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Bishop Norman Williams passes away December 8, 2010

Legendary alto player Bishop Norman William passes away, December 8, 2010

Bishop Norman Williams, Pete Yellin at Bird & Beckett BooksWe’re saddened to note the passing of Bishop Norman Williams, a much loved and respected alto player born in Kansas City in 1938, and a fixture on the San Francisco scene since 1961.  He played with top-flight musicians from Phineas Newborn to George Coleman to Max Roach, and countless others, and was a teacher on the bandstand to a whole generation of bop-inclined San Francisco musicians who are among the finest of the young players around today.  Read more on Bishop on our tumblr blog.


  1. Muziki Roberson on December 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I was fortunate enough to have met The Bishop in 1968. I was just a beginner and he took me under his wing. he taught me all about changes. i played with him for about 4 years including 11months at The Lampost nightclub in Oakland 4 nights a week.He is an unsung hero and will be missed a lot. A whole lot of folks owe the Bishop a huge debt.RIP Bishop.

  2. Eric on January 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Muziki– I’ll pass your comments on to Jimmy Ryan, who played with Bishop in the early ’60s… thanks very much for your note.

  3. Armenta on January 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    RIP Bishop, what a great player and a great guy.
    and Thanks to Tina for watching over him and keeping us informed.

  4. Randy on September 2, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Bishop was a true lover of the saxophone, jazz and life.
    I knew him well enough. In is hard times, I would bring him to my home to have dinner and interact with my kids. He had a great impact on both of my boys, artistically. RIP Bishop. I know it was tough at the end. I did my best to ease your pain, brother.

  5. Marek Page on June 2, 2014 at 3:28 am

    I met the Bishop in North Beach San Francisco in the late 90’s he was always laughing and nice. Great memories.

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