Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Williams, Larry (Andrew)
Williams, Larry (Andrew), trumpeter, composer, arranger, bandleader, b. Highland Falls, NY Feb 7, 1955 in the West Point Academy Hospital. His father, James Wilmon Williams, also a trumpeter -born in Georgia in 1916, died 2004-, moved the family to Orlando, Florida in 1962 while completing his military term in Greenland. His mother (born Roberta Liu in Hunan China in 1927, raised Larry, his older brother Lou, b.1953 in Taiwan, and younger sister Lena, b. 1956 in Okinawa- until their father returned in 1965.
Larry began playing the trumpet at eight years old, taking lessons first from his father, until he joined the high school band at Oviedo Florida. He won the scholastic Outstanding Musicianship award three years in a row, 1970-72, was selected for the 1st chair in the Florida All-State Bands 1970, and held the principal trumpet chair for the Florida Youth Symphony 1970-72. During this period Larry received his private instruction from tutors, Willie Thomas, Jazz, Anyone?- 1969-1970, David G. Sapp- Florida Symphony, 1970-71, and Charles Gottschalk -Florida Symphony 1971-72 . Ira Sullivan, who Williams first met in 1978, would later become Larry's jazz "finishing school." "I call Ira my 'Jazz Finishing School' in a metaphoric sense, because just being on the stand with him is the greatest learning experience I've ever had." His first gig, however, was playing in the pit orchestra for the play, "Anything Goes" at Rollins College 1971, when he was only 15. Larry became the youngest Musicians Union member at that time. Later that year he performed in the 1076-piece marching band for the grand opening of the Disney Magic Kingdom theme park.
A completely self-taught composer and arranger, Larry's passion for composition would begin to develop after enlisting into a US Army Band - while stationed in Germany in the Berlin Brigade 298th Army Band, 1974-75, then the 3rd Infantry Division Band, Wurzburg, 1975-77 - and gigging with his own combos at the Palace" (Berlin) and the "Omnibus (Wurzburg). He performed for the Festival of Bands at the Deutschland Haller 1975, the Rose of Tralee' Festival in Ireland 1976, and the 100-Mile March event in Nijmegen, Holland 1977.
After his military term, Larry went on the road with various pop-touring acts doing the "Holiday-Inn circuit- 1977-1981 then returned to his home in Orlando and would work for the Walt Disney Co. at various stints 1981-1985 and 1992-94. With pals, Mark Piszczek and Christopher Cortez, Larry helped form the Rhythm Method band and played at the Kool Jazz Festival 1986, then at the Orlando Jazz Fest 1987 with his own group, the Leading Brand. Larry then joined Princess Cruises (1990-1991) (1995-98) and while sailing around the world, backed up various entertainers like: Fred Travelena, Red Buttons, Mary Wilson, Yakhov Smirnov, the Fifth Dimension, Norm Crosby, Jack Jones, and others.
Larry has resided in Los Angeles, CA since 1999, is now married to sweetheart Eileina Dennis (whom he had met in Rome, Italy at a McDonald's).
The Rhythm Method Band: Under the Wire (1986); Evelyn and Jesse Stone: It's My Time (1987); Richard Drexler and Dave Liebman: The Drexler Vocal Project (1991); Mouse and the Toy Band: You Betta Watch Out (1996); Jumpin' Joz Band: Swing Dance Party (2000); Norm Stockton: Pondering the Sushi (2001); Jon Bare and the Killer Whales: Orcastra (2001); Get Out: Their Self-Titled Debut Album (2001); BEJO: Tthe Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra (2002); Tim Davies Big Band: Epic (2002); Michael Andrew and Swingerhead: Destination Moon (2002), Pays Tribute to Frank Sinatra (2002); Robert Kyle: Doors (2003); Leslie Paula: It's a Latin Thing (2004); Jon Hartmann: Pacific Electric (2004); Elvis Schoenberg's Orchestre Surreal: It's Alive (2004)
Emotional (1988); A Time To Play (featuring Ira Sullivan) (1994); And The Angels Were Dancing (1996); Tapestry (2000); Works for Piano and Other Instruments (2001); The Bridge (2002)
Films and television broadcasts:
1986: Ernest Saves Christmas; 2001: "Friends," "ER," "JAG," "Providence," "Heartbreakers"