Bill Le Sage

William A. Le Sage (20 January 1927, 31 October 2001) was a British pianist, vibraphonist, arranger, composer and bandleader.

Early life

Le Sage was born in London on 20 January 1927.[1] His father and two uncles were musicians.[1] He started playing the ukulele at the age of eight, and drums at fifteen.[1] He was self-taught as a pianist.[1]

Later life and career

Le Sage's career began in 1945 when he led a sextet.[1] He was then a member of army bands while serving with the Royal Signals.[1] He played piano for the Johnny Dankworth Seven in 1950, but soon switched to vibraphone.[2] He left in 1954 to join the various small groups led by the drummer Tony Kinsey, with whom he stayed until 1961.[1] He then joined baritone sax player Ronnie Ross, with whom he co-led various line-ups until 1966.[1] During this period, Le Sage also played with Kenny Baker's Dozen.[1] He began writing music for television and films.[1]

During the 1960s, Le Sage was with Jack Parnell's orchestra, the Chris Barber Band, and led his group, Directions in Jazz.[1] His composer credits included scores for the films The Tell-Tale Heart (1960), Tarnished Heroes (1961), The Silent Invasion (1961), Strip Tease Murder (1963) and The Court Martial of Major Keller (1964).[3]

He accompanied visiting American musicians, including guitarist Tal Farlow on an annual basis.[1] In 1969, he formed the Bebop Preservation Society quintet, which he continued for more than two decades.[1] Le Sage also worked with Barbara Thompson's Jubiaba and others.[1][2] He died in London on 31 October 2001.[1]



  1. Chilton, John (2004). Who's Who of British Jazz (2nd ed.). Continuum. pp. 219–220. ISBN 978-0-8264-7234-2.
  2. "Bill Le Sage". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  3. "Bill Le Sage". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
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