We had the good fortune of connecting with Edwin Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Edwin, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I didn’t necessarily pursue an artistic career, it seems to have chosen me. I played baseball as a young child and thought that’s what I’d be doing as an adult. I loved sports. However, my dad had other plans for me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally, I’m most proud of three things:

1. I’m proud to say I’ve been a working musician since the age of 12, most musicians can’t say that. I’ve been able to keep working because I’m well versed in all styles of music. I’m determined to never miss a dollar. If I get a call to play a certain style of music, my answer is yes. My flexibility has opened the door for me to play with major artists, theatrical productions, and perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on certain occasions.

2. I was excited to have written, arranged and produced my first album “Chill With Me” which was released 5 years ago, that was an amazing experience.

3. I am most proud of starting my nonprofit organization Jazz Matters, with the mission of preserving Jazz and the culture of the music here in Atlanta.

How do you prepare for something like Covid-19?
The biggest challenge in my professional career to date is Covid-19. In a 24-hour period, all my gigs were canceled until late fall. It took me about a week to process this. I was use to the feast or famine nature of a musician’s lifestyle, but Covid-19 is something totally different.

It’s changing how live performances will be delivered moving forward. Although I didn’t necessarily like the stay-in-place orders, it did give me an opportunity to reimage my career and keep me safe. Like many musicians, I have had to pivot in this new normal. I’ve launched my own podcast on Jazz, called ‘Yes, Jazz Matters’ with my friend, Jazz Beats radio host, Von Coulter.

The podcast is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube, which is something I’d never think I do, but I really enjoy it!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m pretty much a stay at home kind of person, since I’m on the road so much.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out my dad, Melvin Williams, my success as a musician comes from him.

My father was a musician in a gospel group that toured throughout the Carolina’s. At one point his group needed a bass player and my dad tells me to come.

Here I am 12 years, old travelling and performing with my dad. I learned how to conduct myself on the road, had the opportunity to perform on local television shows, perfect my craft, and learn from great musicians.

Website: www.yesjazzmatters.org
Instagram: JazzMattersATL
Twitter: JazzMattersATL
Facebook: JazzMattersATL

Nominate someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.