Breakout keyboard artist Rich Willis has shared his musical talent locally and nationally, performing with various bands, singers, and theatrical productions over the last thirty plus years. He is a prolific composer and gifted keyboardist, influenced by such greats as Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock and Lyle Mays. His various compositions defy genre, but call to mind jazz, new age, classical, and gospel, to name a few. Currently, Richard is working on a number of musical ventures, including production of a new CD, collaboration with other artists, writing soundtracks for movies, TV, and commercials as well as showcases of his original material.
Native Detroiter Willis attended Mumford HS and Henry Ford College. After showing music genius at an early age, he studied with Drs. Jean Payne, Arthur La Brew and Rudy Hawkins.
Willis honed his skills on the road touring with plays, including "The First Lady," "Selma," and "Jesus Christ Superstar."
He has taught piano and music theory at the Harris Academy of Music, the Mattie Moss Clark Conservatory of Music, and Music Masters. He continues to teach private music lessons and at local schools.
Willis, who also performs as "Uncle Ricky," has worked with Norma Jean Bell, Martha Reeves, Vickie Winans and flautist Althea Renee. He also accompanies jazz singer Kimmie Horne. He was also the first professional accompanist to work with R&B superstar Aaliyah.
He is Minister of Music at St. John CME Church in Detroit, MI.
As a producer, Willis works with promising singer/songwriters.
Willis is a musical businessman, providing various kinds of background support for the musical community -- arranging, writing jingles, preparing tracks, providing equipment and sound rental, consultation and other musical support services.
Rich is a prolific composer, with a huge library of original music. He shares his music through his own style of unique and unforgettable rare solo performances. His biggest goal is to get his large volume of original work to music lovers everywhere.