Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Bernard, Will, guitar; b. Berkeley, California, 27 July 1959. He started playing guitar and piano around age 10 and started playing in rock bands when he was 13. His musical interests broadened to include jazz, international, avant garde and contemporary classical and were aided by his involvement with the renowned Berkeley High jazz program and the Berkeley Center for World Music.
Will studied composition at S.F. State and U.C. Berkeley. During this period he studied composition with Andrew Imbrie, Alauddin Mathieu, Henry Onderdonk, and Art Lande; guitar with Dave Creamer and Rani Cochran, and piano with Julian White.
Since the start of his professional life, he has been performing and recording with a multitude of bands including Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, Don Cherry, Rinde Eckert, Jai Uttal, Steve Yerkey, Click Dark and President's Breakfast, Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra, Persian, and Klezmer bands, and a short stint with the Disposable Heros of Hiphoprisy. He has performed with Midnight Voices (featured on MTVs Real World), Funkbone, Dyzjoint, The Peter Apfelbaum Sextet, Papa's Culture and Alphabet Soup. He has 20 album credits to his name.
In 1997 he was signed as a leader to Antilles/Polygram. He is a founding member of Pothole which is signed to Intuition Records, and is a member of the Grammy nominated group T.J.Kirk.
His work in other areas includes commercial work (Sega Genesis etc.), and theater (guitarist in A.C.T.'s 1993 production of "The Duchess of Malfi" and the 1995 premier of John Adams' opera "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky").
As a composer, Will has worked in a wide range of media, from chamber music to rock bands, industrial and hip hop influenced electronic music, jazz groups and big bands and soundtrack music. He has worked on several television and film projects. He is also partners in Big Hut Productions which is a recording studio/production company.
The Up & Down Sessions (1993); Medicine Hat (1998)
Don Cherry: Multi Kulti (1990); Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble: Signs Of Life (1991), Jodoji Brightness (1992); Trance Mission: Trance Mission (1993); Rinde Eckert: Finding My Way Home (1993), Do The Day Over (1995); Mo Dark And The Love Posse: McGarrett Is A Verb (1993); Click Dark And Presidents Breakfast: Doo Process (1995); President's Breakfast with Don Byron: Barbecue Dali (1996); T.J. Kirk: T. J. Kirk (1995), If Four Was One (1996); Peter Apfelbaum Sextet: Luminous Charms (1996); Pothole: Dirty Picnic (1998)