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John Willis to perform free concert at AETN

Posted 10 Oct 2013

John Willis will perform a free concert in the Arkansas PBS studios Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. for an upcoming episode of "AETN Presents: On the Front Row."

The public is invited to this free concert, which will be taped for broadcast during the 10th anniversary season of "AETN Presents" premiering in November. Anyone interested in being part of the audience is asked to arrive at the studio by 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22. AETN is located at 350 South Donaghey Avenue in Conway.

Willis is a singer songwriter who grew up listening to equal parts Motown, '60s-'70s singer/songwriters and gospel. He took piano lessons and learned to love classical music, listened to late night jazz on public radio in high school, and added world music in college. Given this background, his music is a lush pop mix with piano and vocal harmonies. His new release, the "King of the Cocktail Party EP," is a blend of piano-based pop, jazz and parlor music that has drawn comparisons to Harry Nilsson, Leon Russell and more recent acts Rufus Wainwright and Feist.

This performance will feature: Willis on lead vocals, piano and guitar; Chris Atwood on bass; Evan Barr on drums; Sarah Stricklin on backup vocals and additional keyboards; and Sydney Hunsicker on backup vocals, accordion, harmonica and additional percussion.

"AETN Presents" features a variety of arts and cultural subjects. Previously included in the series have been the Arkansas Acoustic Festival; performances by the Cate Brothers, Wayland Holyfield and friends, Trout Fishing in America, Dale Hawkins, Shannon Boshears Band, The Salty Dogs, Bonnie Montgomery and Epiphany; and "On the Same Page" with authors Buzz Bissinger, Billy Collins, John T. Edge and Kenneth L. Smith.

The Arkansas PBS (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).