William Edward Childs (born March 8, 1957) is an award-winning American composer, jazz pianist, arranger and conductor from Los Angeles, California, United States.
When he was sixteen he attended the Community School of the Performing Arts sponsored by the University of Southern California. He studied music theory with Marienne Uszler and piano with John Weisenfluh. From 1975–’79 he attended the University of Southern California and received a degree in composition under the tutelage of Robert Linn.
While still a teen, Childs was playing professionally and he made his recording debut in 1977 with the J. J. Johnson Quintet during a tour of Japan, documented as “the Yokohama Concert”. He gained significant attention during the six years (1978–84) he spent in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s group. His early influences as a pianist included Herbie Hancock, Keith Emerson, and Chick Corea and as a composer, Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. Childs nevertheless had an original conception of his own from near the start, developing his own voice as both a pianist and a composer in jazz and classical music genres. His sister is the playwright Kirsten Childs. (More)