Guitarist Will Bernard, a Berkeley, CA native and Brooklyn NY transplant, studied guitar and piano from an early age with Dave Creamer, Art Lande and Julian White, later developing an interest in classical music composition. He received a degree in music from UC Berkeley where he studied with Andrew Imbrie and others. He began playing and recording on an international level as a member of Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble, who made their recorded debut with Don Cherry on “Multikulti” (A&M 1989). Since then, Bernard has participated in a host of boundary stretching groups, ranging from jazz, hip-hop and world music to experimental music, with many stops in between.
In the 90’s Bernard recorded and performed with many projects under the direction of acclaimed producer Lee Townsend, and worked with groups ranging from the Hindustani-influenced Jai Uttal to the political hip-hop group the Coup. The most commercially successful of these projects was the group T.J. Kirk (with Charlie Hunter) whose sophomore album “If Four Was One” was nominated for a Grammy in 1997. Will made further inroads with the Stanton Moore Trio which toured extensively and made 3 albums on Telarc and a Hal Leonard drum instructional video and book. Bernard broke out as a bandleader in 1998 with the release of “Medicine Hat” (Antilles/Polygram), showcasing his expert chops and flair for funky, bottom-heavy soul-jazz. He then followed up with two self produced albums (“Motherbug” and “Directions To My House”), before making two albums on Palmetto Records (“Party Hats” and “Blue Plate Special”). “Party Hats” garnered a nomination for a Grammy Award in 2008 for best contemporary jazz album. The all-star “Blue Plate Special” includes performances by Stanton Moore, Andy Hess and John Medeski.
In 2011, Bernard released an organ trio record titled “Outdoor Living” to positive reviews with his own genre-bending style. Bernard’s last two albums were released on Posi-tone Records - “Just Like Downtown” (2013) which features John Ellis on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Brian Charette on organ, and Rudy Royston on drums and “Out and About” (2016), which features Ben Allison, Allison Miller, Brian Charette and John Ellis. These recordings demonstrate Bernard’s roots in straight-ahead jazz and more traditional styles.
As a touring artist, Bernard has hit the road extensively with his own bands or as a member of the Stanton Moore Trio, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Groundation, and numerous other lineups. As a leader Bernard has performed at The Monterey, North Sea, SF Jazz, Jazz a Vienne, Bumbershoot, Be-Bop and Brew, Montreal, Vancouver, Carribean Sea, and The High Sierra festivals, as well as clubs and festivals across the US, Europe and Canada. They have opened for Herbie Hancock and the Head Hunters, Jimmy McGriff, The Funky Meters, John Scofield, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Zigaboo Modeliste and the Charlie Hunter Quartet.
Will has performed and recorded with Dr Lonnie Smith, Tom Waits, Ben Sidran, Dr John, Booker T. Jones, Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, Butler/ Bernstein and the Hot Nine, George Porter Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste, Global Noize, Greyboy Allstars, Galactic, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Mike Clark, Idris Muhammad and others. As well as leading his own groups, Will performs regularly with the NY collaborative electro-funk band "Pleasure Drones", the W-Beez (With Wil Blades), Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler, San Francisco’s Clubfoot orchestra, Joe Doria’s Mctuff from Seattle, and tours with John Medeski’s Mad Skillet with Kirk Joseph and Terence Higgins and Revelator featuring Bill Laswell.
released May 1, 2020
Will Bernard guitar
Ben Zwerin bass (1,2,4,5,7,10)
Jeff Hanley bass ( 3,6,8,9,11)
Eric Kalb drums
Moses Patrou percussion
Eric Finland Hammond B3 and M3, Clavinet, Wurli (1,2,3,5,7,10)
Ben Stivers Hammond B3, Farfisa, Rhodes, OB6 (3,4,7,8,11)
John Medeski Hammond B3, Wurli, (6,9)
Skerik tenor and baritone sax (3)
Jay Rodriguez tenor and baritone sax, flute (5,7,10)
All songs by Will Bernard Bognata Music BMI
Produced by Will Bernard
Tracks 1,2,4,5,7,10 recorded at Figure 8 Recording by Eli Crews
Tracks 3,6,8,9,11 recorded at Brooklyn Recording by Andy Taub
Additional editing and recording by Leo Sidran
Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11 mixed by Eli Crews at Spillway Sound
Tracks 3,8,9, mixed by Adam Munoz at Opus Studios
Mastered by Tom Dimuzio
Photos by Monica Frisell
Art, Design and Layout by Gregory Del Deo
supported by 34 fans who also own “Freelance Subversives”
how did I miss this release? I'm just finding out about it over a year later. listened to the samples. then immediately purchased CD/digital. I'll sleep by my mailbox. hard to pick a favorite track. they all sound good. but I'll start with Interregnum. great album!!! steevocrag
supported by 33 fans who also own “Freelance Subversives”
Lakecia knocks this one out of the park! She does justice to the music of John and Alice Coltrane. Excellent production with Lakecia and co-producer Reggie Workman. Yes, that guy, the legend! Lots of special guests with Jazzmeia Horn, Brandee Younger, Marcus Strickland and Dee Dee Bridgewater to name a few. One of the best releases of 2020! Perhaps the next release will be on vinyl? Music of this quality deserves it! Rob O.