Band founder and leader, Richard Arthur Willis, on piano and electronic keyboards, is the artistic partner of RAWW Music LLC. He is a full time music businessman involved in performing with the guys, providing sound systems, creating music for theatrical productions, accompanying vocalists, producing, arranging and developing recordings and charts for clients. He is minister of music at St. John CME Church in Detroit. He was the first to work with the young Aaliyah, preparing her and arranging the music for her “STAR SEARCH” debut, and later for her initial meeting with R. Kelly. During those early years Rich and Aaliyah performed together on local gigs, where he helped her hone her vocal skills. He has accompanied Kimmie Horne, Norma Jean Bell, and flautist Althea Rene. Rich performed as Ricky Willis for years before he formed the band. Now he prefers the nickname “Uncle Ricky.” He currently has two CD’s and one house music remix CD available for sale. Rich’s fluid motions and quick laid back fingering are his trademark. He is a prolific composer and has a wealth of music still to be released. When he plays that piano Uncle Ricky really does have ridiculous fingers.
Bassist James Blessman, MD is a native Detroiter. He hails from a musical family and, like Rich, plays at his home church, Dounemous, in Detroit. In addition to playing bass, his regular job is as physician and Assistant Medical Director for the Michigan Department of Corrections. He is also a public health educator and advocate, on a mission to improve the health of the residents of this area. He takes his message to all audiences. Once while playing, his sound system began to smoke, as if on fire. Somehow he completed the set. His fellows teased him about causing the bass to sizzle. That nickname “Sizzle” stuck with him. Dr. Blessman is pretty lively whenever the Chillin’ Circuit gets together to make music, everyone also gets a health lesson, AND he really makes that bass sizzle.
Greg Walker on saxophone , called Big Nephew by the band members, is the youngest and newest member of the group. A newlywed, he teaches school when he is not playing music. His sax sounds are a perfect addition to the piano and bass, and together they have a powerful sound.
Mike Saxon, violinist extraordinaire, brings a fabulous sound to the group. He is a veteran of great music in this area. Originally from Pittsburg, also from a musical family, he is fierce on the violin, and brings the sound to a new level.
Richard White, saxophonist was an original member of the group. He brings hot sax excitement to the group. Rich has been busy in the Detroit music scene and has earned his chops over many years.
Complete a booking request for Rich Willis and the Chillin' Circuit here.