Charles Williams and Genre
Charles D. Williams is a native of Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Williams has played piano for over 40 years. He studied under Mr. Leon Brady at Sumner High School and supplemented this training with musical studies under the tutelage of the late Mr. Reginald Buckner.Mr. Williams was a member of the award-winning Sumner Jazz Band that also attended the Paris International Jazz festival in Paris France in 1972, and was auspiciously judged to be “the best High School Band in the World.”
As a trombonist, Mr. Williams also had the pleasure of participating in the Turner House Jazz series in the 70′s – having opportunity to play with such great jazz artist as: Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Roy Ayers, Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, Ernie Wilkins, Rich Matteson, and many more.
As a pianist, Mr. Williams has accompanied many legendary artist such as: Sonny Kenner, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Queen Bey, Angela Hagenbach, Sharon Thompson, The McFadden Brothers, Bobby Watson, Dr. Wayne Goins (Jazz Director at KSU), Richard Ross, and many more. He toured in Brazil in 1998, where he accompanied jazz singer Queen Bey and the internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist, Arthur Blythe; served as the accompanist musician for the KC Boys Choir from 1997-2000; and, was a featured artist for the 2004 and 2005 Swing Series Concert seasons at the Manhattan Arts Center in Manhattan KS. Recently, he was featured at Kansas City’s Rhythm and Ribs Jazz Festival in 2006.
As a Gospel Artist and Minister of Music for several local churches in the greater Kansas City area, his work over the years includes serving as Musical Director for the gospel group, “Blessed Through Christ” under the leadership of Mr. Randall Fears. And, in 2003 the Women of Worship GMWA Choir of Tampa, Florida chose to feature one of his original composition works titled: “JESUS, WE GIVE YOU THE PRAISE” at The 36th Annual National Convention of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc.
Today, Mr. Williams performs with his own ensembles; while also serving as the pianist for both, the Louis Neal Orchestra (Louis Neal, director) and The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra (Jim Mair, director); and, he also performs regularly as keyboardist with widely renowned singer, Ida McBeth. In the supplemental areas of music education, community service and artistic outreach, Mr. Williams has established a Keyboard Academy where he teaches students to play keyboard during various weekly music instruction programs.
“I believe in sharing my gift with others so that it will be passed on with the hope that they would do the same thing.” ~ Charles D. Williams