B. Michael Williams (b. 1954) is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He holds the B.M. degree from Furman University, M.M. from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Active as a performer and clinician in both symphonic and world music, Williams has performed with the Charlotte (NC) Symphony, Lansing (MI) Symphony, Brevard Music Center Festival Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has appeared at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. He has written articles for Accent Magazine, South Carolina Musician, and Percussive Notes, and has made scholarly presentations on the music of John Cage and on African music at meetings of the College Music Society and Percussive Arts Society. In 2004, Dr. Williams received the Winthrop University Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor given to a Winthrop faculty member. Under his direction, the Winthrop University World Percussion Ensemble performed a showcase concert at PASIC as winners of the 2012 PAS International World Percussion Ensemble Competition.

World PercussionistDr. Williams is Associate Editor (world percussion) for Percussive Notes magazine. A composer of innovative works for percussion, his “Four Solos for Frame Drums” was among the first published compositions for the medium. Additional works to his credit include “Three Shona Songs” for marimba ensemble, “Recital Suite for Djembe,” “Bodhran Dance” and “Another New Riq.” His book, Learning Mbira: A Beginning…, utilizes a unique tablature notation for the Zimbabwean mbira dzavadzimu, and has been acclaimed as an effective tutorial method for the instrument. Williams’ 4-volume set of 16 mbira transcriptions titled MbiraTab continues the series. Among his newest compositions are “Rhythmic Journey No. 1: Conakry to Harare” for solo tar, “Rhythmic Journey No. 2: The Cage Sieve” for solo bodhrán, and “Rhythmic Journey No. 3: Post-Minimal” for solo riq, all published by Bachovich Music Publications. His 2005 CD recording, BataMbira, with Grammy-nominated percussionist and producer Michael Spiro, has been featured on National Public Radio, The Voice of America, and other broadcasts worldwide. Dr. Williams is an endorsing artist/clinician for Cooperman Drums and Sabian Cymbals.

Curriculum Vitae

Read what others are saying.

Information and presentation are important but sometimes what matters most is word-of-mouth and the peer review. Check out what others have to say about B. Michael Williams.


I was so thrilled seeing your ensemble at PASIC. I do not know much about African music, but it had a great impact on me! I got tears in my eyes so many times. I am so blessed to have been part of the spectacular moments at PASIC!

Rachel Liu, Faculty, Tarleton State University

I am so honored by you and your students. You know how much I dug you guys. You continue to inspire me!

Ed Smith, Faculty University of North Texas

We met briefly after your world percussion ensemble performance at PASIC in Austin, which was absolutely superb!  It was so spectacular to see all of your students taking leadership roles. I was very moved by the performance!

Neeraj Mehta, Wyoming Symphony Orchestra

WOW! What a wonderful concert you presented at PASIC. Every aspect of the performance was simply stunning. It was truly one of my three personal highlights of this year’s convention. Please pass along my congratulations to your wonderful students as well.

Andrew Spencer, Central Michigan University

Beautiful, compositions, songs, movement, the variety of the music, the message to the world and all and the joy…

Thank you Michael for your inspiration and leadership and all of you for sharing.

Dror Sinai, “Rhythm Fusion,” Santa Cruz, CA

I have a lot of respect for your respectful approach to the mbira music of our ancestors. Keep the fire burning!

Chartwell Dutiro, Thomas Mapfumo & Blacks Unlimited

A true master teacher and performer.

Julie Hill, University of Tennessee-Martin & PAS