Bill Ohashi's experience as a prolific and well-heeled trombonist in the New York City and international jazz, chamber classical, show and Latin fields is extensive, giving his leadership qualities focus and his musical concept and intelligence order and definition.
Bill's arranging style and watchful direction give 'The Bridge Sextet & the new "Mambo Jazzi"',their characteristic sound, all of which stems from Bill's many influences from his years of associations with such important groups early on like Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, Machito and great jazz & pop leaders such as Slide Hampton, Bruce Fowler (Frank Zappa), Ray Charles's Big Band,Thad Jones, Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Charlie Mingus, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Eddie Kendricks & The Temptations, Gil Evans, & Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.
Bill's versatility stems at it's source from this exposure to exceptional, broad-based music taught at Julliard, Mannes College, U of PA, Berkley School of Music & bandstands in NYC, New England & the southern corridor, giving Bill opportunities to teach at NYC's Third St. Music School, Henry St. Settlement, Boy's Harbor, New England Conservatory, Metropolitan School of Music and others.
Informative years, Bill was making jam sessions in NYC with such well-known jazz-legends as Kenny Dorham (Minton's & NYU), Roy Eldridge (Small's Paradise & Bowman's Showplace), Charlie Mingus (East Village Inn, Jazz Loft), Jack DeJohnette /Joe Henderson (The Dom), Jaki Bayard (The Electric Circus), Carla Bley (Upsurge & Blue Wave Studio), George Cables, Lenny White and Billie Cobham (Slug's), and Art Blakey's Messengers (all over New York and Europe).
After educating himself & paying his dues in road bands, still retaining a burning desire to play on the NY scene as a professional, Bill found himself getting his steady salaries mainly from more commercial pop bands & contracting backing orchestras for popular artists such as Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Marvin Gaye, The Spinners, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Jay & the Americans, The O'Jays & Stevie Wonder. Helping contract and play at Rock-galas at Madison Square Garden-NYC, as well as an occasional Broadway show (Man of La Mancha, the Wiz, Starlight Express and Ain't Misbehavin'), or steady, good-paying Latin-Salsa Orchestras like Hector Lavoe, Larry Harlow or Chocolate' & Celia Cruz, kept Bill real busy for twenty years or so. His experience in clubs, concerts, recordings and traveling began to expand Bill's creative arranging and improvisational skills as the assignments became more plentiful & challenging: Gil Evans, Chuck Israels, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra,The Band, Yoko Ono, James Taylor, Chico O'Farril, Joe Farell, Elvin Jones & subs on Saturday Night 'Live', to name a few.
After a move to the west coast and a short hiatus from playing the legendary Ray Charles wisely gave Bill the opportunity to join his band on the road for about a year, bringing Bill back into the working music scene to subsequently tour Europe three times with Lionel Hampton, playing around NYC, and Bill began his own record label, EAR Records.
Bill Ohashi's album, exciting & intriguing project is his new baby, " Mambo-Jazzi Latin-Jazz Sextet", represents a true fusion of all Bill's musical experiences, tastefully mixing the Latin and Jazz genres. It's spicy and dance-able Latin-Rhythms are compelling with strong solos giving this new ensemble the promise of much sought after sounds, with a flavorful, interesting, evocative music panorama for the future.