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WQAD.com

Remembering jazz musician, QC native Bill Bell

The life of professional jazz musician Bill Bell, who has ties to the Quad Cities, will be remembered on March 28, 2017. He passed away at age 80 at his home in...
Bill Bell

The life of professional jazz musician Bill Bell, who has ties to the Quad Cities, will be remembered on March 28, 2017. He passed away at age 80 at his home in California on Saturday, March 18.

The pianist, conductor, composer and teacher was born to a musical family in East Moline in 1936, reads his obituary.  He started playing piano as a child and would perform at church and school. He started playing jazz in his teenage years.

Bell earned a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College and a master’s from the University of Iowa.

He began a teaching career as a high school band director in Iowa before moving on to California to teach at College of Alameda. He also taught at Stanford University and directed the Stanford Jazz Band.

His musical accomplishments stacked up through the years, leading him to conducting concerts like Dike Ellington’s “Sacred Concert” which was performed in San Francisco in 1967.

Some of Bell’s students throughout his career include accomplished musicians like Benny Green, Joshua Redman, Rodney Franklin, Raphael Saadiq, Daryl Coley, Michael Wolfe, Ledisi, John Faddis, Larry Grenadier, Ambrose Akinmusire and Will Kennedy.

On March 23rd, River Music Experience in Davenport shared the above YouTube video of Bell’s music on their Facebook page. 

Click here to read more about Bill Bell’s life.

Memorial Service
March 28, 2017  10am
Taylor United Methodist Memorial Church, Oakland
1188 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607
 
Quiet Hour
Monday, March 27, 6:30pm
Fouche’s Hudson Funeral Home
3665 Telegraph Avenue,  Oakland CA 94609