as Johnny Mathis, Petula Clark, Clint Black, Faith Hill, The Temptations and Winnona Judd.
In 2010, King produced, arranged and performed on the CD release, Feelin’ Alright with Johnny P and the Wiseguys. Noted jazz critic and author, Scott Yanow wrote, “Bill King emerges as most valuable player with excellent solos on tenor, alto, soprano and alto flute.”
King has also performed with Eddie Palmeri, Jeff Coffin, Franky Vasquez, The Temptations, Four Tops, the OJays. Frankie Valli and Four Seasons, Kristen Chenoweth and The Lionel Hampton All Star Big Band with Diane Shurr and Jason Marsalis. He was also a clinician adjudicator for the 2013 Longhorn Jazz Festival at the University of Texas and the 2014 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho.
In 2013 and 2014, King released two jazz albums: “Debut” The Bill King Quartet and the self-titled “King William Jazz Collective.” “The King William Jazz Collective” has attained #20 on the Jazz Week Charts and #5 on The Roots Music report (both are National radio airplay charts).
King offers private lessons and master classes for flute, clarinet and saxophone.