Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Billy Mitchell tinkered with the piano as a child but did not get serious about music until he entered Morehouse College. While pursuing a political science degree he joined the school jazz band and was soon playing gigs in and around Atlanta. In 1970 Mitchell moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career and was soon backing up such artists as Gloria Lynn, Ester Phillips, Randy Crawford and Linda Hopkins, to name a few.
The Billy Mitchell Group has appeared at many international festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Heineken World Music Festival, International Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks, and countless club appearances. His solo career has included appearances in film, most notably Clint Eastwood's "Bird." In 1999 America West Airlines awarded Mitchell the Jazz For The Next Generation Award for his continued work with young musicians. His work as a clinician has centered on his book, "The Gigging Musician" (Backbeat Books) based on interviews and his articles as a writer for Gig Magazine.
In 2002 Billy founded The Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy. This program is designed to increase participation of inner-city students in music and arts scholarship competitions. SAPPA works to develop the students' artistic and creative aptitude, ability, desire and skills toward the ultimate goal of applying for and winning arts competitions.
The Cat's Pajamas; Blue City Jam (1984); Night Theme (1987); Faces (1989); Live-All Night Long (1992); Passion (1997); In Focus (1999); Never Give Up On Love (2000)
Some articles that he wrote for Gig magazine are on his website