BIOGRAPHY

You may not know you know Will Galison’s music, but you do. You’ve heard his unique harmonica sound on the themes of “Sesame Street”, “The Untouchables”, “Bagdad Café” and hundreds of other movie scores, albums and commercials. Harmonica master, Toots Thielemans, called Will “The most original and individual of the new generation of harmonica players”. While Will is indeed one of the top exponents of the jazz harmonica, his career as a studio musician has allowed him to explore and embrace many other musical idioms, from rhythm and blues to classical concertos. That’s why he has recorded and/or performed with stars as varied as Sting, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Tommy Emmanuel, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Ruth Brown, Jaco Pastorius, the O’Jays and Peggy Lee.

 

Will has released numerous albums under his own name (on Verve, PolyGram and Aosis records) and recorded as co- leader with other major talents from around the world. He’s also delighted audiences at Jazz festivals and clubs around the world, recently in Japan and India. At home in New York he has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub and The Blue Note.

In addition to jazz performances, Will has toured with various musical theatre productions, including the first two national tours of Roger Miller's"Big River"  and three European tours of “Bagdad Café”, starring Jveeta Steele (“Calling You”), and featuring the same director and composer as the movie.

In 2002, Galison's duo with singer Madeleine Peyroux performed together, domestically and abroad, including a gig with the Dresden Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, The duo recorded “Got You On My Mind”, an album Jazz Times called “a match made in Musical Heaven”. Downbeat’s Bill Milkowski wrote: “Galison also reveals himself to be an accomplished guitarist...and he delights with a few vocal numbers as well, which makes him a real triple-threat.”

In 2008, Will's campaign video for President Obama, “Takin’ it Back with Barack”, was rated the best campaign songs of the election season by the Huffington Post, and received over 600,000 views on online, including several by the President himself, who “got a big kick out of it” according to his staff.

Will’s self-produced 2011 CD, Line Open features Galison as harmonica virtuouso, guitarist, composer, lyricist, singer and arranger. Together with some of New York’s top musicians, Will produced an album spanning a wide musical and emotional range, yet unified by his sly wit, compassionate outlook and deeply rooted musicality.

In recent years, Will has performed widely in France, and is currently collaborating with the noted composer Karim Maurice on a major work for chromatic harmonica, jazz trio and string orchestra; the "Odysseus Cycle". To produce this project Karim and Will were major grant with the French American Jazz Exchange to produce a program of music for harmonica, jazz trio and string orchestra.

The most intimate setting in which Will shines is his  DUO with master Guitarist Sean Harkness. They perform regularly at New York's famous BIRDLAND Jazz club, and are quickly earning an international reputation.  

 

While in New York, Will hosts house concerts, featuring premiere jazz musicians. A recent concert was a duo with jazz piano master Kenny Werner, who said of Will: “Will has always been a superb player, but his playing just gets deeper and deeper. I've plqyed with the master, [Toots Theilemans] and Will is right up there”. 

Peace (Horace Silver) - Will Galison
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