Pianist Bill Mays’ career as a professional musician spans the last 60 years and includes a multitude of musical endeavors.
Following four years as a bandsman in the U.S. Navy, Bill spent 15 years as a session player in the Hollywood studios. In 1984 he re-located to New York City, firmly establishing himself as an indemand sideman and leader of his own ensembles. He has worked with jazz legends Benny Golson, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Gerry Mulligan, Bud Shank, Frank Sinatra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, and Phil Woods. His many recordings as a leader (solo, duo, trio and sextet) are well-documented on the Chiaroscuro, Concord, DMP, Palmetto, Steeplechase, and Sunnyside record labels.
A prolific composer and arranger, Mays has written extended suites for bass, flute, woodwind septet, and pieces for big band and orchestra (New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Turtle Creek Chorale, WDR Big Band, U.S. Air Force Airmen Of Note). His latest recordings include Phil & Bill (duo with saxophonist Phil Woods), Front Row Seat (solo), Mays Plays Mays (trio/quintet), and Autumn Serenade (trio). His songs have been used in movies and television: Anamorph, Burn After Reading, Hamlet, Looker, Succession, The Fifth Estate and Tribeca. His keyboard work has been heard on hundreds of film soundtracks, among them Fargo, Fur, Godfather 2, Hail, Caesar!, Jaws 2, Julie & Julia, Rocky 2, Rosaline, Superman, The Big Lebowski, The Good Liar, The Spanish Prisoner, and White Noise.
Mays has received rave reviews with the publication of his first book, Stories Of The Road, The Studios, Sidemen & Singers: 55 Years In The Music Biz.