Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Ware, Bill (William A. Ware III)

Ware, Bill (William A. Ware III), vibraphonist, composer, arranger, producer; b. East Orange, New Jersey, 28 January 1959. His father is William A. Ware Jr., Orange, New Jersey, a saxophonist and his mother is Jacqueline Ware, Brooklyn, New York, an artist. His two sisters are Patricia Fitzgerald, clarinetist, pianist, singer and Cynthia Agee, artist and amateur flutist. After graduating from Columbia High School, he entered Montclair State University where he completed an Arts Degree (1982) majoring in Music Theory and Composition.

During his collage years, Bill also studied at the Harlem Jazzmobile Workshop under the direction of Dr. Billy Taylor. At the workshop, Bill had the opportunity to learn from many prominent Jazz educators including Barry Harris, Frank Foster and Jimmy Owens, and performed as a feature soloist in the Workshop Jazz Ensemble.

After graduating college, Bill was then invited to become an adjunct-faculty member of the Music Department at William Patterson College in New Jersey, where he enjoyed teaching Latin Jazz Bass. The Jazz Mobile Workshop also asked him to join their education team as a music theory tutor. Drawing from these varied experiences, he also continued teaching privately to students of all ages.

In addition to his studies and teaching, Bill continued to play professionally with numerous bands up and down the east coast. Then in 1986 with the assistance and tutelage of Cuban master drummer Roberto Borrell he put together a Latin Jazz band, AM Sleep. Together with associates from William Patterson College and the Workshop AM Sleep released their first album and toured the northeastern states.

The next year, 1987, Bill connected with Roy Nathanson and Curtis Fowlkes and became a charter member of jazz group The Jazz Passengers. This line up has continued for ten years, produced 7 CDis and toured extensively throughout Europe, The United States, Canada, and China.

As well as his work with the Jazz Passengers, Bill has achieved a reputation as a bassist and pianist on the Latin music circuit recording with artists including Roberto Borrell, Bobby Sanabria, and Chico Mendoza. 1990 saw B.Ware extend his experience and influence again when he joined up with a group of New York musicians and headed to Yokohama, Japan for a three-month engagement. From this collaboration Bill Ware and the Club Bird All Stars were born.

Upon moving from New Jersey to New York City, Ware began to investigate the emerging "acid  jazz" scene. From this scene, the band Groove Collective emerged including Bill and the horn section from Club Bird as charter members. After several months of gigging and touring, the Groove Collective was signed to a Warner Bros./Reprise record deal, produced by record producer Gary Katz. Katz recommended him to Donald Fagen who was looking for a percussionist to record and tour with his band Steely Dan. From 1993-1995 Bill toured and recorded as a percussionist with Steely Dan in the U.S. and Japan.

In 1995, an important addition to the numerous musical collaborations saw its birth in the Knitting Factory Tap Room's "Late Night Hang." This series features groups in a weekly format. Every Wednesday night, Bill along with fellow Jazz Passengers Brad Jones and E.J. Rodriguez began gigging under the banner "JP trio" (which is later changed to "Vibes").

1996 was distinguished by U.S. and European tours with the Jazz Passengers.

In 1997 tragedy struck Bill's life and a tumor was discovered in his spinal column. But thanks to the Jazz Fund of America he was back working after a 13-day recovery. Determined as ever he continued his feverish work tempo and produced his trio's first CD. He also toured China for the first time with the Jazz Passengers.

1998-99 saw the Jazz Passengers with Deborah Harry (which contains the trio as the rhythm section) touring both the U.S. and Europe. "Vibes" also distinguished the year performing itis first tour in Europe. His work continued with Groove Collective. They signed to a new label, Shanakie Records and the group produced 3 CDs. In 1999, Ware formed the Y2K Quartet.

From 2000-2001, he did extensive touring throughout USA and Europe with Groove Collective. Orchestral work, commissioned work- Jazz Passengers w/ Deborah Harry and The Buffalo Philharmonic 9 original arrangement/orchestrations, 1 concert conducted by Randall Craig Fleisher.  He played 1 week at Sweet Basil w/ JP's and the Montreaux festival in Atlanta GA, Bottom Line w/singer/song writer Phil Roy.

In 2002, a performance of "Imitation of A Kiss," 10 orchestral pieces w/Jazz Passengers, Deborah Harry and The BBC Concert Orchestra (Conducted by Robert Ziegler), occurred at the Barbican Center in London, England. He also completed Double Concerto for Vibraphone and Piano and completed his 3rd Symphony (4 movements).

He has performed with The Jazz Passengers, Steely Dan, Groove Collective, Y2K Jazz Quartet, Lenny Picket, Victoria Williams, Vibes, Jerome Harris Quintet, Club Bird All-stars, Carlos Garnett Quartet, Valerie Naranho Quartet, Bobby Sanabria Ascension, Reynaldo Jorge Orchestra, Vibraharp Industrial Park, La Exclusiva, Peter Moffit Band, Chico Mendoza Orchestra, Mike Katz Quartet, and A.M. Sleep.

Jazz Passengers: Broken Night Red Light (1988), Dearranged & Decomposed (1989), Implement Yourself (1990); Roy Nathanson Quartet: Little Fred (1990); Jazz Passengers: Live at the Knit (1991); Yerar: Musica, Poeta y Salsero (1992); Club Bird All-Stars: Long & Skinny (1993); Jazz Passengers: Plain Old Joe (1993); Groove Collective: Groove Collective (1994);  Ce Ce Peniston: Thought 'Ya Knew (1994); Groove Thing: The Adventure (1994); Jazz Passengers: Jazz Passengers in Love (1994), Cross the Street (1995); Jerome Harris: Hidden In Plain View (1995); Teen (1995); Repercussions: Heaven and Earth (1995); Steely Dan: Alive in America (1995); Groove Collective: We The People (1996); Groove Thing: This is No Time... (1996); Jazz Passengers: Individually Twisted (1996), Live in Spain (1997); Vibes: Vibes (1997); Soul Bossa Trio: In Native (1997); Groove Collective: Dance of the Drunken Master (1998); John Lurie: African Swim and Manny & Lo (1998); Y2KJQ: Keeping Up with the Jones' (1999); Vibes: With Drawn (1999); Lee Feldman: The Man in a Jupiter Hat (2000); Groove Collective: DeClassified (2000); Roy Nathanson: Fire at Keaton's Bar & Grill; Vibes: Liebe Tunina (2000), Four (2001); Groove Colelctive: It's All in Your Mind (2001); Janis Siegel: I Wish You Love (2001); Bill Ware Marc Ribot Duo: Sir Duke (2001)

Arranged and recorded  2 Songs for Producer Hal Wilner for Harold Arlen tribute movie featuring Deborah Harry and  Canadais Rene Lee; Co-wrote 3 movie scores w/partner Roy Nathanson (1) documentary "Chant of Paradise" Shoshana Perry,(2) comedy "Martin and Orloff" Larry Bloom  (3) drama "Long Way Home" Peter Sollet; recorded film score "Excess Baggage" with John Lurie

Television broadcasts:
Appeared on David Letterman Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Contact information:
106 Norfolk St. #23 New NY 10002  tel. 212 674 9065 email Bware59@Yahoo.com

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