will siegel 218x300 Biowill siegel 2 300x240 Bio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILL SIEGEL, MUSICIAN AND GUITARIST

Whether he is sideman or band leader, Will Siegel has mastered the art of bringing musicians and their audience together.  Eclectic in style, his experience has grown from nearly four decades of playing for northern California audiences.  Bernie Butcher of the Blue Wing café says “Will Siegel and Friends is the only band accomplished enough to play jazz for Sunday Brunch and rhythm and blues for a full dance floor on Blue Monday.”

Known as a versatile guitarist, Will also plays dobro, steel guitar, banjo, mandolin and tiple.  His music has no boundaries and draws heavily from traditional Americana stylings including folk, country, blues, jazz, rock n’ roll and latin.  His acoustic groups have been featured at numerous concerts and his dance bands always deliver infectious rhythm that keeps audiences on their feet.  The band also has a new recording that reflects the excitement of their live performance.  The name of the CD is “Don’tcha
Wanna Dance”.

He began is career playing in the early 70’s with Sonoma County folksinger Kate Wolf.  His dobro playing (guitar with a metal resonator played with a metal bar) can be heard on Kate’s first album “Backroads”.  In l976, he and his wife, Ellie, moved to Mendocino County and together continued playing folk, bluegrass and western swing for regional audiences.  In the l980’s Will learned more about playing jazz with the Mendocino College Big Band as well as guitarist with the Barbara Curtis Quintet.  He recorded with Barbara on her first album “Long Overdue”.

During the 80’s and 90’s, Will also spent a lot of time playing rock n’ roll in local bars and dance halls.  The band Willy and the Nighthawks played steadily through the 90’s and became a favorite at the Hopland Brewery.  The band’s recorded album from l995 of all original material is entitled “The Nighthawk Strikes”.

Also to his credit are  many Ukiah Player Theatre Productions.  Will’s musical background and leadership skills qualified him for the role of music director, actor and musician in the 2004 production of “Woody Guthrie’s American Song”.  This was followed by the 2005 production of “Always…Patsy Cline” where he led the band from his seat at the pedal steel guitar.

In 2006, Will Siegel and Friends recorded a house concert at the Ukiah Music Center.  The list of friends grew with Paul McCandless joining the group on saxophone and Bruce Gordon on piano and accordion.  Other featured vocalists include Steve Baird, Les Boek, Mary Hooper and Paula Samonte.

Another project Will is proud of is a sound track CD for the 2007 documentary film “Fearless Mountain”.  The film is about the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley.  The sound track features Will’s original compositions on nylon string guitar.

Will enjoys his role as teacher and mentor as well.  His Friday guitar class at Mendocino College is in its 10th year.  He also sees private students by appointment.

Although living in a small rural community, Will has found endless opportunity to expand and grow as a musician.  Performances for 2011 included benefit concerts for Tapestry Family Services, Lake Pillsbury V.F.D., and the Ukiah Senior Center.  Other concerts include the Acoustic Café at Parducci Winery and Art in the Gardens at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.

will siegel and friends 300x240 BioWill Siegel and Friends

The band Will Siegel and Friends is solid and endlessly versatile. Their new CD Don’tcha Wanna Dance grooves with a solid back beat.

Will plays his Gibson electric guitar and plays with:

Steve Baird has been a tried and true member of nearly every ensemble Siegel has played in over the last three decades.  His lyrical bass playing and vocalizing is an important part of the “Friends” presentation.  Joined at the hip, Will and Steve harmonize well regardless of who sings lead.  Steve’s expanded musicianship is always appreciated by the audience.  He plays acoustic and electric bass and takes center stage when he joins the horn section on baritone, flugelhorn or trombone.

Les Boek plays harmonica, guitar and percussion.  His wailing country blues style of playing harmonica is distinctive in tone and his vocal stylings are reminiscent of Elvis mixed with Hank Williams.  The band has just finished his album “Back Tracks”, a compilation of original material performed with acoustic instruments.

Ellie Siegel is the groups multi-instrumentalist.  She plays drums, percussion, saxophone, clarinet and mandolin.  Starting her performance years as a drummer, she now plays different instruments depending on the group’s performance.

With a lifetime of experience playing in a variety of bands, keyboard master Tom Aiken loves playing blues, jazz and rock. His musical background is in classical music. He enjoys stretching out on the Hammond organ when the rhythm section is in the groove and  his left hand works overtime whenever Steve picks up his horn.

The new CD “Don’tcha Wanna Dance” features Kevin Wells on drums.  Kevin has had a successful career recording, touring and playing gigs with some big names.  He lives in Covelo and teaches music.  His playing has unbelievable drive and dynamics.

Other “Friends” that Will works with include Cuban pianist Elena Casasnova, jazz vocalist Paula Samonte, and drummers Tom Clarkson and  Michael Mills.   For expanded shows anything might happen.