Originally from North Carolina, Will Campbell is the Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone at UNC Charlotte. Prior to this position, he was the Director of Jazz Studies at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and Literature degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Bachelor of Music (Jazz Studies) and Master of Music (Saxophone Performance) from the University of North Texas. While attending UNT, he was a member of the One O'Clock Lab Band and directed the Three O'Clock Lab Band.
From 1990 to 1994, he toured internationally as a member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. Recording credits include Blue Light, Red Light, When My Heart Finds Christmas, and The New York Big Band Concert (Video). Dr. Campbell has performed with artists such as Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, and ensembles such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. He performs regularly with The North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and The Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra.
Dr. Campbell was awarded a UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant in 2007 to record Think Tank (Cellar Live Records), his debut release as a leader and composer. In a review of Think Tank for All About Jazz, Raul d’Gama Rose stated, “Campbell is always meticulous in his pace, letting his warm, fat tone sing out as he constructs solos of breathtaking resonance.” In 2015, Campbell was a co-leader on the debut recording of the Unhinged Sextet, Clarity (OA2 Records), contributing as a composer and performer. Clarity has received glowing reviews and international airplay. In 1995, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship Grant, which allowed him to study privately with renowned saxophonist Dick Oatts in New York City. Since 1999, he has been a member of the University of North Texas Summer Jazz Workshop Faculty and has also been invited to direct All-State Jazz Bands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Dr. Campbell has performed at conferences for the North American Saxophone Alliance, International Association for Jazz Education, The Jazz Education Network, and the World Saxophone Congress. He has published articles in the Jazz Education Journal, The Saxophone Journal, and The Saxophone Symposium. His arrangements and compositions are now available through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Dorn Publications. Dr. Campbell is an Artist/Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company and a Performing Artist for Rico Reeds and endorses these products exclusively.