IAA SPOTLIGHT: GET TO KNOW – WILLIAM KURK – CHICAGO’S HOTTEST STAR!

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Manufactured from the seed of musical ancestry, William Kurk is a Chicago-born artist that comes from a family of artistic lineage. Son to musicians Beverly and William, Sr, grandson to Dr. Lena Mclin, and great nephew to Thomas A. Dorsey, Kurk is a torch bearer of the most distinguished values of humanity and arts.

Formal vocal training for Kurk started with his grandmother, Dr. Lena McLin at age 13. Prior to that, Kurk studied the flute, trumpet, guitar, and bass guitar. His first experience with an instrument was as early as nine-months old on drums. Singing was the first musical stronghold on the early years of Kurk’s artistic identity. Along with performing at various talent showcases around Chicago, singing in the church choir was quintessential to the process, while also singing in all-city youth chorus and mass services weekly as a student at Hales Franciscan High School.

Piano would eventually become the instrument of interest, and Kurk started his own study of the instrument by age 15. As early as 16, Kurk was playing in a big band led by the late-great Ken Chaney as an apprentice, and playing solo piano gigs around town. After graduating from Hales Franciscan High School, Kurk would attend Northern Illinois University for a semester to continue voice study with renowned baritone, Robert Sims (an esteemed pupil of Dr. McLin).

After a semester at Northern Illinois University, Kurk transferred to Columbia College Chicago, accepting a Jazz Studies scholarship for piano performance. While studying jazz pedagogy under the guidance of Bill Russo, Kurk was summoned for studio work as a session player for Motown/Universal artist Prophet Jones, as well as 143 Records. It was during these sessions that Kurk was introduced to Tom Washington (arranger for Earth, Wind, & Fire, Genesis, The Jacksons), who would instantly become a mentor in pop arranging and musicianship.

Kurk started piano accompaniment work at Black Ensemble Theater in 2001, where he played local and touring productions for a variety of shows. In 2002, Kurk began to tour with The Dells, as well as The Marvelettes, Platters, and Coasters, which would be a great aid in developing the mature musical components of Kurk.

After acquiring a Bachelors Degree (B.A) in Music Composition from Columbia College Chicago, Kurk continues to work as a freelance pianist, as well as for several theater companies as a musical director/sound designer/pianist. Kurk was nominated in 2007 for Best Musical Director by the Black Theater Alliance for the musical “Sarafina”. Other notable shows under the musical direction of Kurk include: “Once On This Island”, “Ragtime”, “Hair”, “Runaways”, “Godspell”, “Nefertiti”, “The Wiz”, “Trouble The Water”, and “Cabaret”.

William Kurk has always been passionate about the personal vision of art. An ambassador to the Chicago music scene by virtue of efforts to support fellow artists and the continued pursuit of maintaining original ideas, released five studio albums: ‘The Sound: Vol.1’ (2004), ‘The Sound: Vol. 2’ (2007), ‘The Sound: Vol. 3’ (2009), ‘Pop Fusion’ (2011), and ‘Super Pop Fusion’ (2012). Members of the Grammy-award winning band Yellowjackets are featured on the third album: Bob Mintzer and Will Kennedy on the contemporary jazz hit, “Another Day”. William Kurk has also been a host to many events and shows around Chicago, as well as reviewed several indie projects under the alias ‘The Musicianarian’.

Other studio credits outside of his own include: Seal, Melba Moore, Dwele, and Maysa Leak among many others. The William Kurk Enterprise- “LIVE IN CHICAGO” DVD was released in 2011, which is a live concert compilation of Kurk’s ensemble performing across Chicago.

Some of the other notable accompaniment work for Kurk includes: Dionne Warwick, Melba Moore, Martha Reeves, Koko Taylor, Stanley Jordan, Kindred The Family Soul, Andre DeShields, Chico DeBarge, Eric Roberson, Frank McComb, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, KRS-ONE, Julie Dexter, and Bill Cosby. Kurk has also been featured by the Chicago Music Association as one of the rising young composers on the scene, and is currently the keyboardist for R&B/Funk legend Steve Arrington. The future will present more music to come from William Kurk, as the latest project will be a tribute album to all the artists that have been an influence to the musical journey. The legacy continues.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

WILLIAM KURK: Chicago, IL. I never lived anywhere else, and Chicago has always been my primary habitat. No suburbs or townships; just the second city environment that made me into a unique vessel of wits and grit. South Shore to be specific, which is on the southeast part of town. Originally grew up in Bridgeport behind Comiskey Park, where the Chicago White Sox used to play.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?

