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Pierce, William (Watson), saxophonist and educator; b. Hampton, Va, September 25, 1948. Bill was raised in Jacksonville and Miami, Fl. His parents, Frances and William, Sr. were educators. Bill began saxophone lessons in public school. In his senior year he took oboe lessons at the university of Miami. He attended Tennessee State University for two years. He transferred to Berklee College of Music in 1968, graduating in 1972. Bill began performing in the early 70's in Boston while a student, appearing with artists such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In 1980, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, serving as musical director and sharing the bandstand with other young talents including Bobby Watson, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Donald Harrison
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