Dr. Odies H Williams, MD, musician and Gary native dies


Odies H. Williams III, M.D., a native of Gary, Indiana, is a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine. For more than 40 years, he served as a Family Practice physician in northwest Indiana.

He was active as a musician, playing trumpet professionally in the areas of classical and jazz. A highlight for him was performing “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Handel’s Messiah with the internationally known baritone, William Warfield. He, however, was even more active in the area of jazz, having recorded with Cecil Payne (Cerupa), Jodie Christian (Soul Fountain), Ed Petersen (The Haint), Henry Johnson (Future Excursions), Burgess Gardner Big Band (Cabbage Juice), Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble (For The Moment), and Billy Foster (Portrait).

Dr. Williams also recorded with Robert Day’s Hoosier Blues, performing with that group at the Park Tower Blues Festival in Tokyo, Japan. He recorded his first album, as leader, on Soundmine Records, entitled “What’s Up Doc.” He was also featured on Harry Porterfield’s ABC TV series “Someone You Should Know.”

He also performed with many other top jazz musicians, including Sonny Stitt, Don Patterson, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Eddie Henderson, Curtis Fuller, George Coleman, Damita Jo, Art Hoyle, and as a member of the trumpet section of the Burgess Gardner Big Band, backing up several leading performers, including Clark Terry, Houston Person, Ernie Andrews, Frank Wes, Monty Alexander, Freddy Cole, Barbara Morrison, and Everett Greene.

Also to his credit are performances at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, and Chicago’s African Festival of the Arts with his quintet and also as a member of the Jimmy Heath Big Band. He regularly appeared in clubs in the Chicagoland area including Andy’s Jazz Club, Jazz Showcase, and Green Mill.

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