William Blake is a native of Dallas, Texas. He has been performing professionally since the age of 19 at such Dallas venues as Bill’s Hideaway, Alexandre’s, Absinthe Lounge, and Sambuca Jazz Lounge and Restaurant. As an actor, his regional theater credits include The Who’s Tommy, Chicago, and The Rocky Horror Show (for which he won the 2006 Column Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical as "Riff Raff"). In 2004, William released his first studio album, DayDreamer, with the song selection ranging from jazz (Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life) to pop (Stevie Wonder’s Kiss Lonely Goodbye). Shortly after the release, William auditioned for the fourth season of American Idol and went on to compete in Hollywood.
In early 2007, he made his move to New York City to continue his musical career. He has performed at such notable NYC venues as Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, The Metropolitan Room, Sidewalk Cafe, Feinstein's at the Regency, Cafe Carlyle & Bemelman's Bar, Rose Hall at Lincoln Center, The Cutting Room, 54 Below, The Blue Note, Joe's Pub & Birdland Jazz Club. In 2010, William was honored to receive an invitation to sing at Carnegie Hall in Standard Time with Michael Feinstein. He also had the privilege of sharing the stage with Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Lucie Arnaz, and many others at Town Hall. In June of 2012, he and music director Michael Thomas Murray enjoyed a sold-out engagement at Birdland presenting "Echoes of Etta: A Tribute to Etta James" which returned by popular demand that August. The show recently garnered William both a nomination for Best Tribute Show and win for Best Male Vocalist for the 2012 BroadwayWorld New York Cabaret Awards. In 2014, William was awarded the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist and the Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist for his R&B performances at Birdland and Joe's Pub. "Echoes" also went on to win the 2014 MAC Award for Show of the Year. William is also an entertainment team member of Atlantis Events and has performed aboard cruise lines and resorts in Asia, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas & The Caribbean Islands. He was also a featured vocalist on the NBC Telecast of the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, appearing with Mr. Murray and their Peaches. This Christmas, his singing voice will be heard (for the 2nd year) in the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
William always knew that his second album would be a “Live From” project. With Mr. Murray, he handpicked the best Soul and R&B songs from 1961 to 1979 where the evolution of the two genres was most significant. With the tunes in tow and the band in place, the one-night-only performance was recorded at Birdland on September 6th, 2010, to a sold-out audience. William Blake: Live From New York City is an energetic, funky and fresh look into the passion and skill of this unique and talented vocalist.
The L.A. Times calls William "a shy young Texan with a powerful tenor," the Huffington Post describes him as "a tonic, a truly unique voice, a wickedly forceful personality," and the Wall Street Journal raves that he is "a blues and soul belter of uncommon skill with his piercing, full-bodied falsetto and dynamic attack."
William currently resides in New York City's Hell's Kitchen.
LIVE FROM NEW YORK CITY
William Blake: Live From New York City was recorded on September 6, 2010, during his sold-out concert at the world-famous Birdland Jazz Club. With this stunning performance, William Blake establishes himself as the new voice of classic R&B and Soul. With musical director and co-producer Michael Thomas Murray, he handpicked his favorite Soul and R&B songs from 1961 to 1979 where the evolution of the two genres was most significant. The tight, focused recording showcases William’s amazing vocal range and quality, as he blazes his way though such classics as Sly And The Family Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, originally recorded by Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes (featuring Teddy Pendergrass) and made famous by both Simply Red in 1989, and most recently, Seal (nominated for a Grammy Award) in 2009, and the Marvin Gaye (and Gladys Knight and the Pips) hit, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” The album was produced by Stephen Wilde, who is also responsible for the Bistro Award-winning Julie Reyburn: Live At Feinstein's. William Blake: Live From New York City is an energetic, funky and fresh look into the passion and skill of this unique and talented vocalist.
I Want to Take You Higher
Hard to Handle
Cry to Me
ell Me Something Good
Heard it Through the Grapevine
an I Go On?/If You Don't Know Me By Now
idnight Train to Georgia
NEWEST WORK: ECHOES OF ETTA
The roots of Soul and R&B are back with a vengeance and a twist in one of Time Out New York's Critics' Picks of 2013/2014, ECHOES OF ETTA. ECHOES is an energetic, no holds barred performance that will move you out of your seat. With unparalleled vocal ability and showmanship, William Blake, the Echoes band, and "The Peaches," a trio of gorgeous back-up singers, excel with stellar musicality led by Michael Thomas Murray’s (Musical Director/Arranger/Co-Creator) rockin’ authentic period arrangements with a contemporary twist. This, combined with one of the greatest songbooks of all time has been bringing sold houses to their feet at some of New York's top venues, including Joe's Pub, Birdland Jazz Club, and the Cafe Carlyle. Blake delivers palpable life to these long-loved classic songs in this musical testimonial to the legend who bridged the gap between Rock 'n' Roll and Rhythm and Blues.
Fans can expect to hear many of their favorite Etta James tunes such as, A Sunday Kind of Love, At Last, Good Rockin’ Daddy, I’d Rather Go Blind, Something's Got A Hold On Me, and exceptional Etta covers like Leave Your Hat On and Take it to the Limit.
ECHOES OF ETTA won the 2014 MAC Award for Show of the Year, has been selected as a Critics' Pick by Time Out New York in 2013 and 2014, was one of BroadwayWorld.com's Best of the Best in 2013, and received nominations for the BroadwayWorld.com Awards for Best Tribute Show in 2012 and Best Musical Director & Best Band in 2013.