William Connell began his long and distinguished musical career on the West Coast as saxophonist/flautist and copyist/arranger for the legendary composer/bandleader Horace Tapscott, whose artistic inspiration and example spurred him on to develop his own composition talents. Since then, his works have been performed and recorded by Azar Lawrence, David Murray, and Don Pullen, among others, and honored with a CAPS grant for orchestral composition in 1980. He has continued to hone his orchestrational skills as a copyist/arranger, working for major musicians in the new music, (e.g. Ornette Coleman, Julius Hemphill, Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Matthew Shipp), as well as popular music, (e.g. Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Michael Jackson). He has recorded with Chico Hamilton, various William Parker ensembles (including the Baby Huey Creative Music Orchestra), the Walter Thompson big band, the Composers’ Collective, Commitment, and Steve Swell. He has performed and/or toured with groups led by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, David Murray, Ryan Adams, and many others, as well as the Sound Vision Orchestra and his own ensembles.

Selected Works
Fatisha recorded by Azar Lawrence, Bridge into the New Age (Prestige 10086)
For Cynthiarecorded by David Murray/Don Pullen, Shakilís 2 (DIW)
Web of Forces recorded by Commitment (Jason Williams), Commitment (Flying Panda)
Shakti awarded CAPS (Creative Artist Program Service) grant

Updated on Nov 14 ’03