WILLIAM KURK: Long before I earned a B.A in Music Composition from Columbia College, the roots of my musical identity reside at home. My mother was a staff writer alongside Curtis Mayfield at Curtom Records, a backup singer for Jerry Butler, Bobby Hutton, as well as an accomplished electric and upright bassist. My father was a drummer with the Weapons Of Peace; a band signed to Playboy Records when the Playboy Company was still based in Chicago. Dr. Lena Mclin is not just my grandmother, but also the driving force behind my career as a professional musician. A recipient of two honorary doctrines in music humanities from Spelman College and Virginia Union University, she is a world-renowned vocal teacher, composer, arranger, and educator in music humanities. She is highly noted for being a vocal teacher to R.Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, and being my first true teacher in life, going back to my inception into the world. My great uncle, Thomas A. Dorsey, is the father of Gospel music, and I had the pleasure of growing up in the church while he was still alive and active in the music ministry. Everything that I hold near and dear to my musical commonwealth has something to do with the experiences I maintained with my family. Every single style of music was represented in my household during my growing pains. Classical, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Funk, Country, Pop, Motown, Disco, Soul, Adult Contemporary, Middle Of Road, Rap, Rock, and especially Gospel. I listened to it all, and grew up in the era where radio played everything under one format. I studied with my parents on the gig scene, while my grandmother kept me grounded with the sacred and classical studies. Reading and understanding the theory of music is mandatory in my household, so everybody must read music, know the history, and be capable of analyzing the components of musical composition and literature. By the time I got into college, I was just going through the motions until I earned the degree. Personally, my musical ability encompasses all of these things simultaneously, so I don’t claim a particular genre of interest; being pigeonholed is not something I’m good at.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to records and release your own music?

WILLIAM KURK:   Going back to my years of adolescence, I always knew that I had a greater purpose through the means of my expression. Most artists have a multitude of motivations why they feel their work is the most valuable, but I can only speak for my own motivations. My music is a reflection of my struggle to be obtain a level of perfection through growth that we all embody as humans on earth, and while that perfection may never come in our lifetime, my music is the soundtrack that speaks of my greater depth as a person in the world; a testimony of the heart and mind that all people can relate to in life’s expedition. I mentioned my great uncle earlier (Thomas A. Dorsey), who conceived Gospel music by taking his original style of sacred music across the country, and selling it to churches. Without his vision to challenge the status quo to dare beyond the conventional, this genre would not exist. It is with this same fervor that I have chosen to press onward in my pursuit to challenge the mainstream with my own vision; to perhaps one day be a contributor to a style of music that lives beyond my own existence. Releasing my own music is the way and the truth to that path.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

WILLIAM KURK: A song is simply a poem set to a melody, so I would describe my songs as ‘a template for humanity and the perilous cycle of conflict thereof’. Some songs are happy, sad, mad, spiritual, thought provoking, political, social, comedic, scientific, romantic, violent, cerebral, but they are all sovereign elements of who I am in my life journey. The songs are about my experiences and perspectives, and how my being can inspire and challenge the consciousness of the world. I also pay homage to the video game culture of my generation with songs like “Ms. Pac Man”, “Day Of Honor”, and “Revenge Of Mega Man”, so I write about gaming culture quite a bit too.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?

WILLIAM KURK: My appeal beacons to both young and seasoned listeners, but in the recent years, the younger audiences have become more involved. When I released my first indie project in 2004, the vibe was very mature, thus the audiences were mature; 30 years old and up. My performance style during that time involved the band wearing suits, and carried a very distinguished presentation. Since the release of my most recent albums in 2012 and 2011, the fascination has come from the younger demographic ranging from 18 years old and up. The band is completely casual now, and the vibe is more youthful. The music brings together families across the generations, because it’s made to appeal to all.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?

