Wilfred Jeffs QSM (28 July 1923 – 23 April 2016), better known by the stage name Bill Sevesi, was a musician and master of the steel guitar who helped popularise Hawaiian-style music in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Tongan-born Sevesi composed more than 200 songs with over 20 albums to his credit during a career spanning seven decades.
He began playing the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in 1936, and in later years his band ‘Wilfred Jeffs and the Islanders’ became ‘Bill Sevesi and His Islanders.’ He performed all over the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia and United States.
He recorded some classic favourites such as ‘”Bye Bye Baby Goodbye” (1958) as well as recording artists such as Daphne Walker, The Yandall Sisters and Annie Crummer.
His amazing life span
Born 28 July 1923 and passed away peacefully on 23 April 2016.
Bill’s instrument of choice
The legendary steel guitar he played for many decades was handmade and customised himself.
And his upbringing
One of nine siblings and the only one who was musical.