Welcome to the Fourth Floor with John Willis tonight at South on Main

John Willis presents Welcome to the 4th Floor: 40th Birthday Show!Welcome to the 4th Floor: 40th Birthday Show!

December 7 is the birthday of singer-songwriter-troubadour-raconteur John Willis. In celebration of another trip around the sun, he is giving the gift of music to audiences on Friday, December 6.

The concert will be at South on Main.

As a performer and as a songwriter, John Willis is known for an eclectic sense of style, drawing elements of classical, jazz, r&b and soul into the sphere of his piano-pop oriented sets.

Expect an exemplary set of music at this show, on the evening before his 40th birthday, in which he will attempt to incorporate all of the elements that have inspired and influenced him as a musician in these first 40 years.

Help him make it to the “4th Floor” of the forties with a night of oldies, 90s, indie, folk, soul, Broadway, standards, and more.

Show kicks off at 8pm. $15. Call (501) 244-9660 for reservations.

Opera in the Rock pays tribute to memory of Jessye Norman today

Opera In The Rock’s popular concert series “Divas in the Rock” will present a Jessye Norman Memorial Recital on Sunday, November 17th, at 4:00 pm in the sanctuary of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Dr., Little Rock, 72205.

Norman was a dramatic soprano, singing a broad range of repertoire across opera, concert and recital stages. She was a towering figure in the world of opera with a cavernous, rich voice who also performed in Little Rock in 2003 at Pulaski Heights UMC as a benefit concert for Philander Smith College.

This concert event will feature music from her repertoire including traditional African-American spirituals such as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Amazing Grace” alongside art song and opera arias from her signature roles in operas such as Bizet’s Carmen and Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. Featured local performers include LaSheena Gordon, Shannon Rookey, Christine Donahue, Deidra Jones, Sarah Stankiewicz-Dailey, Victoria Mantooth and Kate Sain among others accompanied by singer-songwriter John Willis.

Free Admission with a $10 suggested donation at the door. All proceeds benefit Opera In The Rock’s mission to produce professional opera emphasizing collaboration and diversity. No advance ticket purchase required.

THE OLD MAID & THE THIEF – A 1939 Radio Hour presented by Opera in the Rock this weekend

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Step back to 1939! This one-act opera described by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti as “an opera-buffa for radio in fourteen scenes” tells a twisted tale of morals amongst a gaggle of nosy women and an unsuspecting man. Commissioned by NBC Radio in 1939, it was one of the earliest operatic works composed specifically for live radio.

In what’s sure to be a fun-filled evening of laughs and spectacle, Opera In The Rock will be presenting the work as a live radio play, complete with larger-than-life actors, on stage music, live sound effects, and comical commercial breaks. Starring Metropolitan Opera singer Diane Kesling alongside local soprano favorite Christine Donahue, the cast also includes Shannon Rookey, Ron Jensen-McDaniel, Sarah Stankiewicz Dailey, and Kevin Lambert of Lancaster, PA.

“The Old Maid and The Thief: A 1939 Radio Hour” will be sung in English with music direction and piano accompaniment by John Willis.

Performances are August 23 and 24 at 7:30pm and August 25 at 2:30pm.

Ticket Types:
General Admission, $35
Student Ticket, $25
VIP Ticket, $50 (Includes Drink Voucher & Prime Reserved Seating)

Venue Information:
The Studio Theatre
320 W 7th Street

2nd Friday Art Night at Historic Arkansas Museum – Music by John Willis Music and the opening of “Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land”

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Join Historic Arkansas Museum at 2nd Friday Art Night for the opening of “Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land.” John Willis Music will be the evening’s musical guest. The Water Buffalo and Buffalo Brewing Company will be the featured brewery.

The reception is sponsored by the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation, with special thanks to 107 Liquor. Beverages and appetizers will be served in the Stella Boyle Smith Atrium. The exhibits and reception are free and open to the public.

“Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land”
2nd Floor Gallery

Based on the expedition routes of French and Spanish explorers, 18th century maps of the North American continent were vague and inaccurate, typically noting only significant rivers and mountain ranges. Early maps were often made with political and economic motives; in some instances, map makers took advantage of the unknown nature of newly acquired territories, manipulating boundaries to the advantage of their European sponsors.

Demand for American-made maps increased as the country’s boundaries expanded and dreams of westward migration took hold; map publication blossomed in the United States in the 1790s, and by 1820, the cartography hub of Philadelphia was home to around 150 engravers. Settlement of the new frontier required accurate maps, and gradually, map makers came to rely less on the hand-written notes of early explorers and depended more on the mathematical calculations of surveyors who used tools like a Gunter’s chain, compass, sextants, and theodolites to triangulate distances.

