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Wil Blades

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Born: August 25, 1979    Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3

Wil Blades

From cookin’ with Blues legend John Lee Hooker, organ summits with B-3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith, television and radio appearances, young Wil Blades is gaining critical acclaim and international recognition. Blades, a native Chicagoan, has become the San Francisco Bay Area’s first call organist and is rapidly gaining momentum throughout the country. In 2007 and 2008, he was named in the Downbeat critics poll under “Rising Star” for organ. For the past several years, Wil has been wowing Bay Area audiences with groups such as “O.G.D.,” “Motherbug”, “Amendola Vs. Blades”, “Steppin’.” In addition to performing with legendary artists such as John Lee Hooker and Dr. Lonnie Smith, Wil has performed and recorded with Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Karl Denson, Will Bernard, Scott Amendola, Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, Betty Joplin, Eddie Marshall, Herbie Lewis, and many others....
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“Yeah, he does it...he’s on it. He is the future to carry on the legend, the legacy of the organ, [of] the B-3.”
-Dr. Lonnie Smith
Pioneer and Legend of the Hammond B-3 Organ

”That boy's cookin'! That boy's cookin'!”

—John Lee Hooker
Original Bluesman

”Wil Blades is already a legend on the Hammond B-3 organ...On his debut album, Sketchy, released in August on Doodlin' Records, Blades showcases a smooth, funky sound that recalls heroes like Jimmy Smith without being slavishly derivative. Apparently, Blades' time spent in combos with Scott Amendola, Wil Bernard, and Idris Muhammad has taught him well.”
- SF Weekly

“Here's a young Jazz Organist that every one should know about...Wil has so much goin' on with the Hammond B-3, it's hard to believe he's not fifty years old...His organ playing has leaped him into the ranks of greatness.”

—Pete Fallico
Doodlin' Productions
KSUP 88.9FM , Santa Cruz, CA

”...and Wil Blades fingering a - yes! - Hammond B-3 organ. Blades keeps everything funky and jet-set cool, turning in consistently great lines and more than a few solid solos on the Hammond.”

—Jim Nelson
All About Jazz.com

”This Young Lion has committed his talent to the Hammond B-3 organ...He knows what's what and delivers...He's happening and is very serious about his music.”

—Afrikahn Jamal Dayvs
Jazzline Radio and TV
KKUP 91.5FM , Santa Clara, CA

“The blues via Wil Blades and the Hammond B3 live on strong in the bay area . Wil's experience extends beyond his years as he takes you on a rare jazz organ journey that leaves you with that good clean feeling inside. Well at least that is the way I feel. I can't get enough. I've seen a few great organists and Wil stands with them. I appreciate him keeping this art form alive.”

—Redhouse Jazz

“Wil Blades has emerged in recent years as a highly resourceful Hammond B- 3 player looking to expand the possibilities of his instrument. He’s always worth a listen.”

-Jazzwest.com

“Blades’ able handling of the foot pedals and lefty bass lines frees his right hand to venture into some seriously groovy territory…when extensive exploration is warranted, Blades can dig in with confidence.”

-Mike E. Splain
Good Times Weekly, Santa Cruz

”Wil Blades is the Old Soul of the band and as is often the case with old souls, the youngest member of the (Fil Lorenz) Soul-tet. His Organ playing on Stinky Stinky is uncannily authentic and fresh.”

-Shad Harris
American Chronicle

“Wil Blades may be a younger player on the Hammond, but he hits the organ like a seasoned pro from the Soul Jazz years of the 60’s! Blades sound is clean and fluid, soaring with clean lines sometimes, hitting more skittish funky rhythms at others.”
-Dusty Groove

“Wil Blades has to be one of the most promising cats on the music scene today. His pulsating, hard groovin’ style on the Hammond B-3 is reminiscent of many great players, but with a flair that is distinctly his own.”
-Upcoming.org

As a Leader

Sketchy
Doodlin' Records
2007
Tracks: Why?; 32nd St.; Hopeful; Where Go?; What's Up Doc; I'm Not Home; Sketchy; Mr. Lewis; Hollowgram; Mae Mae.
Personnel: Wil Blades-Organ, Idris Muhammad-Drums, Will Bernard- Guitar, Dayna Stephens- Tenor Sax, Gabe Eaton-Alto Sax, Mike Rinta-Trombone.

As A Side Musician

Lunar Orbit
Karl Denson
Bobby Ace Records
2007
Personnel:Karl Denson-Sax and Flute, Wil Blades-Organ, Kenneth Crouch-Keyboards, Steve Haney-Percussion, Jake Najor-Drums, Aaron Redfield-Drums, Anthony Smith-Organ and Keyboards

Party Hats
Will Bernard
Palmetto
2007
Personnel: Will Bernard-Guitar, Wil Blades-Organ, Ryan Newman-Bass, Keith McArthur-Bass, Jan Jackson-Drums, Paul Spina-Drums, Dave Ellis-Saxophone, Joe Cohen- Saxophone, Adam Thies- Trombone, Mike Olmos-Trumpet, Peter Apfelbaum-Saxophone, Josh Jones- Percussion, Michael Bluestein-Organ and Clavinet

The Calling: Volume 2
Terrence Brewer
Strong Brew Music
2006
Personnel: Terrence Brewer-Guitar, Eric Drake-Tenor Saxophone, Wil Blades-Organ, Derrick Phillips-Drums

Stinky Stinky
Fil Lorenz Soul-tet
Hammondbeat
2005
Personnel: Fil Lorenz-Saxophone, Joel Ryan-Trumpet, Wil Blades- Organ, Sebastien Lanson-Guitar, Brian Fishler-Drums

In Transition
Sebastien Lanson
Dancing Sumo Records
2003
John L. Worley, Jr.-Trumpet/Flugel, Vincent Jourde-Soprano Sax, Wayne Wallace-Trombone, John Santos-Percussion, Fil Lorenz-Baritone Sax, Wil Blades-Organ (B-3), Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee-Bass, Adam Shulman-Piano, Jeff Marrs-Drums, Charlie McCarthy-Tenor/Alto Sax, Rob Batchko-Tenor Sax, Danny Grewen-Trombone

Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact discography@allaboutjazz.com. Thank you.

Primary Instrument:
Organ, Hammond B3

Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students

Credentials/Background:
Weekday times available, generally pretty flexible. $75 an hour. Willing to do sliding scale.

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