Arkansas PBS > Programs > On The Front Row > John Willis

John Willis

Original songs of modern love and life. Beautifully composed and arranged - with expert accompaniment and complex harmonies - Willis' heartfelt and jaunty pieces possess a timeless, intergenerational appeal. 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. Willis' 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 features 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.,/p>