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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What it takes to make a great City?: Honoring Legendary Bassist William "Will" Austin

By The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.

With help from Edward "T-Money" Green -  A Tribute from a loving Son to his Dad October 23, 2013 @ 12:00am

Bassist Will Austin
On Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, 20501 Livernois Ave., Detroit, MI, there will be a tribute to William “Will” Austin, extraordinary bass player. That name may be unfamiliar to some but his professionalism and musicianship are known worldwide.

Austin, a self-taught Bassist performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Lil’ Esther Phillips, drummer Gene Krupa, Terry Pollard, Ysef Lateef, Sammy Davis Jr., Sonny Stitt, Johnny Hartman, Diane Carroll and list goes on and on. Austin a native of Saint Louis, Missouri moved to Detroit in the mid 50’s and worked in Automotive Sales by day and jammed at jazz and blues clubs by night; along with raising a family. A regular performer at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, it would be an injustice to refer to Austin as a sideman, because his music kept the rhythm, provided the bottom and supported the vocalist.

Always mindful of giving back to his community, Austin received the “Legends of Jazz Award” from the Detroit Instituted of Arts.  He and the late Alma Smith and Bert Myrick often performed for the late Father Cunningham’s Focus Hope Christmas Party.

A loving husband and father of four Austin’s sons are also musicians. Tony Green plays the bass, Will Austin III plays guitar and Steve Austin plays keys.  Daughter, Oriana does not play an instrument.

Edward "T-Money" Green
This tribute to Will Austin is sure to be a star studded event.   Tony Green, a celebrated writer, producer and bassist said, “I wanted to honor my dad.  To tell him how much I love and appreciate him as a father and musician.  This event will include performances by musicians my dad performed with and mentored.  The doors at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge open at 5pm. My dad doesn’t know all the details of the night so help us keep it quiet.   Tickets are $10 and are available at the door”.


The Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.  totally supports the event, and will make it a point to highlight the talent and the legacy of some of Detroit's own. We are glad that we can honor someone who is alive to appreciate it instead of honoring them after they have passed away. Detroit has produced so many musicians that have went on to professional stardom, and musicians who learned how to play from some of Mr. Austin's students that went on to college and played in bands to pay for school.  So when you hear a thumping bass coming from a car or sitting at a concert, you can be rest assured that the sprit of Will Austin is in full effect.
For the Future of Detroit
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