Bill Holman is known as the creative spirit of big band Jazz on the West Coast. His music, from old arrangements and new renderings to original compositions, is the “expression of a brilliantly creative musical imagination” (Don Heckman).
Although a fine tenor saxophonist, Holman is best known for his writing and he has been Grammy nominated fourteen times, winning for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1987 and 1997 and for Best instrumental Composition in 1995. Holman has been voted Best Arranger by Jazz Times Reader’s Pools and Arranger of the Year by Downbeat Magazine Critics numerous times.
Bill Holman initially became well-known for his arrangements for Stan Kenton in the fifties, which helped advance the Kenton sound. He concentrated on studio work by the 1960s, but also wrote through the years for Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and Buddy Rich, among others. Holman wrote the charts for Natalie Cole’s best-selling Unforgettable album in 1991, and has conducted master classes at the major Schools of Music and Universities. In 2000, The Bill Holman Collection of scores and memorabilia was established at the Smithsonian and he has been given a number of honors, including the Golden Score Award in 2008 and an Honorary Doctorate from Elmhurst College in 2009.