Sneha Girap (Editor)

Bill Beach (musician)

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Occupation(s)  Musician, Composer
Record label  AXIAL RECORDS
Instruments  vocals, piano
Name  Bill Beach
Albums  Letting Go, Brasil Beat
Years active  1970–present
Role  Composer
Genres  Bossa nova, Jazz
Labels  Axial Records

Bill Beach (musician) billbeachcom1208flashbbhomenewjpg
Similar People  Skeets McDonald, Boyd Bennett, Eddie Bond, Mac Curtis, Hank Mizell

Education  Portland State University

Bill Beach (born 1953 in Corvallis, Oregon) is a jazz pianist, vocalist, composer, recording artist and teacher.



Beach began his study of the piano at age seven. His mother was a piano teacher, his grandfather a choir director and his grandmother a church organist. At age 11 he was listening to records by Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins and Gil Evans that belonged to his older brother. An early piano teacher introduced him to the transcriptions of Dave Brubeck and he was later greatly influenced by the styles of Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. He studied music at Portland State University, Oregon State University, and Mt. Hood Community College. During the 1970s he also studied privately with Marian McPartland, Warren Bernhardt, Jerome Gray and Mary Fields. In 1974 he joined the group of jazz guitarist Jimmy James and worked with him for much of the decade.

In the early 1980s Beach spent 7 months in the European jazz scene. He lived in Amsterdam and performed in clubs there such as the Bamboo Bar and Jazz Café Alto as leader of his own trio. In 1984 he returned to the United States, worked regularly with drummer Ron Steen and performed in groups with Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Harris, Howard Roberts and Nick Brignola.

In the 1990s he was settled in Portland, Oregon and leading his own trio which at times backed jazz singer Mark Murphy. During this time he also performed with Charlie Rouse, Nat Adderley, Bud Shank and Jimmy Cobb. In 1997 he took his trio to Japan and in 2001 toured European ports.

In 2003 Beach began the serious study of Brazilian music and the Portuguese language. His focus was on bossa nova introduced by Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Vinicius De Moraes, Carlos Lyra and João Donato plus the later MPB styles of Sergio Mendez, Edu Lobo, Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins and others. He released Letting Go in 2004 on his newly established Axial Records label. This CD was his debut as leader of a recording session and featured Beach singing Brazilian standards and playing original instrumentals in a piano trio setting.

In 2008 Beach began writing lyrics in the Brazilian style and his second release in 2010, Brasil Beat, was composed entirely of original music and lyrics in Portuguese. This was followed one year later in 2011 with his third album, Búzios, also completely original material and also on Axial Records. This recording also featured Rebecca Kilgore on vocals and Gary Hobbs on drums. It was featured in a story on the website Música Brasileira.


  • Letting Go (2004)
  • Brasil Beat (2010)
  • Búzios (2011)
  • References

    Bill Beach (musician) Wikipedia