Pianist Bill Anschell has performed in premiere venues throughout the U.S. and abroad, both leading his trio and as pianist/musical director for vocalist Nnenna Freelon. His concert credits include six European tours with Freelon and seven South American tours with his trio, including concerts in many of the leading international jazz festivals. Most recently, the Bill Anschell Trio toured Peru in April 2012, with performances in Lima, Cusco, and Puerto Maldonado, and performed at Paraguay’s annual jazz festival in 2014.
Anschell was the creator, producer and theme music composer for “JazzSouth,” a syndicated radio program broadcast from 1990 – 2002 on more than 200 stations around the world. In 1998 his CD, “a different note all together,” was selected by UPI (United Press International) as one of the year’s “10 Best” jazz releases. That CD and his two follow-up releases “When Cooler Heads Prevail” (2001) and “More to the Ear than Meets the Eye” (2006) both enjoyed critical acclaim and extensive stays on the national jazz radio charts. His 2009 duo CD of spontaneous improvisations with saxophonist Brent Jensen was described by Cadence as “startlingly beautiful, surprising, and powerful…a transforming experience.” Anschell is also highly regarded as a composer; his original pieces have been featured on many network and cable programs including NBC’s “The West Wing,” HBO’s acclaimed series, “The Wire,” and the CBS show “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Anschell, a Seattle native, returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after a long residency in Atlanta, Georgia. He received Earshot’s Golden Ear Award as the “Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year” in 2005, 2010 and 2011; his trio was named “Northwest Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year” in 2006; and his “Figments” CD was named “Northwest Jazz Recording of the Year in 2011.