Well-known Bay Area jazz pianist, Marty Williams, was once called “The Catalyst” by San Francisco Chronicle critic Phil Elwood. Marty was born in Indiana, and started playing piano at the tender age of 20. Marty grew up with jazz all around him. His unique style of music speaks of many things -- love, pain, the blues, joy, exuberance, funk, soul...it has a groove, a feel, a swing and so much more, whether he’s playing an original composition or interpreting the well-loved creations of jazz legends.
Marty's formal training came well after he received his "calling" -- he tells the story of a snowy night in Milwaukee listening to Ahmad Jamal's album "Voices" as a turning point for him. Listening to that album and pondering the questions a young man faces in his life, Marty knew his destiny was to play the piano. As with so many great jazz pianists, Marty's spirit taught him to play the music he felt.
Through his career Marty has played at numerous venues and with many other notable musicians in the US and abroad. He has been part of the San Francisco jazz scene well over 25 years. He was a member of “Cadence”, featuring Eric Swinderman (guitar) Ruth Davies (bass) Babatunde Lea (drums) and continues to play regularly with Eric Swinderman around the San Francisco Bay Area. His most significant influences include Hampton Hawes, Les McCann, Ahmad Jamal, Thelonious Monk, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Horn, Miles Davis and Junior Mance, just to name a few…
In addition to his work as a performing artist, Marty’s writing, arranging, composing and producing abilities are enhanced by the fact that he is an Apple Certified Logic Pro.
Marty’s recordings include:
“Just For Now”
“The Last Stop”
“Fool on The Hill”
“It’s No Illusion”
Marty’s most recent release is an exciting collaboration with the noted and very popular underground hip hop artist DJ Drez, entitled “The Complete Moon Bay Sessions, Diverse Vibrations in Hip Hop and Jazz”.
Indeed, what you hear from Marty Williams is No Illusion. Be sure to check for Marty's appearances in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. He's currently playing regularly with Eric Swinderman, Ruth Davies and Raul Rameriz in a band they call In Pursuit of the Sound.