WILLIAM KURK: My grandmother (Lena Mclin) is my first ever influence in my life. It was her music that I recall hearing in my earliest days upon the earth, and her ability to affect change in people through the music. Then comes along the artists that are known by the masses: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Steely Dan, Yellowjackets, Al Jarreau, Gino Vannelli, Take 6, Pat Metheny, Chaka Khan, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Chicago, Swing Out Sister, Level 42, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Israel Houghton, Andre Crouch, Larnell Harris, Richard Smallwood, Bill Conti, David Foster, Marvin Gaye, Jay Graydon, Quincy Jones, Lee Ritenour, Dave and Don Grusin, Luther Vandross, Ramsey Lewis, Ivan Lins, Hermeto Pascoal, Tania Maria, Casiopea, Billy Joel, Leon Ware, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Maya Angelou, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King, Jr, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS ONE, Kinuyo Yamashita, Ayako Saso, YMCK, Stu Phillips, Tom Tom 84, Thomas A. Dorsey, Steve Arrington, Joe Jackson, Arturo Sandoval, Dizzy Gillespie, Jerry Hey, Richard Tee, Barry Eastmond, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Horace Silver, Toto, and Jackie Robinson to name a few.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?

WILLIAM KURK:   ‘Pop Fusion’ has been the theme of my recent projects, combining the adult contemporary sound with the Pop-R&B sound. The description is a tribute to the era of music that emerged in the early 80’s; artists like George Benson, Al Jarreau, Manhattan Transfer, Michael Franks, and George Duke made music that maintained a musical depth, while also having significant mainstream success. The audience that receives my music openly has typically been the contemporary jazz crowd, but the Pop/R&B/Hip-Hop enthusiasts have taken an active curiosity in my music as well.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?

WILLIAM KURK: Everybody has a dream, but very few have a vision, and what I aim to achieve will exhaust every bit of my existence to sow the seed for the harvest of future generations. My vision can hopefully see the light of day upon my days on the earth, but I know that what I’m building will stand on the foundation of something monumental, like a skyscraper built long before our arrival, or a work of art that is worthy of being in a museum. Vision is the special ingredient that keeps me sovereign from the stampede. Many artists have talent, ambition, and some are fortunate to have sex appeal, but what I aspire to leave behind is a template for how music should be. Musicianship, knowledge, sophistication, and enlightenment are my contributions to the world, and that is why my art is the calling card to distinguish my journey from the multitude.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?

WILLIAM KURK: The latest project on the horizon is a tribute album that will focus on my arrangements of previously released works by some of my top influences in history. The title of the double-disc project is “Legacy”, and is unlike any of my previous projects, which have all been original compositions. The album is a mixture of heavy production and arrangement, along with glimpses of acoustic performances. This album also features guest appearances from some of the rising stars in indie music such as Chester Gregory, Gloria Ryann, Selan, Lili K, Chris Rob, Marqueal Jordan, and Khari Parker. This project has been a massive undertaking, so it will be bittersweet to finally release it to the people. I also have my original music that I continue to write and record daily, but the “Legacy” project is something that will bring context to my current audience, and introduce my craft to a new manifold of listeners.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

WILLIAM KURK: My life as a full time musician has given me the pleasure to work alongside many awesome talents, both locally and beyond. While this has been a blessing to my vast understanding of the art and the business, my main goal is to retire from being a work-for-hire musician, and allow for my own art to be the primary means of sustenance. My vision will demand a sacrifice that cannot be maintained as a sideman for the rest of my life, and although I’ve been fortunate to live a parallel lifestyle of being an artist and a vocational musician, I don’t see myself performing in restaurants, clubs, and bars as a hired musician10 years from now. On the large scale, I’m looking to bring my sound to concert halls, symphony centers in all cities, theaters, auditoriums, and festivals. I have big band arrangements, as well as sinfonietta works that I would like to commission for performance. I anticipate the publication series of my printed musical works to be available for the public, as well as play-along educational material for musicians to learn from. I foresee the creation of a non-for-profit arts foundation as well, to preserve and enhance the values of our humanity through the arts.

 

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

WILLIAM KURK: All of my released music is available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and Bandcamp. I’m on Twitter and Instagram also, for all the social media folks! Go to my website and hit the “contact” tab to write something in the guestbook, or for further info.

 

www.williamkurk.com

www.williamkurk.bandcamp.com

www.soundcloud.com/williamkurk

www.cdbaby.com/artist/williamkurk

www.reverbnation.com/williamkurk

www.youtube.com/williamkurk

www.instagram.com/williamkurk

www.twitter.com/williamkurk

 

 

 

 

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144 COMMENTS

  1. A fascinating artist indeed. He has a rich musical background and seems very unique. Checked out his music, and it’s certainly on another level than anything I’ve seen in previous spotlight features. This is straight-up music here, and it’s good to see people making real music these days.

