Willie Bradley, South Carolina State University alumnus, freelance jazz recording artist and trumpeter, has won the Smooth Jazz Network’s 2021 Artist of the Year.
Bradley’s honor was featured in the 2021 year-end edition of Beats Magazine.
Bradley was one of 12 finalists for Best Jazz Artist. His song “It’s My Time” was on Smooth Jazz Network’s Top 30 chart for best songs of 2021 and also held the No. 1 spot in the Top 20 for two consecutive weeks this year.
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In his interview with Beats Magazine, he talked about his inspiration for his latest project, “My Time”, which he dedicated to the memory of his mother, the importance of music education and his plans for 2022. .
“I started teaching music industry courses in August 2021 during the fall semester and will be teaching the spring semester starting in January 2022. I am already booked for several performances for 2022. I am also working on a Christmas album for 2022,” Bradley said in his interview with Beats.
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Bradley has performed internationally at numerous engagements and major jazz festivals. He has also worked with renowned bands and musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, RJ & The Original James Brown Band, Ronnie Laws, Alex Bugnon, members of Sly & the Family Stone, Marion Meadows, Walter Beasley, Gerald Albright, David Sanborn and more.
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“My advice to musicians who want to pursue a career in music is to learn all aspects of the music industry related to the music industry. Learn the different avenue streams in which to earn residual income from your music,” Bradley said. “It takes a solid foundation to be successful in this competitive music industry today.”