Leader, Guitarist, Composer, Arranger
Juno nominated artist Bill Coon is one of Canada’s most highly respected musicians and is winner of the 2009 National Jazz Awards, ‘Guitarist of the Year’.
Performing professionally for over thirty years, he has played with many significant jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Chuck Israels, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sheila Jordan, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, Campbell Ryga, Ian McDougall, Phil Dwyer, Dave Restivo, Brad Turner, Carol Welsman, Fred Stride, Dee Daniels, and Rebecca Kilgore.
Among Bill’s more than fifty recordings are Speakeasy, and Scudder’s Groove featuring Juno award winners Ross Taggart and Dave Robbins, With Benefits with Cory Weeds, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington. His collaboration with award-winning guitarist Oliver Gannon: Two Much More! was acclaimed as one of the top ten Canadian jazz recordings of 2015 by the CBC, as was Jill Townsend Big Band’s Legacy, The Music of Ross Taggart, a tribute to the great Ross Taggart that features Bill’s guitar playing and large ensemble writing. He also appears on award-winning recordings by The Night Crawlers and the Big Band Sound, Down in the Bottom and Calgary guitarist Ralf Buschmeyer’s, Jazzspeak.
Bill is busy performing with and composing for the BC Double Quartet featuring Brad Turner, Brasiliera with Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst, Triology, with Miles Black and Jodi Proznick, Oliver Gannon, Laura Crema, Cory Weeds Quartet, Tony Wilson-Bill Coon Quartet, B3 Kings, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Steve Maddock, Michael Creber, Mike Allen, Kevin Elaschuk, Kristina Olsen, and the Minemoto/Coon/Danderfer Trio.
An in demand composer-arranger, Bill had recently had two of his arrangements for symphony orchestra and voice appear on the recording ‘True North: The Canadian Songbook’ with Eleanor McCain. He has been commissioned to write for The National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Woody Herman Jazz Band, the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra. Bill's musical partnership with jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire created the Juno nominated CD, I Found Love. Bill’s association with hip-hop artist K-os resulted in a collaboration with the CBC Radio Orchestra documented in the CBC television show Burning to Shine, and his arranging is featured on the Juno award winning CD Joyful Rebellion.
He has won awards and commissions from the BC Arts Council, the Socan Foundation, and has received several Canada Council Arts Awards enabling him to study with Jim Hall, Dr. Louis Stewart, Neil Chotem and Rick Wilkins. Bill is currently working on a recording of original music due out in fall of 2017 that is being funded by a Canada Council recording grant.
Bill is an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals and workshops throughout Canada, including the VSO School of Music and Summer Jazz Workshop and the BC Swing Workshop in Sorrento BC. He is on faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, teaching composition, arranging, jazz history, small and large ensembles, and jazz guitar