Multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, educator Will Boyd hails from soul sax tradition like artists Eddie Harris, David Newman, and Houston Person. Originally from Orangeburg SC by way of Queens NY, Will currently resides in Knoxville TN. He is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and currently has 2 solo albums “Live at the Red Piano Lounge” and “Freedom Soul Jazz”. Will also co-leads a group with Wife, jazz radio host, and founder of the Knoxville Women in Jazz Jam Festival Kelle Jolly.
Will was playing with professional local R&B groups before he was 18. He then received more training at the music program at South Carolina State University where he received BA in Music Business and met future wife vocalist Kelle Jolly. There he played on the jazz ensemble that boasted distinguished alumni such as tenor man Houston Person, trombonist Ron Westray (Lincoln Center Alum), and trumpeter Charlton Singleton (Ranky Tanky). There he also played in the concert band and the Marching 101. Was inducted into the university’s jazz hall of fame in 1997.
Will would later become a staple in the music scene in Columbia SC where he would play with mostly fusion, funk, and soul bands. There he got opportunities to play with legends in this field including local guitarist, educator Robert Newton, drummer John Blackwell (Prince, Justin Timberlake), trombonist Fred Wesley (JB’s, James Brown) and soul singer William Bell. Through a chance encounter with saxophonist Patrick Langham (Brubeck institute) would lead him to Knoxville TN.