Bio Short

Willem Paynter 

ECMA Nominated (Jazz Recording of the Year) Bassist and Bandleader Willem Paynter is leading the charge putting Halifax on the map. Winner of the Coast’s “Best Of Jazz Artist” in 2018 (GOLD), 2017 (BRONZE) and 2016 (GOLD), Willem has played a central role in expanding the Halifax jazz music scene. His bi-weekly engagement at Obladee Wine Bar showcases the best in Canadian talent, with bands that have included Mike Murley, Steve Amirault, André LeRoux, Kenji Omae, Alison Young and countless other amazing jazz musicians. Recently nominated for the Stingray Rising Star Award, his debut EP “City Grit” was nominated for Jazz Recording of the Year by Music Nova Scotia, and his most recent release, “Wise Guy”, is nominated for the 2018 East Coast Music Award for Jazz Recording of the Year. 

"[Wise Guy] is outstanding album with a solid premise. Congratulations! Wonderful idea and execution" 
-Tim Tamashiro, CBC



Willem Paynter

Jazz bassist Willem Paynter (b. 1988, Fredericton, NB) has been a part of the music scene in Atlantic Canada since 2005. A festival mainstay, Willem is a first call bassist and bandleader in the Halifax region. His weekly engagements at Obladee Wine Bar and Lot Six Bar & Restaurant consistently blow away audiences, performing with the who's who of Canadian Jazz. In addition to winning Best Jazz Artist in Halifax's weekly "The Coast", Willem's first full-length album "Wise Guy" has been nominated for the 2018 ECMA for Jazz Recording of the Year.
In 2010, Willem moved to Halifax to pursue a career in music. Willem formed the “What’s Next?” jazz trio alongside fellow STFX grads Lloyd Quinton and Peter Rioux. The band performed at festivals and clubs around Atlantic Canada and garnered acclaim for its heavy-swinging sound and tight arrangements. 
In 2013, Willem joined singer John Gracie’s swing band. This band took Willem around the globe to Doha, Qatar in the Middle East for a week-long engagement at the Ritz-Carlton. Willem continues to perform with John, playing a regular Christmas tour and several dates through the year. 
in 2015, Willem released his first recording as a leader: City Grit. This 4-track EP was nominated for Best Jazz Recording by Music Nova Scotia. City Grit drew upon crime fiction and noir writing for its inspiration.

In 2016, Willem released his first full-length album: Wise Guy. Inspired by the Mafia, Wise Guy features 8 original compositions, showcasing an immensely talented band and mature song writing. Wise Guy has since been nominated for Jazz Recording of the Year with both the East Coast Music Awards and Nova Scotia Music Awards.

In 2018, Willem was nominated for the Stingray Rising Star contest. He continues to perform every week at Lot Six Bar & Restaurant and Obladee Wine Bar, in addition to festival appearances, recordings, studio work and accompaniment. 

"[Wise Guy] is outstanding album with a solid premise. Congratulations! Wonderful idea and execution"
-Tim Tamashiro, host of CBC Tonic 

"Enthralling hard bop album that would be a perfect soundtrack for a hard boiled movie."

"Will Paynter's best work yet. Heist gets my vote for the best jazz track of 2016."



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