Bill Meredith

Oh nooooooooo............

Close to the edge - Grand Canyon 2009

William Stevens Meredith is a native of Lake Worth, Florida, and his first official writing assignments were for The Kaleidoscope at Twin Lakes High School (now Dreyfoos School for the Performing Arts) in West Palm Beach. After attending Palm Beach Junior (later Community and now State) College (where he served as editor-in-chief for The Beachcomber) and the University of Florida, Meredith started simultaneous careers in journalism and music in the 1980s.

Yet music provided more opportunities throughout the decade, starting with the group Out For Kicks (with his younger brother Ted Meredith as soundman). As drummer/​vocalist for rhythm-and-blues band Brookes Bros., Meredith opened for national touring acts like The Outlaws and Firefall before moving to Montreal and working with the successful Canadian band Big City (getting replaced by April Wine's drummer, Jerry Mercer, in 1988). Management for New Jersey-based electronics company The Wiz followed, after which Meredith relocated to South Florida in 1989 and resumed writing.

During the 1990s, both careers intertwined as Meredith performed with the bands Lite-N-Up, Jasplazma, Blatant Disregard (see Quick Links, referred to below as QL, in right-hand column) and Numb (opening for drummer Jason Bonham's self-titled band) while writing for Modern Drummer (QL), (QL), iCE, City Link and Free Press magazines. In 1998, he joined renowned South Florida original act InHouse (opening for Ani DiFranco and Bonnie Raitt); in 1999, Meredith toured the North American Collegiate Association (NACA) circuit as a percussionist/​vocalist with singer/​songwriter Fran Snyder (QL), with whom he opened for Don Henley and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Snyder now runs (QL).

Meredith started a still-standing association with the international jazz monthly JAZZIZ (QL) in 2000, working as an assistant editor from 2004 to 2006. He continues to write CD reviews, stories and Q&As for the magazine. In 2001, he was hired for the bi-weekly "Local Music" column in the Palm Beach Post (QL), which ran through 2015. Heís also been drummer for Big Brass Bed (QL), a Bob Dylan tribute band led by former Greenwich Village folk star Rod MacDonald (QL), since 2002, appearing on the groupís A Few Dylan Songs, Dylan Jam + 2 and Big Tent CDs. His other recording credits include releases by MacDonald, Jason Colannino (QL), Friction Farm (QL), Black Finger (QL), Andy Stein (QL), Jasplazma, and NetheresQue; other publications include Heat Beat, Closer (QL), and the West Palm Tribune.

In 2006, Meredith opened for B.B. King during a tour with blues band The Hellhounds. Also in 2006, Meredith became a key feature story and reviews contributor to Maryland-based jazz magazine JazzTimes (QL) and started writing sports for the Palm Beach Post. Other current magazine endeavors include the jazz and blues online monthly (QL), and Palm Beach Arts Paper (QL), an online blog and monthly print publication.

Since 2007, Meredith has recorded the CDs Black Finger Forever and Where's My Parade with Black Finger, filmed music videos for the songs "Hold On" and "Sugar" (viewable on the band's website), and toured to Orlando, Fort Myers and the Florida Keys. The band also backed Spin Doctors' vocalist/​guitarist Chris Barron during a show of that band's music at a South Florida nightclub in 2008. Also in 2008, Meredith started playing with Deerfield Beach-based band The Funky Blu Roots (QL), appearing on the group's 2009 live and 2011 studio CDs.

Newer writing endeavors include writing CD reviews for North Carloina-based fusion recording label Abstract Logix (QL), features for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County's Art & Culture magazine (QL) for the past few years, and features for Florida Weekly magazine (QL) starting in 2016; recent musical pursuits include reuniting with fellow former InHouse members in the 2012 pop/​rock band 900 Seconds (QL), joining forces with roots-rocker Monty Warren and the Friggin' Whatevers (QL), and starting on the ground floor of a new 2013 funk act called Sub Groove (QL), which released its all-original, self-titled debut CD and opened for international touring artist Freekbass in 2015. Sub Groove's sophomore release, Shades Off, was released in early 2018.

In 2013, Meredith also broke into radio with a series of podcasts for the South Florida-based Arts Radio Network (QL). "The Groove Line," a monthly interview segment spotlighting prominent area musical figures in all genres and occupations, debuted in mid-February.

Meredith, a member of the Author's Guild in New York City, resides in Lake Park, Florida. His stepdaughter, Kelly Williams, is a talented area visual artist living in Miami; his stepson Conor Williams is also a gifted visual artist living in Queens, NY.

His ex-wife, Ginny Meredith, is a talented violinist and singer, plus the Executive Director of Inspirit (QL), a South Florida-based nonprofit that takes musicians to perform for people in restricted environments like hospitals, pediatric wards, rehabilitation centers, shelters and retirement homes.

Selected Works

With vaunted founders the Tedeschi Trucks Band as the closing act, the sixth annual Sunshine Music Festival had a funkier New Orleans vibe in mid-January, with the Crescent City's own Galactic and Foundation of Funk (with founding Meters members George Porter on bass and Zigaboo Modeliste on drums, plus guitarist Eric Krasno and keyboardist John Medeski); the incomparable jam band organ trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Houston soul act The Suffers.
Forty-nine-year-old Matt Cahur is literally the man behind the music at Guanabanas in Jupiter, FL, having designed the stage and sound system, being the sound engineer for the open-air restaurant's frequent live shows, and booking the performers through his production company, Roots Music Inc.
From the expected suspects (the Marsalis brothers, trumpeter Chris Botti) to rising stars (Gregory Porter, Jon Batiste) and female instrumentalists (Jane Bunnett, Anat Cohen), the 2017-2018 season in South Florida jazz is as a strong as usual and higher in unpredictability.