Primary Instrument: Accordion
Will Holshouser has developed his own sound as an accordionist, composer, and improviser. His music brings together jazz, folk and experimental music. He is active in the U.S. and internationally with his trio, with David Krakauer & Klezmer Madness, and with Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford. He has also worked with Regina Carter, Antony and the Johnsons, Phillip Johnston, Dave Douglas, Brian Dewan, Roberto Rodriguez, Lenny Pickett, Andy Statman, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, Raymond Scott Orchestrette, and others.
Will's first CD Reed Song was released in 2002 on the Portuguese label Clean Feed featuring his trio. His second CD Singing to a Bee is out now, also on Clean Feed. Will has also composed music for solo accordion and for short films, and has arranged music for various groups. He studied with Anthony Braxton and Bill Barron at Wesleyan University, where he received a grant to research Cajun and Creole music in Louisiana. After moving to New York in 1991, he began studying accordion with Dr. William Schimmel.
[Holshouser] successfully showcased the range and beauty of the accordion . . . his compositions are intriguing, with wayward harmonies and soft-spoken melodies that make the accordion's thin, reedy treble range sound sweet. This could be music for some fantastical Fellini film. -- Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
The trio plays with a preternatural affinity that makes the implausible sound inevitable-even triumphant. Holshouser's compositions... are as otherworldly as they are concrete, and as full of loopiness as of longing... scoring the phantasmagoria hidden in the everyday-and you can hum it! -- Mel Minter, The Alibi (Albuquerque)
Will Holshouser plays as much accordion as there is to be played. -- David Wondrich, Village Voice
The squeezebox king of downtown. -- Time Out New York
The accordion straddles both the New World and old... as jazz once did, to create a new music out of traditional folk music. Will Holshouser... injects the (new) New York experience of post-modern music and composition with the tug-and-pull of ethnic music. Holshouser projects fun cartoon music for adventuresome kids of adult status. -- All About Jazz
...the trio charms and surprises at the same time... A revelation. -- Thierry Lepin, Jazzman * * * * (France)
Accordionist Will Holshouser makes a convincing bid for recognition on Reed Song... enduring compositions... dynamic interplay... the compositional and instrumental diversity makes for a remarkably broad palette. -- Jay Collins, Signal to Noise
Holshouser is perhaps one of the few modern accordionists able to re-unite various styles with jazz... 'eccentric jazz' or 'new folk' could be two approaches to describing this most beautiful CD.-- Vittorio Albani, All About Jazz: Italia * * * *
A provocative and interesting record. -- C. Sampayo, Cuadernos de Jazz * * * (Spain)
Will Holshouser demonstrates with this album his talent, originality and a true musical richness with his trio... a jazz symphony... there is virtuosity, emotion, originality. -- Accordeon (France)