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From 1973 to 1976, J. Kimo Williams attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He began writing for jazz big-band and augmented his arrangements with various classical-style instruments, including strings and double-reeds.
Eventually, he took his jazz and classical knowledge and composed his first symphony, Symphony for the Sons of Nam, which received national radio play and has been performed by many orchestras, including Philadelphia, Detroit, and Atlanta, as well as receiving three Composer awards.
In 1990 Williams started his own recording label and recording studio in Chicago, Little Beck Music.
Kimotion, formerly known as The Paumalu Symphony, was formed by Kimo in 1975. He wrote music for this ensemble to express his compositional concepts using his unique harmonic technique, Diagonal Harmony.
With 22 musicians, the Kimotion ensemble includes four trumpets, four trombones, five saxes, two guitars, keyboards, percussion, bass, drums, three violins, viola, and cello. The high-energy music combines rock with jazz and all places in between.
His first release in 1991, War Stories, was well received by the critics (41/2 Stars from Downbeat Magazine).
His second Tracking was released in 2001 and featured Victor Bailey, drum legend Vinnie Colaiuta and tenor sax great Michael Brecker. The third release was Kimotion Live 2002 With My Friend Vinnie, a live recording from a concert at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Ca.
J. Kimo Williams is currently mastering his latest release, Red Summer 1919: An Instrumental Opera
" I want my music to be a conduit to emotional communication between the listener and me."
J. Kimo Williams
"Powerful Stuff 4 1/2 stars" Downbeat "A fat slick sound with horns slicing through guitar grunge" Jazzizz "J. Kimo Williams comes up with a sound that is sheer energy and unpretentious." The Chicago Suntimes "Williams' brilliant,razor-edged mosaics bristle with the audacious rawness of Zappa" Jazztimes
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