Wil Sargisson began piano lessons at age 5 in his home town of Napier, New Zealand. By age 13 he was performing solo at NZ’s National Jazz Festival in Tauranga, the youngest person ever to do so. Many jazz festival appearances followed. At the age of 17 he was chosen as pianist for the NZ High Schools Jazz Orchestra, a group which toured the South Island under the leadership of top American jazz musicians.
In 1998 he released his debut album Steppin’ Out, which received top reviews in NZ and Australian media. NZ Musician Magazine called it: “an inspired and excellent release.” The album was nominated for NZ Jazz Album of the Year in 1999 and reached the final three.
In 1998 Wil was invited to perform in New Orleans at the ‘Piano Night’ concert, part of the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Wil received a massive ovation and returned to perform at the concert in 1999, 2000, and 2007. Local radio station WWOZ used a live recording from his 1998 performance on their annual compilation CD featuring their favourite live recordings made in that city in the past 12 months.
Wil took a job aboard the cruise ship M/S Holiday in 2001, which began 7 years and 11 contracts working with various showbands and trios, taking him to the shores of 45 countries. Along the way he worked with acts such as Charro, The Platters, and The Coasters.
He moved to Australia in 2008 and soon began performing with the legendary Australian jazz group Galapagos Duck, plus luminaries that include Renee Geyer, Deni Hines, James Morrison, Jim Kelly, and Greg Lyon. Since moving to Australia he has performed at many jazz and blues festivals and has been active as a session musician, contributing to over 30 albums recorded by various artists.
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