A master of the saxophone and esteemed teacher of performance on woodwinds, Bill Pierce will offer an open workshop on Oct. 30 to a Harvard jazz ensemble of student musicians and then will be in conversation with Ingrid Monson of the Harvard Music Department. Presented by the Office for the Arts Learning from Performers program 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Leverett Library Theater, 28 DeWolfe Street, this free public event is part of a residency that culiminates in a ticketed concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Lowell Lecture Hall, featuring Pierce and Harvard Jazz Bands, led by Yosvany Terry and Mark E. Olson.
Raised in Florida, Bill Pierce has performed and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Art Farmer, James Williams, Hank Jones, Art Blakey, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis. He is the former woodwind department chair at Berklee College of Music, where he landed at age 18 during the late 1960s, studying jazz during the day and gigging at night.
For two years, he played steadily at the Sugar Shack, a now defunct club on Boylston Street opposite the Boston Common where all of the top R&B acts used to play. He interrupted his studies to tour with Stevie Wonder, and then returned to Berklee, graduated and became part of the faculty in 1975. He wasrecently celebrated at Berklee with a concert produced by drummer, composer and bandleader (and fellow Berklee alum and educator) Terri Lyne Carrington.
Listen to Pierce perform at the Cambridge Jazz Festival in 2016.
Listen to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Live at Seventh Avenue South (1982) with Art Blakey (drums); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Branford Marsalis (alto sax); Bill Pierce (tenor sax); Donald Brown (piano); Charles Fambrough (bass).