about

This is where I would typically paste a press kit bio, but I thought I’d dispense with the third-person act and just (briefly) tell you a little about myself.

I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and was excited about playing the bass before I even had the opportunity to touch one, but my parents insisted that I first play guitar (6-string) and traditional school band/orchestra instruments (viola, trumpet, euphonium, tuba). I thanked them for that as often as possible! When I finally did get a bass – just like in the old joke – I quickly landed a gig. At the age of fourteen, I played with a norteña band in a bar located right on Route 66. I’m still surprised that the aforementioned parents allowed this to happen but, after making minimum wage washing dishes at Bob’s Big Boy, the $75 a night I made was all it took to hook me for life.

with backgroundI was fortunate enough to get into the local university (NAU) jazz program while still in high school, and there I met the core members of my first “real” band, Lost Wages. From there it was off to study jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, followed by a few years of bouncing around the country playing music, before returning to Arizona to join a band with my brother, S.E. Willis, This was the real beginning of my blues and “Americana” education (thanks, Steve!).

The following years were spent performing, traveling and recording with a few dozen different groups. Highlights of this period include tours of Mexico with the “jazzgrass” band, Flying South and six months in Thailand with the “funkasalsalypso” band, Limbs Akimbo.

I settled in the Phoenix area in 1999 and began working for Fender Musical Instruments. While doing various jobs there, most notably running the SWR amplifier division for  five years, I also (finally) finished up my Bachelor’s degree and then earned a MBA in Marketing. I also continued performing and recording with Valley area musicians, including The Swingtips, Chuck Hall, Alice Tatum, Robert Martinez, Brian DeMarco, The Herndon Brothers, and several others that I have risked irritating by omission.

I am currently spending most of my time on musical pursuits, which makes me very happy! I am also doing some voice-over work and keep my hand in marketing by creating promotional videos, jingles and copy writing. I would love to speak with you about your needs – musical or otherwise. The only thing makes me happier than being involved in the creative process is being a part of a quality finished product!