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Will Bernard gets into a Northwest groove

Will Bernard in the KNKX Seattle studios.
Parker Miles Blohm
Will Bernard in the KNKX Seattle studios.


Before starting our studio session with Brooklyn-based guitarist Will Bernard, with Seattle favorites Joe Doria and Tarik Abouzied on organ and drums, I told him most of the interview would focus on "the out-of-towner." Will said, "wait, I'm here all the time!" 

It's true. The Berkeley, California, native makes his home in New York, but had just come from spending two weeks performing with friends in New Orleans. Seattle has been another frequent stop on his packed travel itinerary, and Bernard says he's always excited to play with Joe and Tarik.

Bernard is widely traveled across the musical spectrum as well. He was exposed to rock, jazz, hip hop, classical and music from around the world while still in his formative teen years in the Bay Area. He's made the most of his big ears and curious nature by becoming one of the most adaptable guitarists in the world, but in the KNKX studios he was all about the groove.

Our studio audience heard one song each by all three musicians, and Bernard mentioned how good his music sounds in the hands of these two talented Seattleites. As drummer Abouzied said, each player is comfortable with "letting go of what their idea of what the sound of the song should be. There's a lot of room for our personalities to insert themselves."

A stretch of shows in the Northwest this weekend include Tula's in Seattle May 10 and May 13 at Rhythm & Rye in Olympia. As all three agreed, they're in the entertainment business and Job No. 1 is making the audience happy. If you enjoy happiness, go see this trio live.

Will Bernard Interview
Abe Beeson speaks with Will Bernard in the KNKX Seattle Studios.

Studio Sessions Live Studio Sessions
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.