MARS WILLIAMS,
1955-2023

Mars Williams, a saxophonist known for his work with The Waitresses, Psychedelic Furs and the jazz-funk outfit Liquid Soul, died Monday. He was 68. The cause was ampullary cancer.

Williams was a member of The Waitresses during their early '80s heyday, when they hit with “Christmas Wrapping” and “I Know What Boys Like,” before spending 1983-89 as a member of the Furs. He rejoined the group in 2005 and toured with them through October.

A presence on New York and Chicago's experimental music scenes for decades, Williams also spent 25 years with the Chicago group Liquid Soul and led several large jazz ensembles. Over the years he performed with, among others, Billy Idol, The Killers, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling and Jerry Garcia.

Williams taught woodwind instruments and jazz history at Bard College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Chicago and Roosevelt University.

A Liquid Soul show on Saturday (11/25) at Chicago’s Metro will serve as a celebration-of-life event.

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