Special to the Tribune/Advisor
Though you may not be familiar with his name, you will probably remember the names of some of the bands Bill Runge has played with over the years.
This west coast sax player has worked with INXS, Powder Blues, Traci Ullman, The Hard Rubber Orchestra, Swollen Members, Tower of Power Horns, Long John Baldry, and Shari Ulrich.
The list of artists Runge has performed with is incredible. Saturday, Nov. 19 Runge will add the Cariboo Gold Dance Band to that list with a performance of Big Band standards in a concert taking place at the Limelight Theatre in Williams Lake.
There will be a small dance floor for those who want to get up and dance. Runge has been a successful performer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator for more than 30 years. A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed and recorded on all the saxophones, flute, clarinet, electric and string bass, piano/keyboard, guitar, pennywhistle, and even accordion.
In 1990 Runge’s quintet, The Creatures of Habit won the Grand Prix at the CBC Alcan Jazz Competition in Montreal. Since then he has worked on several Juno Award winning projects including the Jim Byrnes’ recording That River.
As a band leader, Runge has produced four recordings Creatures of Habit-Live in Montreal; B3; Acid Test; and A Tribute To The South American Masters. Runge’s saxophone style amalgamates the influences of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, and Steve Grossman with his own compositional approach.
He is a modern player, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. Composers influencing Runge’s writing style include Astor Piazolla, Chick Corea, Frederick Delius, Arvo Part, Egberto Gismonti, Bela Bartok, and Josef Zawinul. Runge is an in demand studio musician and has recorded with many other acts including K-OS, The Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI), Amos Garrett, The Paperboys, Lowell Fulson, Jackyll, and several others.
He has performed numerous live shows at jazz, folk and blues festivals across Canada, Europe, in the U.K., and the U.S.. He has worked with such artists as The Funk Bros., Colin James, and Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, Bo Didley, Sheena Easton, Roger Daltry, John Hammond Jr., Ben E. King, Bob Hope, Robert Cray, Marilyn Crispell, Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dave Holland, Slide Hampton, Jeff Healey, Michael Burgess, Strippers Union and dozens more.
As a composer he has done several film scores including music for the cult favourite, Babette’s Feet. He received commissions from such artists as Viveza, The Hard Rubber Orchestra, Babayaga, and Winter Harp. He has done scores for TV shows such as CBC’s SuperKids and Code Green and arrangements or orchestrations for such shows as Showtime’s The Chris Isaak Show and Beggar’s and Choosers . He has also performed on many film and TV scores such as Ed, Edd, and Eddy (cartoon), Cadillac Girls (feature film), and Highlander (TV), as well as in Life On A Mattress, a feature film for Disney.
Runge’s show with the Cariboo Gold Dance Band at the Limelight Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 19 will feature two hours of big band standards and his renowned saxophone sound. Tickets for the performance will be available at the door and in advance at the Open Book.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and it promises to be a fantastic family friendly event.