William Wayne Horvitz
May 12, 1947 to January 15, 2017
Beloved husband, father, musician, composer, teacher and friend, William Horvitz, died at home in Forestville, CA, on January 15th, 2017, of pancreatic cancer. He made this world a sweeter place.
Bill was born in New York City on May 12, 1947, to Wayne and Anne Horvitz. He attended the Thatcher School, Colorado College, and after moving to the Haight in 1967, studied music at The Ali Akbar College of Music, and with pianist Art Lande. He later attended NYU, graduating with a BA summa cum laude in comparative religion in 1986.
From 1978-1988, living in Manhattan's East Village, Horvitz developed his voice as an avant-jazz guitarist and composer, collaborating with JA Deane, Dickey Dworkin, Shelley Hirsch, Dave Hofstra, his brother Wayne Horvitz, Jason Hwang, Philip Johnston, Myra Melford, Butch Morris, Bobby Previte, Dave Sewelson, Elliott Sharp, and John Zorn, among others. He led the quartet Living With Apparitions and was a member of the new wave band The Public Servants.
In 1988 he and his first wife, Patti Trimble, gave birth to their son, Asa. They returned to CA, settling in Sonoma County in 1992. Throughout the 1990s Bill collaborated with many Bay Area musicians including Joseph Sabella and Steve Adams, and later Harris Eisenstadt, with whom he formed the Bill Horvitz Band and released two recordings.
In 2005, Bill married painter and composer Robin Eschner. Over the next 12 years, they performed and recorded original music together as the folk duo Tone Bent, and in the Sonoma County ensemble Take Jack. During this time Bill composed and recorded several remarkable works including The Long Walk, a suite of pieces written in memory of his youngest brother Philip who died in 2005. Bill also teamed up with Scott Walton and Tom Hayashi in a trio known as The Skerries, and in a duo with guitarist Jesse Boggs.
Bill felt his most meaningful contribution to this world was in his teaching. He believed in music as religion. He loved his many students and was inspired by them. His other passions included Giants baseball, hiking, and boogie boarding. He instigated many an all-night jam session with his extended family of musician friends.
Bill Horvitz was a kind and loving husband and father, a gifted, dedicated and hardworking musician and teacher, a devoted friend. He held true to his music with integrity and heart. Missing him like mad… his wife Robin Eschner, son Asa Horvitz, brother Wayne Horvitz, sister-in-law Robin Holcomb… their children Lowell and Nica, his stepdaughter Heather Camp, son-in-law Tony Braga, granddaughter Noe Braga, the Eschner family–Terry, Kit, Sarah, Lane, Stan and Ginnie, and a community of people he treasured through the years. His parents and two brothers, Lee and Philip, preceded him in death. Memorial services will be held in Sonoma County in March.