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Meet Will Lyle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Lyle.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My name is Will Lyle. I am a 24-year old professional bassist and graduate of Berklee College of Music. I am a current performer with the Billy Kilson Quartet, Jon Mayer Trio (Jazz Pianist who recorded with Coltrane), and frequent bassist with the Jacques Lesure group. I have also performed with the Ralph Peterson Fo’Tet, Roy McCurdy (drummer for Cannonball Adderley), Ron Escheté, Steve Cotter, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Lawrence Leathers, Ameet Kanon (American Idol), Miki Yamanaka, Rob Mullins, Drew Ninmer (Whiplash), Martin Diller (Postmodern Jukebox), Bruce Forman, and Andrea Miller. I have recorded with Nate Guinto, Alex Anderson, Rob Mullins, and Katie Hargrove. I have also worked as a composer, arranger, and musical director for Barry Minniefield (The Voice).

I started playing acoustic bass at age 19 after my first year at Berklee, and practiced up to 12 hours a day. My mentors there included Ralph Peterson, Neal Smith, Billy Kilson, Ron Mahdi and Susan Hagen. After graduating college, I was offered my first tour with Mr. Kilson to Japan. We played at venues such as the historic club Mr. Kelly’s in Osaka, as well as TriBeCa in Shinagawa, Tokyo. After that tour, I started working locally with Jacques Lesure at venues such as Vibrato, Jazz at the Merc, and Parker Room. I am currently planning my own tour as a leader to Japan in September 2018.

Please tell us about your art.
I am a freelance player, which means I get called to do concerts, private events, restaurant/bar gigs, tours, recording, and occasional composing or arranging. I work mostly in the jazz idiom but have also played an extensive amount of RnB, folk music, rock, indie, and some Brazilian and Cuban music. I seek to create and play something that has a strong foundation in the tradition of the classics and history, while at the same time pushing music forward to become adaptable for 21st-century palates. I believe we must be mindful of our history but cannot be stuck in past ways of living and thinking.

I also compose, arrange, and make music on my computer. I believe that my playing informs my composition, and my composition informs my playing.

I want my art to properly convey inspiration from the masters who preceded me, and to fundamentally make something inspired by emotion and the human condition. Usually when I play in a group with musicians who play a deep groove and are passionate in their art, the audience responds wonderfully regardless of age or background, because they can relate to the emotion in what we do. To me, art can be accessible and meaningful at the same time.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I define success as staying true to the factors that motivate one to pursue their craft, while being able to survive doing what they love. I view it mainly as a positive outlook towards their life and creative work, and avoid using the word “satisfaction” because it is healthy for us to constantly strive toward improvement. It is common, and in my eyes totally acceptable, for many of us to take side jobs, teach, or find other ways to make money, but an artist is an artist at their core, and if we stay true to what motivates us and our intentions, we are true to ourselves and thus we are happy.

These are my definitions of success. Generally, I believe modern society is obsessed with the idea of “success”. We consider ourselves wrong if we don’t immediately achieve our goals, or never achieve them at all, and are conversely constantly inundated with the achievements of everyone else around us, be it financial, in relationships, or in careers. We all must be 4.0 students. This approach, however, is unrealistic. I’ve found that success is never all-encompassing and doesn’t guarantee happiness or satisfaction. To me, our main priority, regardless of the stage we are in our careers and level of success, should be to learn, improve at our craft and moral quality, and take care of ourselves and those around us. Everyone has unseen struggles and issues. A favorite quote of mine from John Wooden states “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can follow me on Instagram @wlylemusic, to get updates about most of my gigs in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire, and the Coachella Valley. I can be found playing throughout Los Angeles at places like the Parker Room (Hollywood), Vibrato Grill Jazz (Hollywood Hills), Pips on La Brea (Mid-City), Vitello’s (Studio City), The Lighthouse Cafe (Hermosa Beach) and various other establishments.

Contact Info:

  • Website: wlylejazz.com
  • Email: wlylebass@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @wlylemusic

Image Credit:
Various photos of me with Jacques Lesure, Billy Kilson, and others.

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