Making the move from baseball player to jazz musician has been quite a challenge for Bernie Williams.
“It did not matter how many home runs I hit,” the Yankees legend told Cheddar. “What mattered was, can this guy play [music]?...I had to work very hard to get my [music] degree and I’m very proud of it.”
The Latin Grammy nominee says that winning baseball games was easier than his second career. He earned a degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2016 and describes the process as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”
Williams, a four-time World Series champ and five-time MLB All Star, is prepping for a debut at Café Carlyle on March 6.
And he said maybe surprisingly, the process isn’t much different from what he was used to on the field.
“A lot of the things that I did in baseball, outside of the physical aspect of it, came from the same source,” Williams said. “It’s a commitment to discipline, work ethics, no shortcuts, learning from your mistakes, and taking yourself seriously in both disciplines.
“The only difference is that when playing baseball, I can detach from the fans, I could detach from the audience … As a musician, you have to go on stage and invite everybody into your world.”
For the full interview, click here.