This exhibit chronicles changes in Arkansas’s place names, population demographics, and geography from the period just before La Harpe’s first explorations of the area in 1722 until early statehood.

Tonight at South on Main, John Willis and his Radiohead tribute

For the final show in his December Sessions, John Willis is bringing his incredible Radiohead tribute show back to the South on Main stage. Concert starts at 8 pm. Purchase advance tickets for $12 or pay $15 at the door. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. Please call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table.

ABOUT JOHN WILLIS
John Willis is a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger, and musical director based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He currently performs on his own and as one-sixth of the multi-vocalist synth-pop group Silver Anchors. His most recent original release, “Try Again,” can be found on all online music outlets. In addition to performing, writing, and arranging, Willis spends a lot of time in the theatre, both playing and directing for musical theatre. Recent credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, both at The Studio Theatre in Little Rock.

Willis is thrilled to celebrate his birthday month as well as the holiday season with great shows each Wednesday in December at South on Main. Catch Willis himself fronting a veritable Little Rock all-star tribute to the music of Radiohead to close out this month’s Sessions on Wednesday, December 26.

Kick off the month of the John Willis curated Sessions at South on Main with a Repeal Day Bash with Dizzy 7 tonight

Join the folks at South on Main in celebrating the most joyous of holidays – REPEAL DAY – the end of Prohibition!

This is the perfect event to kick off their December Sessions at South on Main, curated by John Willis.

Celebrate the  right to imbibe by sipping on a classic cocktail and jitterbugging to music from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s from Dizzy 7! Come dressed in 20’s/30’s/40’s garb and they will grant you a “Happy Hour Hall Pass” which gets you happy hour prices any time of the day or night for the entire month of December.

The concert starts at 8 pm. Purchase advance tickets for $8 or pay $10 at the door. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. Please call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table.

ABOUT DIZZY 7
The Dizzy 7, founded in 2008, plays music that ranges from Motown to Big Band, Latin to Dixie. It features a full rhythm section, a three-man horn section, and Craig Wilson on lead vocals. Dizzy 7 is composed of accomplished musicians who love what they do.

ABOUT JOHN WILLIS
John Willis is a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger, and musical director based in Little Rock. He currently performs on his own and as one-sixth of the multi-vocalist synth-pop group Silver Anchors. His most recent original release, “Try Again,” can be found on all online music outlets. In addition to performing, writing, and arranging, Willis spends a lot of time in the theatre, both playing and directing for musical theatre. Recent credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, both at The Studio Theatre in Little Rock.

Willis is thrilled to celebrate his birthday month as well as the holiday season with great shows each Wednesday in December at South on Main. Catch Willis himself fronting a veritable Little Rock all-star tribute to the music of Radiohead to close out this month’s Sessions on Wednesday, December 26.

John Plays Joni tonight at South on Main featuring John Willis and friends

johnplaysjoniToday is John Willis’ birthday – and we get the present!
“John Plays Joni” is his birthday gift to Little Rock.
Little Rock-based singer/songwriter and founder of Late Romantics band John Willis performs a tribute concert to the music of singer/songwriter legend Joni Mitchell. The program will feature selections from the iconic songwriter’s over 5-decade career in music and give tribute to Mitchell’s genius as a poet and word-painter, a lover, an activist, and as a modern day mystic. Willis will be at the piano and the mic as usual with help from some of Little Rock’s finest musical talents.

Show begins at 8:30 PM with a $10 cover. Call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table for the show.

John Willis is a singer/songwriter based in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. He writes and performs on piano with insightful lyrics, sensitive arrangements, and lush harmonies that derive from in part from the gospel music of his minister father, Motown groups that were his mother’s favorites, and his classical training at the piano.

Willis has been a featured songwriter in the UALR Songwriter’s Showcase (2011) and on local PBS affiliate AETN’s “On the Front Row” television series (2013). He was a finalist in the 2014 Arkansas Times Musician’s Showcase and has released two EPs, “King of the Cocktail Party” in 2013 and “Bad Boyfriend” with his band Late Romantics in 2015. Willis is an Artist, Inc. Fellow with the Mid-America Arts Alliance and has taught on faculty at the Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts teaching yoga for young musicians.

Sessions at South on Main is a series of concerts featuring Arkansas artists, curated by one of their own. He is curating the December Sessions. His birthday show will kick off the month; watch the South on Main website and social media for updates on the rest of December.