Bill Kopper

I am a Boulder, Colorado based guitarist mostly known for my grasp on jazz and world music. I also do a fair amount of R&B and pop music and have produced some recordings in that vein of late. And I love the music of Brazil and have gotten into a branch of it called Choro - it's sort of like their jazz music down there. It's what everone talks over at the clubs until the samba starts. I also cannot escape the blues since I grew up on the Mississippi River. I try to find that stuff in everything I play.

Around here I've been doing a fairly large variety of gigs - I played for several years with the late, great Billy Tolles. Billy was a huge force - a link to the source of Jazz and Blues, a masterful tenor saxophonist, and a peerless comunicator of all of these things to the listener. I also have had a long-time musical friendship with Sonya Vallet, a luminous, creative comet - She's a musician in the original meaning of the word. Listen to her on "Samba de Chueca" as she conjures this incredible Gypsy-Flamenco-Carioca spirit (She also wrote the lyric).

We've worked together quite a bit over the years, including an appearance at the Aspen Jazz Festival, and some gigs in New York and Brooklyn. We will be finishing Sonya's debut recording this summer, and playing some venues in Boulder and Denver while that is going on. Stay tuned.

I have the fortune to be in the hippest, most relaxed wedding band in the world, led by the incomparable Peter Yellin. He's a first-rate vocalist and with genius stage chops. I colaborated with him on his debut recording "Number One in China", which was released last year.

Another recording that came out last year was Rekha Ohal's second disc "I MIss Everything But You"; I played on this and helped with some arrangements. She's done some world-class song writing on this endeavor and it's not to be missed - check out her stuff on
I've also done some gigs lately with MaxJazz artist Rene Marie (the best working Jazz singer around right now); and I've just joined the quartet of Bob Montgomery, who has put together a group that intergrates the guitar into the horn section in a very unique way... Great arrangements and a very fun project.

I've been working with Dexter Payne in a choro project - I mentioned choro earlier - and this has been a real labor of love. It's notoriously trickly to play and seems to delight in throwing off all but the most studious musicians. Dexter has done this stuff for real in Brazil and is probably the premier clarinetist in this idiom in the region. And I'm also proud to be a part of the great Brazilian drummer Henrique de Almeida's band "The Brazilian Jazz Project" along with keyboardist Jeff Jenkins and Kim Stone (Rippingtons, Spyro Gyra).

Henrique just put out a superb drum method book called "Brazilian Rhythms for the Drum Set" published by Carl Fischer - the audio examples from the book include some of the group's recent studio recording called "Samba Songs".

Another project that's been really taking off is a group called "Ginga" - we do a wide range of Brazilian music and some Venezuelan "Joropos" (up-tempo waltzes). We also do some of my tunes, which is a real blast since this group can really play them well!

And for fans of bi-tonal music, there is Brad Goode's group - We've done a few gigs over the past year and this music is nothing if not cutting edge. Brad is easily one of the top ten trumpeters in the world - I never thought I'd be playing regularly with someone on his level.

Lastly and hardly leastly is a new recording that I produced and did the musical arrangements on - "Cristina - La Aurora: Icaros from the Amazon". Check out the tunes on the "music" page. As far as I know, this music has never been formally recorded before this - only some field recordings exist and those are relatively brief and/or of fairly low recording quality.
Bill Kopper

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