Will Calhoun's unique blend of improvisational and hard rock drumming can be found on each of Living Colour's four Epic releases: the ground breaking multi-platinum debut, Vivid, the critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Time's Up, the 1991 EP, Biscuits, 1993's Stain, and their latest release on Sanctuary Records, CollideØscope. A prolific song writer, Will has co-written many Living Colour compositions and wrote the critically acclaimed song, Pride, on the Time's Up album and Nothingness on the Stain album. As a member of Living Colour, Will received a Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Hard Rock Performance by a group and another Grammy in 1990 for Best Hard Rock Performance. Living Colour also won an International Rock Award In 1991 for Best Rock Band.
In addition to his work with Living Colour, Will has recorded and/or toured with diverse artists including B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jaco Pastorious, Harry Belafonte, Pharoah Sanders, Jack Dejohnette, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Marcus Miller, Dr.John, Carly Simon, Herb Alpert, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, Wayne Shorter (on the Grammy-winning CD "High Life"), and recorded with rappers Run-DMC and Public Enemy. As a producer, player, and songwriter, Will has worked on Herb Alpert's Grammy-nominated CD, Colors.
During Will's down time he has managed to record two solo projects Housework and Drum Wave. These discs provide an alternate canvas for his acoustic drumset artistry as well as his push for electronic tonal expressions.
Will, Doug Wimbish, and Vinx joined forces in 1995-96 to form the groundbreaking Ambient World Music band JUNGLE FUNK. Their live CD Jungle Funk is available on Zebra Records in the States. The group combines mastery of technology with musicianship. This rare and cutting edge disc was given the Album of the Year mention in Australia.
Will released his first solo jazz CD as a leader in 2000: The Will Calhoun Quintet: Live at the Blue Note. The disc is an adventurous journey through Will's approach to acoustic Jazz, World and Ambient music. The line-up features Bobby Watson-sax, Terrell Stafford-trumpet, John Benitez-bass and Orrin Evans-piano. Will's song writing, arrangements and drumming on this CD are ground breaking. Although this is Will's first attempt at fronting a jazz group, Down Beat Magazine, Jazz Times, and BillBoard Magazine have given the CD top ratings. Drum Magazine's readers poll voted Will's CD 1st runner up for Drummer/Band leader.
Presently, Will is working with rapper Mos Def, both as a producer and performer. Will has brought together an all-star lineup for this CD, featuring artists like: Bernie Worrell on keys, Doug Wimbish on bass, Doc Know, the guitarist from Bad Brains, and other special guests. The Band is titled Black Jack Johnson. Keep your eyes and ears open for this CD. It will be in the usual cutting-edge Calhoun fashion.
For all you Living Colour fans, the band is touring again and working on new material. They performed several regional U.S. tours in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 as well as tours in South America for Spring 2001 and Spring 2004, and Europe during the Summer 2001, Fall 2003, and Spring 2004. Check the Tour Schedule page often for updates.
Will's latest creation is his follow-up release on the Halfnote label: Native Lands, with a release date of June 28, 2005. Native Lands can be described as Jazz meets World, meets trance-inducing Urban music. This is a double package - CD/DVD in which Calhoun marries his far reaching interests in a genre-bending collection that taps key expressionists from various backgrounds. Among those contributing are Pharaoh Sanders, Mos Def, Buster Williams, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Eubanks, Marcus Miller and Wallace Roney, as well as Nana Vasconcelos from Brazil and Cheikh Tdiane Seck from Mali. The album includes a DVD with over ninety minutes of music videos and documentary materials that chronicle the last ten years of Will's life and travels. Will is presently touring in support of this project with his group called "AZA", which features various artists from the album and other outstanding musicians.
Not many artists have the vision and artistic energy to be Grammy winners and contribute to so many genres: jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, et al, while concurrently producing, touring, creating new projects, working on films, and continually pushing the envelope. Will Calhoun has this creative vision, and he is doing an extraordinary job keeping music a spiritual and motivating force in his life.