As an educator, Bill Duna has taught Jazz Theory, improvisation and piano courses at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota for over 25 years. In addition, he has also provided private instruction for adults and teenagers, many of whom who have gone on to become well known musicians. Kevin Kay, a former student of Bill Duna, won the best Jazz Pianist award in the state of Minnesota in 2007. Bill has played professionally both in and out of the country for more than 50 years. He was classically trained at the Chicago American Conservatory of Music, studied with the great Manfredo Fest (a famous Brazilian pianist and composer, well known for his arrangements for Sergio Mendez’s Latin Jazz group, “Brazil 66”). In addition he has also studied jazz theory for many years with Alain Swain (a renowned jazz piano educator within the Chicago Metropolitan area).
Also as a Jazz Educator, Bill Duna along with his wife Lois, have been clinicians for the "International Association of Jazz Educators", where they taught instructors new concepts in elementary improvisation and music theory. The Dunas’ are accredited as being among the first educators in the U.S. to have published an improvisation method for very young children entitled “Let‘s Play Right Away”.
Bill Duna is of Romani decent (Gypsy) and comes from a rare family of musicians that have been playing music for centuries. His family are descendants of the great Gypsy musician, János Bihari(creator of much of the folk music of Hungary and the most renowned violinist of his time). Bill Duna great-grand parents brought their Slovak Gypsy Orchestras to America in the late 1890’s from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His family was well known for their improvisational skills and revered for their harmonic and melodic musical structures. This complex knowledge of his Romani ancestors has been pass down through his family, thus making him proud to say that he is a direct descendent of a people who were instrumental in creating and shaping the folk music of Eastern Europe.