    • Will Kirk!!!!
      You know you’re amazing man!!! I’ve played with you for 3 years and I’m still astounded by how you play!! Keep it up and reach for the

      • In all honesty, I think you are an amazing musician! Go ahead and release your music to the world. This world needs young musicians with their own fresh style of music. Pop fusion? Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to hear your music go global! You have so much potential to live out your dream! Not a lot of people could do it. And I’m proud that you’ve worked so hard to get where you’re at now. Dream Big William!!
        -Much love from your biggest fan from Hawaii! As they say here “Ooooo killemmmm” . lol (break a leg)

  2. William Kirk is a man with a brilliant mind!
    You can always spot out the ones with the rawness, they just feel it. You can’t learn this, your born with it! Kirk you’re blessed with it and I am blessed to have worked and continue to work with your music magic! Congrats as always!

    Peace and love!

  3. An artist that is bless with an awesome gift and talent whose music is so inspiring and unique, something that I love to hear : )

  4. I have been following his musical growth since he was in highschool and he has paid his dues and earned his respect in the REAL MUSICIAN CLUB. His sound is very creative and melodic. You can hear in every one of his songs that he is having fun and not concerned with what Mainstream Radio wants. GOOD STUFF!

  5. I’mI loving this article and getting to know more about one of my favorite artist!! WK live shows are bananas!! Everyone should experience his music! ♥♥♥

  6. Yeah I do know that dude!!!! And he does have big feet! Before he become the prominent musician he is today, he use fly to different galaxies on Star Trak!!!

  7. His unparalleled musicianship is only the platform from which his unique showmanship is displayed. He’s truly in a class by himself, the special class, but a class nevertheless. Let’s face it. This guy is a weirdo. On and of the stage, he is strange. Fortunately, most artists who are with hearing are abnormal. If you enjoy unclassifiable music, he’s your man. WKE probably has about 19 albums, all of which are marked “other”. His music should’ve brought back record stores, but has somehow ushered us into the digital age. You’ll thank me later if you give him a listen now!

  8. Wow! Its amazing to see how far you’ve come. I’m so proud of ya, Will! You’ve made some amazing accomplishments (including surviving the elephant attack ;D) Lol, but anyway, keep doing what you’re doing, man! Truly a great example and an even better role model!

  9. William Kurk is a “musician’s musician.” His unparalleled musicianship makes it obvious why he is so well regarded not only by the masses but also by his peers as an incredible composer, pianist, soloist, and singer. He’s like a modern day Mozart…you play him a song one time he can play it back to you, and quote several other songs while he’s doing it. He writes deceptively complex music that presents itself as accessible all while revealing many more layers upon each listen. As a musician, he’s “someone you want in your band.” As an audience member, he’s “someone you want to see continue composing and performing.”

  10. This was an excellent read and a very in depth presentation of who William Kurk, the artist is as well as the person. Your music is going to be timeless. There is so much family history here that you should be proud of Captain Kurk. This goes without saying, but you are carrying the torch well for our generation and for generations of future artists who I hope will aspire for greatness and take this sacred art further.

  11. WK without a doubt one of my favorite artist. His creativity is without bounds and his performance level right along with it. I believe the world is thirsting for real music again, and WK is going to play a huge part in quenching that thirst..

  12. I had the opportunity to meet William Kurk 11 years ago. What stood out to me the most about him was his knowledge about music and the history of music. This article did a good job of highlighting who he is as a musician and an artist.

  13. Will Kurk is the real deal. Whenever I’m back in da Chi I look forward to playing with him everytime. Everyone please show this man some well deserved love!!!

  14. “…to name a few”. Hahaha! Love it! Will continues to be my inspiration. His discipline and ability to have fun with music is astounding. I’ve known him since he was 19 and was impressed with his talents. Years later I’m still amazed. He represents the past, present and future of music. A genius he is.

  15. I love this guys music!!! And when I came to Chicago he gave me tour of the city. He is a great guy all the way around.

