Willem von Hombracht
A native of San Francisco and a former long-term resident of Holland, Willem von Hombracht is an adjunct instructor of jazz studies at Webster University and is one of the top call free-lance bassists in the St. Louis region. Throughout his career, Willem has worked in a wide variety of styles, from classical orchestras, gypsy and folk music, Persian, West African, Latin America, blues, rock, and jazz from bebop to avant-garde. He has also written a variety of works for jazz combos and other ensembles. He also collaborates on projects with poets, dancers, and actors and has performed in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and West Africa. He has performed with jazz artists including Billy Higgins, Andrew Hill, John Hicks, Howard Johnson, Gary Wittner, Hammiet Bluiett, Gary Foster,, Bobby Shew, Don Preston, Vinnie Golia, Mark Elf, and Matt Wilson, and Polish artists Joachim Mencel, Janusz Muniak and Zbigniew Namysłowski, as well as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
He attended the Arnhem Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands and studied with renowned bassists Buell Neidlinger and Charlie Haden. He has participated in masterclasses given by artists such as Dave Holland, Glen Moore, John Cage, Bertram Turetzky, Barre Phillips, Francois Rabbath, Miroslav Vitous, Mark Dresser, Ray Brown, Rufus Reid, David Friesen, and John Patitucci.
Living in metro St. Louis since 1995, Willem can regularly be heard accompanying many great St. Louis performers, including Ptah Williams, Jeanne Trevor, Randy Holmes, Dave Black, Debby Lennon, Freddie Washington, Dwight & Dwayne Bosman, Curt Landes, Paul DeMarinis, Tom Byrne, Montez Coleman, Kenny Rice, Gary Sykes, Dave Stone, and Joe Mancuso. Willem is the leader of the New Jazz X-tet, a group of variable size which performs mostly original music. He was a member of the Willie Akins Quartet from 1995-2004. He also maintains contacts on both the East and West coast, as well as Europe, and is frequently invited to perform as a guest artist.
In addition to teaching at Webster University, Willem has served at Lindenwood University, St. Charles County Community College, and Jefferson County Community College. He has led bass and jazz/improvisation workshops across the nation and in Europe. In addition, from 2001-2014 he was a faculty member of the International Summer Jazz Academy (ISJA) in Kraków, Poland, for which he served as Artistic Director from 2008-2014. In 2012 he was on the faculty of the Summer Jazz Colony at the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in California, returning as a guest clinician in 2016. In 2019 he was a guest clinician at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, in the new “Roots, Jazz & American Music” Program.
Willem has appeared on numerous recordings, including releases by Willie Akins, Winslow, Kaoru, Jeanne Trevor, the Amato Quartet, Luqman Hamza, Mae Wheeler, Gary Wittner, Debby Lennon, Ptah Williams, Sandy Weltman His first recording as a leader was entitled “Krakovians”, together with Polish pianist Joachim Mencel and Viennese drummer Harry Tanschek, for which he wrote most of the music, followed by an album featuring Polish saxophone great Janusz Muniak.
Kraków recordings by WillemVon Hombracht