Quartet

The Tanya Wills Quartet

Quartet

Vocals -Guitar - Piano - Bass

Bill Bridges, Guitar

Born in 1944 in rural Alberta, Bill began playing the guitar when he was about 13 or so and celebrated his 15th birthday while on the road with a band. Since then he has toured the world playing and writing all styles of music from jazz to classical and is one of the most sought after arrangers of symphonic music in Canada.  In 1971 he moved from Calgary to Toronto and began working with some great local and internationally acclaimed musicians: Howard Cable, Guido Basso, Hagood Hardy, Peter Desotto, Red Norvo, Art Van Damme, Phil Nimmons, Peter Appleyard, Lenny Solomon, New Music Concerts, and many more. He has recorded jingles, CD’s, movie scores, tv and radio broadcasts, and has worked in orchestras playing for theatre shows and for such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Petula Clarke, Eartha Kitt, Vic Damone, and Tony Bennett, to name a few. He toured with Lena Horne for several years. Miss Horne said, "He plays so pretty I want to stop singing and just listen". He was John McDermott’s musical director and guitarist  for many years and has appeared as guest soloist with several symphony orchestras. Bill finessed his string writing skills while with Quintessence - a string quartet with an added guitar.

He still writes, records for, and performs with: trio Norte, Bowfire, Quartetto Gelato, Dadawa, The Done Me Wrongs, Jazz Epicure, Allyson Morris, Kelli Trottier, Ron Korb, and George Gao. For a number of years he has been a member of The Shaw Festival Orchestra and often travels to Ottawa to play with The National Arts Centre Orchestra. Currently Bill is in collaboration with Lewis Mele in the development of "Bridges", a guitar and bass duo, as well as writing for and playing banjo and guitar with the Wintergarten Orchestra - a group dedicated to playing music from the 1920's and 30's. Recently he co-produced Tom Leadbeater’s latest cd and played in the pit (as well as an on stage accompanying flamenco dancer Fernando Mira) for Strictly Ballroom. Bill intends to continue his musical life as a free lance composer/arranger/performer for many years.

Jordan Klapman, Piano

Jordan Klapman is a pianist, accompanist, bandleader, music director, and popular music history lecturer. He performs mainstream and traditional jazz, The Great American Songbook, as well as world and Jewish music at festivals, clubs, concert halls, theatres, and special events of all kinds. He’s appeared at Roy Thomson Hall, Koerner Hall for IdeaCITY, on CBC Radio and television, Birdland’s Cast Party in New York City, on CITY TV, and on JazzFM as a show co-host with the late Jeff Healey. Jordan also composes and plays piano for The Wintergarten Orchestra.

A very active silent film accompanist, Jordan frequently composes and performs his own retro-style scores for the classic dramas and comedies of the silent era. His CV includes dozens of performances at venues including The TIFF LightBox, Silent Sundays at The Revue Theatre,
The Toronto Silent Film Festival, The University of Toronto Media Commons, The Vintage Film Festival, and The Toronto Jewish Film Festival. For over 40 years, Jordan has specialized in 20th century popular music— including traditional Dixieland, Jazz Age dance music, European cabaret, Tin Pan Alley, klezmer— and his original retro compositions.

Ron Johnston, Bass

Classically trained, Ron’s first love has always been Jazz. He has been professionally performing and recording, (locally and abroad), with a number of different groups since 1971. Ron has also appeared in numerous TV shows and Films as a musician extra, including being a main band member in the Oscar winning film “Chicago”. He was one of the original members of the well known Hard Bop band “Kollage”, where he performed and recorded with the group for their first nine years. Currently, Ron can be seen working with Juno award winner Bob DeAngelis. In addition to teaching privately, Ron is the bass instructor at the acclaimed St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.

Upcoming shows

Tanya Wills, Jazz Vocalist

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Testimonials

“For 28 seasons, I was the producer and principal performer (piano and vocals) of the
concert series Words and Music presented at Cobourg’s historic Victoria Hall Concert Hall….

….I was always determined to include Tanya at least once each season in my Words and Music concert series, not just because of the beautiful sound of her singing, but also her versatility, finding her to be equally at home in whatever style of music was asked of her….”

Brad Halls

“I have seen Tanya perform with The Wintergarten Orchestra many times and with her
Quartet and I’ve enjoyed her performance immensely. Tanya is a great singer and
performer, with an amazing voice and her knowledge of the music from various
eras and in various languages is outstanding. She is both a pleasure to listen to and watch, and I hope she continues singing for a long time to come. Highly recommended!”

Olya Bata

Contact

Tanya Wills, Jazz Vocalist

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