  16. William Kurk…
    Is an AMAZING musician, artist, creator, innovator and craftsman…he is truly unparalleled on so many levels… I give kudos to IAA for recognizing this man…

    One would think the music in his DNA may allow for William to do and be far less driven, motivated and creative because what flows from him when he’s not even trying… far surpasses the average musician…yet William continues to push himself and the very definition of music…by digging deeper and putting in work…and the outcome is jaw dropping.
    We are so lucky to have him in Chicago….and I personally can’t wait to see what he does next…because it will surely be Phenomenal!!

  17. William Kirk is an amazing Artist, Musician and Arranger! His authentic sound musical approach is refreshing!

  18. William Kurk? I LOVE this guy!!! He is an outstanding musician who I had the pleasure to meet and work with. He is a mentor to me. His knowledge, talent, and charisma really captured me. It amazes me how he can take his life experiences and perspectives, good and bad and turn it into something sooooo beautiful! Into something that people connect to. And that’s what good music does: It speaks to you, it motivates you, it changes you…. It definitely changed me!!!

  19. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting & working with Will a few months back in Richmond, VA. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Will is truly one of the most creative cats I’ve ever known & his knowledge of his craft is remarkable & impressive.

    His music is very unique & fun to play. He possesses a very diverse mixture of styles & approaches —from straight ahead jazz to electronic based fusion & more. He has a joy for what he does that is visible on stage & “on the hang” afterwards.

    Cool, cool cat…great musician…good guy!

  20. One of my favorite Chicago artists! An amazing talent who is so much fun to watch because he is just that wicked good that he can always take it to the edge!

  21. Will is rare treat! Talented musician and just as equally genuine and cool person. I’ll never forget our cupcake and Cracker Barrel capers. Sadly, I couldn’t keep up and moved to FL. He has energy for DAYS! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  22. WKE, as my sis Cecy Santana calls him at home, lol, brings nothing but joy into our lives. He composed one of our favorite songs of all times “short bread legs”. We play that song non stop. WKE=One of the greatest songwriters we have ever met.

  23. Will is as solid as they come. His creativity is captivating, his ability to turn the musical ordinary into the extraordinary appears effortless. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the captain in action a few times and every experience gives me something to look forward too. I love William Kurk!

  24. William Kirk has been my friend from the days of yester-year but he never ceases to amaze me! Not only is he talented and smart and witty and funny and cute (!!!) He can turn a party out and shut it down (like the time he came to PDiddy’s after party with me!)
    I’m so proud of everything Will has done and can’t WAIT to see what the future holds for him!

  25. Great article and fun reading!
    William Kurk brings different styles of music together which then emulates to his own sound….. the WKE sound.
    From funk to fusion, jazz to R&B with tricky arrangements , you won’t expect right away.
    Everything of his is put together like a puzzle, it just fits!!

  26. WK you come from a lineage of Greatness. Your great uncle’s prayer came true! He would be proud of your planning and progress. You have a solid foundation like the Sears Tower, that’s why I depend on your expertise! I encourage any other artist in their right mind to have you on their team. Your diversity, open-mindedness, mastery of your craft has made room for you and shall continue to expand!
    Congrats!!

  27. Ты потрясающий, Курк!! Ты невероятно крутой музыкант, ты настоящий, что в наши дни большая редкость!!! Спасибо тебе за то, что ты делаешь и за то, что остаешься верным своим принципам! Никогда не сдавайся, ты прошел гигантский путь в этом бизнесе и я уверена что в каждом уголке Земли найдутся уши, жаждущие новой прекрасной музыки “не для всех”. Ты наша надежда на то, что не все потеряно. Мы тебя любим.
    Рона.

  28. William is a true talent. The first time I heard Shortbread Legs, I fell in love!!! His music is soothing and soulfull with a vibe different than any other on the scene. William is gifted artist with an unforgettable sound. If ya don’t know, now ya know.

  29. I really enjoy william Kurks music my favorite songs is wipe away and mirror both songs changed me in put my life in the right direction .I really think that he is a Musical Genius thats needs more credit He is wonderful just like his music

  30. Such an amazing article about an amazing artist. I had the privilege to hear William in a jazz set in South Chicago. Not only can he play they keys off the wall he can captivate an audience (ranging in all ages) and get them to join in by either singing his familiar tone or boobing their heads. Not only was I entertained I was most importantly inspired. Thanks for the article and thank you William Kurk for your wonderful music!

