Willie Akins

                Jazz tenor saxophonist and respected music leader

                Birth:                            April 10, 1939

            Birthplace:                    Webster Groves, Missouri

            Date of Interview:         September 23, 1998

            Place Interviewed:         SIUE

            Interviewer:                   Therese Zoski Dickman




Willie Akins began playing music on a simple recorder-type instrument.  Before long he was playing the saxophone.  Attracted by the music opportunities and challenges of New York City, Willie Akins moved to that city in 1957.  He was there for eleven years and returned to St. Louis, shortly after his father’s death.  Since then, Akins has worked to  raise the standard of jazz musicianship in St. Louis.  He and his Willie Akins Quartet perform regularly at Spruill’s nightclub in St. Louis.  In 1998 Akins and the quartet released their first music compact disc entitled, “Alima”  (Catalyst Productions).  Quartet members also featured on the CD are Willem  von Hombracht (bass), Montez Coleman (drums), and Simon Rowe (piano).

For the table of contents for the Interview of Willie Akins, please click on this link:  Oral History and Research Materials:  Willie Akins

E-mail comments and inquiries about the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive to Therese Dickman at tdickma@siue.edu or call 618-650-2695.

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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Updated by Kristin Walker
May 2005