Bill Dowling was born in Stamford, Connecticut and is currently the lead trumpet player with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. As an active performing artist and clinician, Dowling headlines workshops and concerts worldwide.
Upon first hearing the enormous sound and swing of Louis Armstrong, he began playing trumpet in grade school. He attended the Berklee College of Music and the University of Bridgeport on scholarships. Eventually, he moved to New York City to study with Ed Treutel, former professor of trumpet at the Julliard School. New York City provided Dowling with many opportunities, including the chance to work with some of his heroes. He was asked to play lead trumpet for a production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, directed by Mercedes Ellington. He also went on to perform with the international touring group with Savion Glover, in his Tony award-winning production of Bring in Da' Noise, Bring in Da' Funk. Other tours included the Rob Marshall/Sam Mendez production of Cabaret, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas in her production of Ain't misbehavin', and many Broadway shows (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, and Kat & the Kings). Dowling also had the privilege of playing with some of the finest big bands based in New York, including The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Illinois Jacquet Big Band, The David Murray Big Band, and Charlie Persip's Supersound.
Jazz is still Dowling's first love, but he has also worked and traveled the world with some of the top commercial and popular acts in the country, including KC & The Sunshine Band, The Al Mckay AllStars: Earth Wind & Fire Experience, Paul Anka, Aretha Franklin, Gene Simmons, They Might be Giants, Mary Wilson, The Temptations, and Freda Payne.
A profile of Dowling is included in The New Face of Jazz by Cicily Janus, published by Random House in July 2010. The book features interviews with many of the finest artists in the jazz world, including Wynton Marsalis, Patti Austin, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, and George Benson.
From 2003 to present, Dowling has been a freelance artist in the greater New York City area with some of the finest musicians in the world and is still in awe of the sound of Louis Armstrong.