An expansive guitarist with a bent toward funk and avant-garde jazz, Will Bernard first came to prominence as a member of Peter Apfelbaum's world music and jazz-oriented Hieroglyphics Ensemble in the late '80s. Although Bernard has continued to record with Apfelbaum, the ever-reaching guitarist has also found himself working with artists from a variety of genres, including the hip-hop group the Coup, New Orleans funkster drummer Stanton Moore, and world/new age bandleader Jai Uttal. On his own, Bernard has released four albums, including Medicine Hat in 1998, Will Bernard and Motherbug in 2000, and Directions to My House in 2004.
His critical breakthrough came with the release of Party Hats, his Palmetto Records debut in 2007, followed by the equally acclaimed Blue Blate Special in 2008 that featured John Medeski.
The guitarist spent the next couple of years playing clubs and festivals. He also formed the Will Bernard Trio with organist Will Blades and drummer Simon Lott. This outfit released Outdoor Living on Dreck To Disc in 2011.
Bernard was ever restless, however, and in 2013, released his first offering for Posi-Tone Records with saxophonist John Ellis, drummer Rudy Royston and organist Brian Charette.
After another round of touring and club dates, Bernard expanded his lineup to a quintet for his next recording. Drummer Allison Miller replaced the ever-busy Royston, and Ben Allison joined on bass; Charrette and Ellis remained. Out & About was issued by Posi-Tone in March of 2016. ~ Matt Collar