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Singer-songwriter Michelle Willis has found unique ways to thrive artistically, at home and online, during a year of suspended live music. She will join the PSU Virtual Jazz Series to share her experience with students on March 10.
Prior to launching a solo career, British-born, Canadian-raised musician/songwriter Michelle Willis amassed an impressive résumé through a variety of collaborations and work as a session keyboardist and background singer for the likes of David Crosby, Becca Stevens, Laura Mvula, and the Zac Brown Band. After studying jazz and honing her chops on the Toronto piano bar scene, Michelle relocated to Brooklyn, New York and released her debut solo record, See Us Through.
Written as in the mindset of being Michelle's music is inspired by years spent singing in choirs, and a love affair with the style and song craft of Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Donny Hathaway, Shawn Colvin, The Beatles, Elliot Smith, Carole King and Ray Charles.
See Us Through was released in 2016 on GroundUP Music / Verve. Since then, while maintaining a non-stop touring schedule as a member of David Crosby's two bands, Lighthouse and Sky Trails, and the Becca Stevens Band, Michelle has maintained a monthly residency at New York City's Rockwood Music Hall. Her most recent songwriting work can be heard on the new David Crosby album, Here If You Listen. The album is a collaboration of songwriting and performance by David, Michelle, Becca Stevens and Michael League, released in 2018 on BMG.
Michelle is currently working on a new double record of live and studio performances, due for an early 2021 release. She is a touring member of two bands led by David Crosby (Lighthouse and Sky Trails), as well as the Becca Stevens Band.