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Bill Cunliffe


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Bill Cunliffe is a jazz pianist and composer.

He was born in Andover, Massachusetts, and he first fell under the influence of jazz while studying at Duke University with the great pianist Mary Lou Williams. He received his masters from the Eastman School of Music, and won several Down Beat Awards for his big band and orchestral pieces. After teaching at Central State University, in Wilberforce, Ohio, he toured as pianist and arranger with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and working with Frank Sinatra. He then returned to Southern Ohio for a few years, where he played piano in various hotels, and wrote jingles for several music production houses there. As house pianist at the Greenwich Tavern, and later, upon moving to Los Angeles, he worked with many legends of jazz, including Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson and James Moody. He was, for a long time, the pianist in the Clayton Brothers Quintet. He currently works with his own trio, and sextet, flutist Holly Hofmann, and his Latin jazz group, Imaginacion. His first three albums for Warner/Discovery Records all charted in nationwide jazz polls, including the highly regarded “Bill in Brazil” which he recorded during a stint in Rio De Janeiro. Later he recorded several albums for Azica Records, including several with Holly Hofmann, the flutist, in a duo setting, and after 2000 started recording for Torii Records.

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