On November 30, 2020, the composer and acclaimed vibraphonist Bill Ware presented his score for the 1926 film The Adventures of Prince Achmed at Roulette. Joined by the Prince Achmed Band—Ware on vibraphone, Steve Bernstein on slide trumpet, Sam Bardfeld on violin, Philip Mayer on percussion, John Murchison on gimbri and bass—the performance is lively and captivating and not to be missed. Watch it now with an exclusive interview with Ware post show.
Bill Ware is a world class vibraphonist, composer and bandleader from East Orange, New Jersey with an eclectic body of work and a distinct and unapproachable sonority. He received his college degree in music theory and composition from Montclair State University, where he studied with Daniel Wertz and Ting Ho, and trained at the Harlem Jazzmobile Workshop under Billy Taylor before he embarked on his lifelong career of performance, recording and composition. Significant teachers and mentors also include Barry Harris, Frank Foster, Jimmy Owens and Wilson Moorman. Ware is a charter member of the internationally renowned NYC downtown group, The Jazz Passengers; he was at the heart of the New York City “acid-jazz” scene as a founding member of Groove Collective; and he toured as percussionist and vibraphone soloist with Steely Dan for the Alive in America (1993-1995) concert tour, also appearing on the live album for that tour. On his own, Ware has led numerous ensembles, including his Latin jazz ensemble, AM Sleep; his signature quintet, the Club Bird All-Stars; his trio Vibes – formed from the Jazz Passengers rhythm section; Groove Thing with Deborah Harry; Keeping Up With the Jones’ in 1999; and his Y2K Jazz Quartet. He has performed with dozens of notable artists including Deborah Harry, Elvis Costello, Little Jimmy Scott, Steve Turre, Jeff Buckley, Mavis Staples, John Modeski, Joe Lavano, Melba Moore, Frank Foster, Arturo O’Farrill, Teruo Nakamura, Marc Ribot, Chris Stein, Roberto Borrel, Butch Morris, Victor Jones, CC Peniston, Marshall Crenshaw, Tony Williams, Bernie Worrel, Janis Seigel, David Byrne, Rez Abbasi, Sara Wollan, Eliane Amherd, Joel Dorn, Janis Siegel, Bob Dorough, John Kelley, Phil Roy, and Bobby Previte. Ware has also explored classical composition beginning with his orchestrations of a book of Jazz Passengers songs for performance with Deborah Harry, the Jazz Passengers and symphony orchestra. He has composed several works, including three symphonies and concerti. In 2004, his “Das Juengste Kind, Symphonie der Familien” was selected in a rigorous competition for a reading session by the Minnesota Orchestra. He has scored several films, alone and in collaboration with Jazz Passengers front-man Roy Nathanson, including Martin and Orloff, Raising Victor Vargas, Undefeated, Excess Baggage, and Hal Wilner’s Harold Arlen Tribute. He also arranged the Jazz Passengers’ music for their live performances set to the cult classic Universal film, The Creature From The Black Lagoon.