William Menefield is a multi-faceted musician capable of providing a variety of services including solo and ensemble pianist (jazz, R & B, soul, gospel), vocal/instrumental accompanist, songwriting/composing, and bass/baritone vocals (variety of styles). William earned his Bachelor's of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in music composition. Contact him to play or write a song for you!
William was punctual and allowed time to properly set up to begin at the designated time. The music was the perfect backdrop for the function and added a great touch to the event. Light jazz put people in a great mood. Highly recommend him.
William Menefield is one of the most electrifying performing artists of our time, and his unique approach to writing music sets him apart from all other composers. Since the age of 5, William has been singing, playing music, and acting on stage. Whether performing a classical selection at Music Hall or jazz at the Greenwich, he is right at home. This Cincinnati native attended the Schiel Primary School for Arts Enrichment, the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music before earning his Doctor of Musical Arts degree, in music composition, from the University of Texas at Austin.
Even though he grew up playing cello, at 8 years old William began writing songs and playing the piano to entertain himself, after his mom got rid of the television because it was a distraction. The rest is history. Being one that basically taught himself to play piano for fun, William was fortunate to study jazz technique with Erwin Stuckey for eight months during 1996. He later studied classical technique with Diana Belland. Most recently, he has worked with Elaine Leung-Wolf.
At the age of 12, William entered the national performance arena when he was featured at "It's Commonly Jazz" -- a series showcasing national and local jazz artists. He has since performed with Roy Ayers, Clark Terry, David “Fathead” Newman, Gary Bartz, John Blake, Don Braden, Steve Wilson, Javon Jackson, and a host of other outstanding musicians.
In the 11th grade, at the age of 16, William composed a string quartet that was performed at Cincinnati Music Hall during a gala honoring renowned patron of the arts, Patricia Corbett. The Corbett String Quartet, a group composed of members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was the performing ensemble. The piece was lauded by the audience and critically acclaimed.
During his senior year of high school, William was signed as a J-Curve recording artist. He recorded his first jazz album, "Big Will Leaps In" later that year. The CD release took place during William's engagement as the Cincinnati Arts Association's first performer in its “Emerging Artist Concert Series” at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. He performed on April 10, 1999 to a packed house, and all available CDs sold out. His next album, “Will’s Revenge” (413 Records), was released May 2003. He plans to produce a new album in 2016.
In recognition of his outstanding ability as a composer, The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall commissioned William to write a piece for children's choir to be performed at the 125th anniversary celebration of Cincinnati Music Hall. This composition, entitled "My Melody", was highly acclaimed.
Accolades include “Applause Magazine” Imagemaker Award, 1992; Fifty Most Influential Citizens in the City of Cincinnati Award, 1992; Taft Museum of the Arts Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, 2002; and Founding Director, "African-American Vocal Ensemble"- University of Texas at Austin, 2008-2011.
Past Booked Events
|September 13, 2017 • 5:30pm - 8:00pm||Fundraiser|