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Teachers at the Old Town School

Bear Williams

Bass, Guitar

Bear Williams aka (Larry Kimpel) 2023 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award Winner is a Chicago-Based Blues/Folk Artist who records and tours internationally. He is the co-founder of GVR Records distributed by INgrooves/Razor’s Edge/Virgin Music Group. The Indie label is the sole vehicle for Bear’s music projects.

Bear released his debut Blues/Folk CD entitled "Waters Of Love" in 2017. His follow up EP entitled “Blues Rebel”, “Quarantine Blues”, “This Is America" and other singles have been released during the last few years.

Bear’s musical career was launched in 1977 in Chicago when his high school band leader, the late George “Tan” Hunter introduced the then 18-year-old novice to Chicago record mogul, Carl Davis, record producer, Sonny Saunders, and the world-renowned arranger, Tom Tom Washington (EWF, Phil Collins). George recommended that Bear play bass guitar on a project that the three music veterans were working on with Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler. Sonny Saunders hired Bear on the spot which led to the driving Bass Guitar on Gene Chandler‘s international hit “When You’re Number One” and the remake of the
Gene Chandler classic “Rainbow” titled “Rainbow 80”. Bear went on to perform and record with many other top artists such as, Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers, Bobby Lyle, Anita Baker, George Duke, Babyface, Whitney Houston, The Crusaders, Bruce Hornsby, Tom Scott, Diana Ross, Ledisi, Rachelle Ferrelle, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Price, Bobby Caldwell, Mervyn Warren (Take 6), Ray Parker Jr., Branford Marsalis, Boney James, Rick Braun, Stanley Clarke, Patrice Rushen, Randy Crawford, George Benson, Norman Conners, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Little Richard, Miki Howard, Kevin Toney, Bobby Womack, Peabo Bryson, Steve Perry (Journey), Angela Bofill, Brenda Russell, Alanis Morrisette, Joe Cocker, and Al Jarreau, just to name a very few.

In addition to his recording, songwriting, and production work, Bear is extremely passionate about sharing his musical knowledge with anyone that desires to learn the craft. He’s been a very popular bass instructor with students of all ages and skill levels over the last four years via the online learning platform lessonface.com and was awarded “Best Lessonface Bass Instructor” in 2021 and in 2023.

Additionally, Bear was the bass player and musical director of the Award Winning R&B/Soul Band, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly for two decades. Having moved on from Maze in 2023 Bear is one of the founding members of TMF The Music Forever. TMF is an All-Star
Classic R&B Band comprised of six longtime former members of Maze and the world renowned singer/songwriter, Chris Walker. TMF’s first release is entitled, “Making Love To The Music” and it is gaining high praise and popularity on radio and with music fans worldwide.

Started at the Old Town School in February of 2024