  31. Having met him during a production we were both involved in at Second City, Will impressed me from the onset. I’ve been following his work ever since and I’ve NEVER been disappointed. Elegant, pure Underground Fusion is what he delivers. So, take a ride on the William Kurk Enterprise and, uhh…KEEP IT PIMPIN’! 🙂

  32. Sometimes in life you meet special people they do things like its never been done before, that musician is my friend and brother will Kurk, he’s one of the greats!!

  33. William Kurk is a talented person with much to offer the world. I hope that people get to experience the type of art he creates, and everything else he has to offer! Kudos~

  34. It is a delight to see you following the legacy of your ancestry and your grandmother, who is dear to me. Be blessed young man, and continue to do the will of your work. People need to hear your wonderful music more often.

  35. Your music reminds me of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire…the kids need more of this, and less of that ‘twerk’ crap. keep it up!

  36. You are a strange dude, but it all makes sense now! lol. All that musical genius can’t be contained without some weirdness to you. Big ups.

  37. I saw this brother playing at an event for Alderman Leslie Hairston, and he made a joyous noise. This guy has something special about him, and is quite the comedian too. Don’t let the smooth taste fool you; he’s the real deal. A classic talent indeed.

  38. This man got the juice! No shame in his game. Kirk puts it out there for the people! Make those moves. music Needs u!

  39. THE POWER….THE AUDACITY….THE AUGMENTATION!!!!!! From the big band to the grand stand, you pimpin’ the game! Music is in ya blood, and you gon’ make it do what it do!

  40. I used to manage a restaurant where William was a regular performer, and he was always on time, professional, and did a wonderful job. I look forward to seeing his career prosper and support his music. Thank you.

  41. one of the silliest and illiest musicians in the game. He can crack jokes and bust notes! He’s the modern day Stevie Wonder with that classic Eddie Murphy humor! For real. Get hip!

  42. This article is great…but it mentions nothing about your dancing skills! One of my favorite breakdancers ever is a musician too? Wow! The total package! Stay blessed my dear.

  43. He’s out of this world…in a good way! Move upward, and keep the good fight alive with music and honor!

  44. A jazzer who can soul and rock n roll! That’s just a 1st part out of 100 this guy has to offer. My college brother and music-in-life brother…maintain!!

  45. I’ve known Will since we did a musical together in 2007 – “Nefertiti”. He was the musical director, and he did awesome! His music is totally about him and talks about him to the tee. If you don’t know, now you know!!

  46. I’m pleased to see your growth since I started following you. Such a testament to your will to bring your message to the world. Still love “Satellite Dreamer”…that’s my favorite song! Cheers.

  47. You like to sing Xmas music all year round and drive me nuts, but you got it going on. You got an imagination on you, and that’s why I dig you. Do it.

  48. William and I did a gig at Mr.G’s in Chicago, and was a lifesaver. An artist and a musician in the same person.

  49. William is a fabulous musical director and sound designer in the theater community. Perhaps in the future, a separate article can talk about his theater work. Much love.

  50. I am a piano dealer for the Chicagoland area with Steinway Pianos, and William is a magnificent talent. I saw him perform at a jazz fest a while back and knew that he was a true musician indeed. He plays a mean Steinway Piano too…which I highly recommend to all persons in need of a piano.

    Steve

  51. I’ve been a part of William’s creative team since day one; his 1st album 10 years ago, and it’s great to see his outreach and influence grow. I’m his art director/graphic designer, and it’s been a pleasure to know a person who has the spirit of righteousness for the music. Can’t wait to get going on the new album coming soon.

  52. Talent is the only word that comes to mind with this guy. And he’s pretty good with his knowledge of sports, politics, and food. A true social genius.

  53. Ohio needs this guy today! Takes a lot for me to read somebody’s story on the internet, and I’m pretty convinced. Good job buddy!

  54. You called me personally and asked me to check out this article, so I did, and I’m pretty impressed. Great work sir, and you keep doing that music you do. Don’t let the radio madness discourage you from reaching your audience. – WMac

  55. I called u for a gig, and you got me leaving comments on the internet. Only you can do such a thing Big Willy! lol. You got a ‘Behind The Music’ story happening here. Can’t wait to see what becomes of it.

  56. A great performer you are, and you just continue to impress me. I might have to be your personal doctor if you keep blowing up. Blessings brother.

