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Will Mariani

Will Mariani

Will Mariani is a highly sought-after contemporary guitarist and trumpet player, turned educator from DeKalb, Illinois. Starting with trumpet aged 9, he moved to guitar from 20 and established himself in Chicago and the Chicagoland suburban area.

Will studied trumpet with Chicago legends such as Marquis Hill and Art Davis, as well as New York based trumpeter Clay Jenkins.. Recognised for his performance, Will was placed repeatedly in top positions in district and state Musicians Educators Association jazz ensembles including lead trumpet in the All-State Jazz Ensemble and Honors Combo trumpet player; and being awarded best-of-class placements at Northern Illinois University Jazz camp and as the Ambassadors Combo for Birch Creek Music Camp jazz.

By eighteen Will was performing at popular Chicago venues such as the Greenmill, the Jazz Showcase and Andy’s Jazz Club and under residency for the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and held the exceptional position to be able to turn down offers at both Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and Manhattan School of Music in New York City, to focus on building his home-base - Illinois. He was placed in the NIU Jazz Ensemble directed by Ron Carter and the NIU jazz lab band directed by Rodrigo Villanueva. In 2011 Will won a jazz improvisation competition at Buddy Guys in Chicago.

It was after this Will developed a love for other styles of music including funk and rock and modern guitar. Applying his previous training in Trumpet, Jazz, Theory and Improvisation he taught himself to play guitar. With friends he quickly founded the well known Chicagoland based jam band Fuzzlove. He served as the main music writer of the band and in 2019 they released their self-titled first studio record. The band saw success, regularly packing out venues across Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan and playing various festivals including the Summer Camp Music Festival at the Cubby Bear, Martyrs in Chicago and Backwoods Festival in Ozark, Arkansas.

Will enjoys a wide variety of music genres such as modern guitar, funk, rock, metal and house/electronic. Some of his biggest influences include Umphrey’s Mcgee, Intervals, Al Joseph, and Plini. He had the privilege of briefly studying with one of these influences; Modern guitar great, Al Joseph. Will continues to submerge himself in and the learn the ways of the modern guitar world while blending it with his wide taste in music.

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