NW JAZZ MASTERS SERIES with the BILL ANSCHELL TRIO
Seattle pianist/composer Bill Anschell attended Oberlin College and Wesleyan University, receiving a music degree from the latter in 1982. While at Wesleyan, he studied privately with Bill Barron, composition; and T Ranganathon, South Indian rhythmic theory. From 1989 to 2002 he lived in Atlanta, working extensively both as a bandleader and as a sideman for visiting and resident jazz artists. During that period his trio appeared in leading events across the Southeast, including the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto. In the fall of 1996, Anschell led the trio on an 18-concert tour of Central and South America. They returned in 1999, 2001 and 2004 for follow-up tours of Brazil, Peru and Paraguay.
From 1992 to 1996, Anschell worked extensively with vocalist Nnenna Freelon, serving as her musical director and pianist. In that capacity, Anschell performed in festivals and concert halls across the U.S. and throughout Europe. Among the group's many touring highlights were appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Nice Festival in France, the Monterrey Jazz Festival in California, and the Kennedy Center in Washington. Their performances were widely broadcast on radio and television including National Public Radio's "JazzSet," hosted by Branford Marsalis; Radio France; and French national television.
Anschell released his own debut CD, Rhythm Changes, in 1995. He appeared as the featured artist in the December, 1997 issue of Jazz Player magazine, which included a "play-along" CD of his original music. Anschell's follow-up recording, A Different Note All Together. was released in 1998 by Accurate Records. The CD spent eight weeks in the top 50 for jazz airplay nationally, and was selected by United Press International (UPI) as one of the "10 Best" jazz releases of the year. Anschell's 2001 CD, When Cooler Heads Prevail (Summit Records) is the first recording to feature him exclusively in the trio format. It spent eleven weeks on the national radio airplay charts, and received a full-page profile in JazzTimes.