  57. I’ve known you since you were a squirt, and now you’re a big squirt doing big things. Good job! You stayed in school, and now you don’t look like a fool. Show these young bucks how it’s done. Uncle Verne is here for ya man.

  58. I remember when you put your website together, and now look at you. Glad to see you still in the good fight for something right. You will be okay, as long as you don’t lose your mind and end up on drugs.

  59. My Chicago brother. North Carolina misses you man. Bring that music madness back down here. Great work on this interview. I’ve known you for over a decade, and didn’t know you had your own thang. keep on with the keep on.

  60. Yeah dude…you trynna fly away huh? Well, you can’t without me…take me with you to the big time (I AIN’T PLAYIN)! We still haven’t done any video work together, so I hope this comment will be my down payment! LOL. Stay fresh my dude!

  61. I was at your college graduation party…and I knew then you would cause for a disruption in the mainstream! Dig your craziness. You are a mad man with a purpose!

  62. You are a true character in every way possible; but you are a benefit to the world. Add your flavor to it as you’ve been doing, and make the world a better place with your gift.

  63. William is a hard working musician and indie artist unlike most you will ever know. He understands the history, theory, and business of music to the fullest. The world must know about him.

  64. My good ole’ college buddy. He is a great talent of entertainment. I did a musical with him as the music director, and he made things so easy going and fun. Keep William close to your heart!

  65. This dude can play and sing, while dancing. I can’t explain it. You just have to see video of him doing it or go to a show. I won’t even begin to explain the keyboard-on-his-head act he does.

  66. From a long time ago, I knew William would be different from other musicians. Our first time working together was doing a production of “The Wiz’ back in 2000, and he made magic happen. I have nothing but respect for what he does as an artist.

  67. A wonderful young man with much passion and focus to his art. He should be an example for all the young men trying to find their way. Not this rap mess that’s always poisoning the minds of the kids. Keep it going and make sure you stay close in prayer.

  68. Make the world your playground for your vision, and others will play along. You got the dream, and the vision to see it through. Honor your path and do great things.

  69. I discovered you randomly on facebook, and you turn out to be a great person too? This is the formula for me to leave comments late at night…but you sold me, so here I am. You really are awesome, and a talent out of this world. I’m so glad to have met you in cyberspace, and don’t let the world bring you to a dark place…stay encouraged!

  70. You are far from a novelist musician; you are the real deal cat out here. The amount of music you know is impressive, and glad you know what to say musicially to make people feel it.

  71. When I worked your DVD release party, I honestly just did so because I needed some experience, and you gave me some pretty slick music to listen to, and that experience I was looking for. Columbia College rules! Thanks so much Will for being awesome.

  72. Uncle Dave here. You have all the tools to go far in life, the people behind you. The only thing you have to do is just own the gift that lives in you, and make the world believe. I always tell about that, so it’s time for you to lay it out there. This interview served you well, so you get out and serve well.

  73. As a teenager, I thought you were the strangest person I’ve met. Now that we’re adults, you’re still the strangest person I know. Congrats, you are officially ‘original’…but in a good-positive way. Keep making the mark on those ears and eyes.

  74. “Ms.Pac Man” is my stuff. Pure genius, and you always got material for any mood….rap, funk, r&b, dance, balllad. You hold it down. Much love.

  75. Comme vous êtes est la façon dont vous serez. Great u are. Life marches on, so don’t give up…keep going.

  76. You used to clown at Close Up 2 and make Frank so nervous, but the people love it. I did, and I was working there! Big ups dude.

  77. That pic of you is really cool, and I’ve always liked your jammy jams…even since college. You don’t just make ‘radio’ sounding music, but it gets really deep. Hold you people!

  78. You’re such a great tour guide for Chicago, and I got to hear all your music in your car. It was like my personal Willy Vacation. I know that’s gonna sound weird, but it was, and I had lots of fun! Thank you!

  79. The last album you did was quite epic. Looking forward to this new one with 2 disc. I know it will be the greatness you produce. ~D

  80. One of the most gifted people I know. Gifted in music and touched in life. Not that ‘crazy’ touched, but that ‘special’ touched!! He lives life by his own rules and doesn’t apologize for it. Go ahead brotha Kurk. U got this.

