Interview With Bill Pappas from The Bill Pappas Project

(Photo: Lightscapes)

An Interview by Janna Audey, Promotions Director, Alexandria Live

Alexandria, VA – Part One (of Two).

You know when you are in the presence of a master musician. The combination of their craft, ability, interweaving parts with their bandmates, and connection with the audience. Having each of these elements working in unison is not always possible. Unless you are Bill Pappas.

I had the pleasure of listening to and watching Bill in action starting around 2016/2017. I used to gig at a little wine bar down King Street. After packing up my gear, I would walk up to 219 Restaurant for a glass of wine and dinner. At that time, Bill was the band leader and lead guitarist for the 219 Allstars, although many of you may remember his first band in the DMV area, Dead Cat Bounce. I recently caught up with Bill, and here is Part One of our interview, which focuses on his Alexandria bands and 219 shows.

Janna: Bill, when was your first show at 219?

Bill: I started playing at 219 with my then band, Dead Cat Bounce, in 2012. Sometime later, they offered us a residency spot every Wednesday. Since the rest of the band members had full-time jobs, it was difficult for them to commit, so I put a band together of friends I played with who were leaders of bands that had played at 219. We called that band the 219 Allstars.

Janna: These days you are playing as The Bill Pappas Project. Who are the band members, and can you share a bit about this project?

Bill: As we began to see some easing of restrictions during COVID, I convinced the (219) owners to bring back live music on a limited basis. That’s when I put together this current band, The Bill Pappas Project. The band consists of me on guitar, Mike Pryor, Sr. on bass, Andy Hamburger on drums, and Mark Congdon on keys, with special guests Jaared Arosemena and Maceo Walkes (“Lil’ Maceo”) joining in on sax and other special guests. While this band is a “cover band,” we put our own spin on the material we cover. I take extensive liberty with original material in my arrangements. One of the things I try to accomplish is not only to make good music but also to give our fans a show. I’m very animated and often interact with my audience, making them feel a part of the act. I truly want them to have a good time, and that, to me, is the bottom line.

Janna: All I have to say is: Mission accomplished, Bill!

You can catch The Bill Pappas Project on Wednesdays at 219 Restaurant from 9:00 pm to midnight and one Saturday each month. Keep your eyes open for Part Two of our interview, which shares a bit about Bill’s NYC days and more, to be published next month!

(Photo: Lightscapes)

For more information on The Bill Pappas Project, go to Alexandria Live is “The Local Guide to Live Music, Events, & News” in Old Town & the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

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