A tremendous jazz pianist with a seemingly boundless curiosity and adventurous spirit, Billy Childs plays and composes in a unique style that borrows heavily from the classical world, but still manages to be wholly his own.
A three time Grammy winner as well as a 2009 Guggenheim fellow and a recent recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Performance Award, Childs has been playing professionally since the 70’s. His first big break came when asked to tour with trombone legend J.J. Johnson. He became a fixture in Freddie Hubbard’s band in the late 70’s and 80’s, making a name for himself as a remarkable sideman and accompanist. A composition major at USC, Childs eventually began gaining acclaim for his writing and arranging, receiving commissions from Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the American Brass Quintet, and Yo-Yo Ma among others. He has also arranged for mainstream artists such as Sting, Chris Botti, Gladys Knight, Michael Bubl’, David Foster, Phil Ramone and Claudia Acu’a.
His own recording career began in the late 80’s under the Windham Hill label. He has now released ten studio records, the most recent being a Laura Nyro tribute called Map to the Treasure, which featured guest appearances from Renee Fleming, Dianne Reeves and Alison Krauss among others.
‘A superb player and underrated writer’ ‘ All Music Guide