February 10th, 2020 10pm Stage
Celebrating Rockwood Music Hall’s 15-Year Anniversary!
Prior to launching a solo career, British-born, Canadian-raised singer/songwriter Michelle Willis amassed an impressive résumé through a variety of collaborations and work as a session keyboardist. After graduating from Toronto's Humber College jazz program, Willis became active in the city's music scene, eventually expanding beyond its limits to work with a variety of different acts like David Crosby, Zac Brown Band, and Parachute Club, among others. A 2009 collaboration with acclaimed Toronto roots band the Henrys led Willis to form a new group with Henrys' slide guitarist Don Rooke and veteran violinist Hugh Marsh. As Three Metre Day, the trio recorded the 2012 album Coasting Notes and scored the 2013 independent film Still Mine, the latter of which earned them a best original score nomination from the Canadian Screen Awards. During one of their tours, Willis and the band befriended an unlikely ally in former Iggy and the Stooges guitarist James Williamson, who eventually brought them out to California for some shows and enlisted them to play on Pop's 2013 album Ready to Die. By 2015, Willis was balancing her busy schedule touring with Brooklyn instrumental fusion band Snarky Puppy and Canadian indie folk artist Peter Katz while wrapping up sessions for her first release as a solo artist. She was offered a deal with Snarky Puppy founder Michael League's Universal-affiliated GroundUP Music label, which released Willis' debut, See Us Through, in spring 2016. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi