It's after midnight, and the eerie-eerie sounds of Miles Davis' muted trumpet on the stereo drift into the bedroom of three-year-old Will Lee... From that point on, music was in his blood. His father plays piano - "His Bebop chops are the best" according to Will - and has also played trumpet and bass violin professionally. Will's mother sang with big bands. Since his birth in San Antonio, Texas in 1952, his parents' talents led Will on a circuitous route from one instrument to another -- torturous piano lessons, a short relationship with violin, demanding trumpet lessons taught by Dad, and French horn...
Will then took up drums after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and by the time he was 12 had formed his first band in Miami. The band members each earned $9 a night playing the popular surfing tunes characteristic of the 60's. But in Miami, drummers were a dime a dozen. Will, with his diverse talents, shifted to bass, an instrument that offered more opportunities. Quickly becoming a successful bass player, Will was part of a succession of bands including top 40 bands with names like "Chances R" "The Loving Kind",and "Green Cloud."
Will had a formal musical education at the University of Miami, where he studied French horn for a year and then s witched to a bass major. After classes, he worked on bass fundamentals listening to not only the Beatles, but also Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Miller, The Rascals, Motown, Sly & the Family Stone, etc. He would put it all into practice six sets a night gigging with various local bands, including an innovative horn band called "Goldrush."
The Will Lee reputation spread throughout the music world, and brought New York looking for him. Trumpeter Randy Brecker called Will out of class one day and invited him to NYC to audition for "Dreams". In New York, Will's career soared. He toured with B.J.Thomas, Horace Silver, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, The Brecker Brothers, and Herbie Mann. Gaining experience in the commercial field, Will found himself in high demand. As a bassist and singer, he's recorded with an extensive array of top performers including Ricky Martin, Burt Bacharach, Bee Gees, George Benson, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Luther Vandross, Mick Jagger, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, Miami Sound Machine, Buddy Rich, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Grover Washington Jr., Cat Stevens, Vanessa Williams, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Kool & the Gang, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, Carly Simon, D'Angelo, Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Pat Metheny, and Steely Dan, to name a few!
In addition, Will played in the New York "24th Street Band" which had great success in Japan, giving him a solo artist career that yielded him a top 5 single. Most recently, his solo CD entitled "OH!" reached the #1 position on the "Jazz Beyond" chart there.
Grammy Award-winning Will Lee can now be seen every week night across the US playing at the Ed Sullivan Theatre as the bassist with Paul Shaffer and the "CBS Orchestra" on the wildly popular "Late Show with David Letterman" and you can hear him playing, singing and speaking on many commercials on both television and radio.
He delivers more than just fine music for his audience; his unique combination of talent and love of of entertaining provides good feelings for all who hear him play and sing.
For more on Will's career, please visit: www.willlee.com and www.thefabfaux.com.