Bill’s career has spanned four decades and his reputation is unsurpassed. As a ‘first call’ musician, arranger, and composer in Vancouver, he is known for his versatility and ability to create the right sound and feel for any project. His passion for the music is always evident. As a jazz pianist, Bill opened for Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander. He has performed with Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Robben Ford, Art Pepper, Dee Daniels, and Fraser MacPherson. As musical director for David Foster for 9 years, he performed with Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Peter Cetera, and Kenny Loggins, to name a few. He was music director for the Variety Club telethon from 1985 to 1995.
In 2003, Bill was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. In 2008, he played on the Grammy-winning soundtrack for Ratatouille. In 2010, he received both a Lifetime Achievement Award and Most Influential Jazz Musician from the Royal Canadian Music Project, and his band Sample Stearns Band (from the 70’s) received the Most Influential Group Award. In 2013, Bill was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, he was awarded (along with Bob Sarti) an Ovation Award for The Raymur Mothers, a musical.
In 2015, Bill released an album of original instrumental jazz compositions for his trio entitled, Small. In 2017, he and co-writer Darlene Cooper, released their album On the Outside under the name of their band Wild Blue Herons. In December of 2020, he released a solo piano Christmas album entitled We Three Kings.
Bill has a degree in Music Composition from the University of Victoria and studied piano and arranging at Berklee College, Boston. As an educator at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, he had a young piano student by the name of Diana Krall.