  81. Mi gente!~ Great work and congrats! U most certainly earned it. When you’re ready to come back to the theater world, let me know!

  82. BIG WILLY STYLE! You surprise me daily. You’re always into something, and I didn’t know you had this superstar life! Don’t forget me!

  83. Such a pleasure working with you on Sarafina and a delight to have your expertise on such a big show. You continue to do great things I see, so keep going.

  84. Your music is played here all the time in South Africa! You will make the world a great sound! I hope to see you here one day!

  85. Actor, singer, musician, dancer, comedian….you probably do more than that and just not telling nobody! U got mad skills Will. I knew this when I met you when we were in college. U are on your way. Keep your prayers near and dear, and your heart pure. U always be an example!

  86. A remarkable mind Kurk is. He can embody the spirit of creativity at a heart beat and understand the purpose for which it is created. A professional person when it comes to making the art excellent, and reaches for new levels of precision with his talents. He is a one of a kind, and embrace him as such.

  87. He is the wildest dude anybody will ever meet, and the most professional too. Obsessed with getting things right, Kurk rehearsed a cast of singers for a musical into the late hours until he was satisfied, then the following day, they sounded like a choir. Funny when he needs to be, but serious when it comes to the task. He’s a true pro and connoisseur of the craft.

  88. A sterling young talent, William is a great musician, and a great educator too. He understands how to motivate children and adults to learn about basic elements of music, and can demonstrate how they all fit together. He is a bright star on the jazz scene, and hopefully the world scene when people read this. Thank you for sharing his story.

  89. A special kind of human being is William, if he is indeed ‘human’. He somehow manages to gig everywhere, and have a life as an artist, which is very hard to do. He’s a spirited person who wants things to be perfect, but he just strives for excellence, which is all we can ask for as creative people. The art community knows about Kurk, and they are looking forward to his next artistic venture.

  90. My music theater partner in crime. We worked on a Chicago production of “Nefertiti” back in 2007 as co-music directors, and he certainly helped the show be what it was meant to. Hours of Finale notation use and rehearsing an off-broadway cast, he is all about the work. Success from Sweden! Hope to see you hear soon (before the end of the 21st century)!! Skål!!

  91. Glad to see you taking your music full scale. I remember you were struggling with deciding if you were going to continue doing it, or be a street breakdancer! I think we definitely need better music in the world, but you can breakdance during your shows, and hire me as your choreographer!!! SEE! lol. LOVE!

  92. Keep the music alive; you do such a great job expressing yourself. Sorry if this comment is too late, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you.

  93. Oh my dear musical theater and life friend! You will always be special to the world, and to me! CABARET was a show that we will never forget. One day you have to talk about that story to the people!!!

  94. My Chicago friend! Aloha from Hawaii!! I miss seeing you play and hearing you sing. You should bring your army of music here to Hawaii. I bet you’d love it. Great article, and continued success! A hui hou kaua!!!

  95. moshi moshi!!! I like this interview a lot. Thank you for sharing. I hope you don’t stop your jazz recording and writing. It is very interesting and great. じゃあまたね

  96. An excellent pupil during his time while at Columbia College in my choir, and a great soloist. His piano accompaniment skills are not to be forsaken as well. Reading this article, I can see why he was such a great choir member. Kudos.

  97. Can I have your bracelet? I will never stop asking for it as long as your live. Thank you for letting me be your DVD cover and hat model. Hopefully you won’t forget about me when you blast off into space! ~ 🙂

  98. Funny guy I tell ya. That Kurk is one heck of a riot. Great job on your story; I actually like it. I’m not just saying that because you texted me ASKING ME TO SAY SOMETHING! You are more than meets the eye comrade.

  99. NICE PHOTO! Wonder who took that lol!! It still looks great, and glad you are getting some recognition for your work. You do a lot by yourself, and it’s time you let the bloggers and media give you nudge! When you wanna shoot some more photos, don’t be a stranger.

  100. I haven’t seen you since your DVD event I did for you, but I’m glad to see you still at it. You come from an awesome family, and I hope to be apart of your musical army again one day. ~ C

  101. This article in itself is impressive, and although highlights his musical influence and background, doesn’t do his passion for music justice… To see William Kurk live is a truly impressive experience…. He invites the audience to play, sing, dance with him… Without even saying a word. Super proud to say he’s from Chicago, and his original stuff?! truly in a class of its own

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