Bill Cessna

Piano / Accompanist

In 2009 Bill moved to Chicago to study jazz piano on scholarship for jazz and classical piano at Columbia College Chicago. There he had opportunities to study and perform with people such as; Peter Saxe, Dennis Luxion, Donald Neale, Jeremy Pelt, Barry Harris, Benny Golson, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Douglas, Christian McBride, Brian Culbertson, and more. After graduating he quickly became part of Chicago’s Jazz and Salsa scenes, while also working as a chorale director, educator and clinician – conducting numerous jazz/improvisation master classes in Chicago, China, Korea, and Singapore.

Since then he has become highly in-demand both as a sideman and bandleader performing in venues and festivals such as The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, The Green Mill, Winter’s Jazz Club, Merriman’s Playhouse, The Jazz Estate, Cliff Bells, Chicago Theater, Blue Note Beijing, JC Club, Old Town School of Folk Music, Hard Rock Café, House of Blues, Grant Park, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival and more.

Currently Bill leads his own trio throughout the Midwest, and has plans to record and release their first CD in 2019. He moved to Kalamazoo in 2018 with plans to pursue a master’s degree at Western Michigan University.

Bill is a multi-instrumentalist with 8 years experience teaching private piano, voice, and improvisation lessons to students of all ages. His teaching approach focuses on learning songs of all styles to enhance student’s technique, understanding of harmony, and improvisational skills while helping them set goals, develop good practice habits, and build confidence.