Sunday, April 28 at 7PM

Originally from North Carolina and raising Philadelphia, Willie Williams was raised in the tradition of Philadelphia saxophonists.  He began performing and recording professionally with local acts at the age of 12. Locally, he became the most talked about youth in many years.

After graduating high school first in his class, Willie began studying classical saxophone with Marshall Taylor and started performing with many diverse ensembles. While attending the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts by day, he pursued his passion for Jazz by night, performing with local organ trios including Don Patterson, Groove Homes, Charles Earland, and Trudy Pits. Leading a quartet in Philadelphia, he opened for the veteran alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, who encouraged him to move to New York City.

There he began performing with Art Blakey, Jackie Byard, Sam Rivers, and the Young Lions. His big break came with “Taylor’s Wailers” Quintet formed by the late drummer, Arthur Taylor. During that time, he also worked and toured with Clifford Jordan’s Big Band, the Mingus Dynasty, and began a long and fruitful collaboration with T. S. Monk.

After recording 5 critically acclaimed discs as a leader, he has made his mark as an award-winning performer, composer, arranger, and educator.


Williams Performing “Nutty” by Thelonious Monk


About Jazz in the Loft

Curated by Grammy-winning producer John Lee, Jazz in the Loft features award winning and beloved Jazz artists from the greater SOMA area and beyond.  Enjoy their sultry melodies, ingenious harmonies, and swinging rhythms in the Loft at SOPAC.


Accessibility & Accommodation

 For details, visit our Accessibility page.

If you or a member of your party needs assistance, please notify SOPAC at the time your tickets are purchased. Contact the SOPAC Box Office at (973) 313-2787 or