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About Bill Emery

A baby boomer born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, his first musical influence was Lawrence Welk and as a child was exposed to concert and marching bands by his older brother, Cliff, and great music of the big band era by his dad, Wilbur.
 
His first music instrument was an accordion on which he taught himself to read music. In elementary school Bill started playing tuba and attended band camps on scholarships in addition to being selected to several honor bands. During his high school years he learned to play dixieland with the Pig's Eye Traditional and Computer Jass Society and played with that group at local clubs and concert venues in the Minneapolis and St Paul area and also played with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony Orchestras.
 
During his junior year of high school Bill was awaken to a new voice within him upon seeing the Stan Kenton Orchestra in concert at the historic Prom Ballroom in St Paul Minnesota. A similar experience followed when the big bands of Count Basie and the Buddy Rich passed through town. 
The following summer he self-taught himself bass trombone and began his journey into the jazz world with the influences of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Charlie Parker, Roswell Rudd, Albert Manglesdorf, Sun Ra, Louis Armstrong, Anthony Braxton, Fletcher Henderson, Blood Sweat & Tears, Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Mose Allison, and many, many others.
After high school he studied ethnomusicology and played both bass trombone and tuba at the University of Minnesota and in the summer of 1976 he attended Stan Kenton's Orchestra in Residence program at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri.
The road beckoned Bill in 1977 when The Space Trio, with Mark Bushaw (alto sax), embarked through the western United States. Bill landed in Dallas, Texas for a while and played regularly with Mick Rainford's Jazz Couriers until he was hired to go back on the road with the John Stafford's Big Band Sound.
 
After the Stafford group completed its road touring in 1979 Bill returned to school to pursue music studies, first at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Balinese Gamelan, Jazz under Richard Davis, Trombone with Dr William Richardson, and played local clubs with Jason Weil. 
 
 
He relocated back to Dallas, Texas where he received a degree in commercial music at Cedar Valley College, studying with Rus Benjamin and Roger Dismore, and then received a bachelor's degree with honors in music performance and a K-12 music teaching license at the University of Texas at Dallas, studying performance under Peter Vollmers, trombone under Kim Corbett, musicology under Ralph Dudgeon, and composition and theory with Robert Rodriguez (Composer in Residence for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra). He performed weekly with Mick Rainford's Jazz Couriers, with Alan Glascock's Orchestra (playing monthly dances for the Dallas Swing Society), Rus Benzamin, Dennis Gonzales, and led his own jazz group, The Colored Music Ensemble, with Burnett Anderson (trumpet) and Gerard Bendiks (drums).

After taking a number of years off from music and moving his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado, he was given leadership of the Verne Rice Orchestra and reinvented that band as the NEW CENTURY Big Band.
Since 2002 he has been very active with many of Colorado's finest musicians and vocalists and producing the annual Starlight New Year's Eve Balls and the monthly Big Band Sunday Series.
THE BILL EMERY BAND
, numbering from 4 to 17 players has been featured at the Woodland Park Big Band Bash, and has been hired for numerous private events from wedding parties, events at the Air Force Academy, to large convention events.
In addition, Bill has worked with the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale as an arranger and performer
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is the trombonist and vocalist in Claude Wiatrowski's bands, Planet Polka and Tune Train.     
                   
 
 
 Bill plays a vintage 1957 King 3-B tenor trombone and a King Flugelbone.
   
 
Other musicians/groups Bill has played with:
Lenny Flicek Old Tyme Polka Band, Savage, MN
Pigs Eye Computer Jass Society, St. Paul,MN (Jim Torok, leader)
Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra, Minneapolis, MN
Full Moon Jazz Collective, Minneapolis, MN (with Todd Harper-Piano, Bill Lang-Tenor Sax, Dan Boling-Guitar)
The Space Trio (with Mark Bushaw-Alto sax)
Jazz Couriers, Dallas, TX (Mick Rainford, leader/Tenor Sax, Burnett Anderson-Trumpet)
Kings In Exile, Dallas, TX (Dennis Gonzales, leader)
John Stafford Big Band Sound, on the road, USA
Alan Glascock Orchestra, Dallas, TX
Larry Tews Lutheran Brass Quintet, Dallas, TX
Rus Benjamin Orchestra, Dallas, TX
Richardson Texas Community Concert Band (Pete Vollmers, director)
Colorado Springs Community Concert and Brass Band (Floyd Frame, director)
Dick Cunico's Little Big Band, Colorado Springs, CO
Claude Wiatrowski's Planet Polka/Tune Town, Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, Colorado Springs, CO (Marcia Hendricks, Executive Director)


                                                            
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