Billy Williams, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, began playing drums at the age of ten at the Brotherly Love Church of God in Christ in Norfolk, VA under the leadership of his grandfather, Pastor Wilbert R.Miller. His mother, the church Minister of Music, watched him closely and nurtured his gift. Now, 28 and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Billy has had the opportunity to travel the world extensively as a performer and educator.
Billy has had the opportunity to perform with many master musicians including: Larry Willis, Steve Davis, Justin Kauflin, Cyrus Chestnut, Delfeayo Marsalis, Warren Wolf, Tim Warfield, Terell Stafford, Ellis Marsalis, Christian McBride, Jon Faddis, Benny Golson, Gary Bartz, Peter Washington, Nat Reeves, and many others.
His talents have afforded him the chance to perform in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and The Village Vanguard in New York City; The Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in Washington, DC; Duc Des Lombards in Paris, France; The A-Trane in Berlin, Germany; Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Blue Note Milano in Milan, Italy; Umbria Jazz in Perugia, Italy; Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland; Porgy and Bess in Vienna, Austria; Jazz at Lincoln Center in Doha, Qatar; and Marian’s Jazz Room in Bern, Switzerland amongst many others.
As an educator, Billy has been featured as a Jazz Studies Artist-In-Residence at Duke University in Durham, NC, Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT, The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, JazzSTL in St. Louis, Missouri, and at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA.
Billy can currently be seen touring with The Terell Stafford Quintet and The Justin Kauflin Trio, amongst many others. More information can be found at:
Fun Fact: Billy’s drum and cymbal sound was completely and thoroughly sampled for use for “Straight Ahead! Jazz Drums" and “Straight Ahead! Jazz Brushes and Mallets" sample libraries. The library contains samples, loops, and grooves to allow users to use authentic jazz drum sounds.