The 2nd Annual Joe Williams UNLV Jazz Scholarship Fundraising Concert, featuring the UNLV Jazz Ensemble I and special guests Ben Vereen, Pia Zadora, The Cunnighams, Tina Walsh, Ronnie Rose, Laura Taylor, Reva Rice, Pete Barbutti, Eric Jordan Young, Pascale Elia, Vincent Falcone, Ira Hill, Gary Fowler, and many other special guests, will be held at 2pm on Sunday, November 17 in Artemus Ham Concert Hall.
Tickets are $20 and available at pac.unlv.edu or by calling 895-ARTS (2787).
Singing a mixture of blues, ballads, popular songs, and jazz standards, Joe Williams was an elegant and sophisticated baritone who is counted among the masters of jazz and blues singing; he has, in fact, earned the title “Emperor of the Blues.” His singing style, which he developed over a long and consistently successful career, contributed to the success of the Count Basie Orchestra and influenced the style of many younger singers.
Williams worked with Coleman Hawkins and Lionel Hampton before joining Count Basie's band in 1954. The success of “Every Day I Have the Blues” established Williams, and after leaving the Basie band in 1961, he led small ensembles singing popular songs, ballads, and blues. He was a frequent performer on television, both as a singer and as an actor. His album Nothin' but the Blues won a Grammy Award in 1984.
Williams died on March 29, 1999.