Chad Willow is a musician, writer/arranger, banjo player, pianist, hailing from the North Woods of Minnesota. As an artist, Willow brings to the bandstand authentic performances and natural charisma. He roots his music in the traditional bluegrass sound, then adds his 'grit and gravel' vocals, banjo style, and original writing and arranging, for a new 'old' record sound. With band members on the fiddle, the flat-picking guitar, mandolin, and the upright bass, and co-lead vocals and harmony from Kim Willow, these focused musicians bring instincts, virtuosity, and energy to the bandstand, setting the stage for a show that is acoustic, authentic, and real.

As a musician, Willow, a classically trained pianist, has music directed opera to musical theater to country western productions; as a performer, he's been a featured banjo player, singer, pianist, and bandleader; and as a writer/arranger, he produced his bluegrass recording, Scarecrow. Recorded in Minneapolis and Nashville, this debut record has influences from the classic mountain banjo sound, with lyrics reflecting Willow's own Minnesota roots coming together to create an authentic 'no rules' record. Willow has followed a musical path from the 88 keys of a grand piano to 5 strings of the banjo, now performing on the bandstand with his banjo, his music, and his friends.


Photographer: Daniel Gannarelli

Musician: Chad Willow

Festival: Wade Westin Music Festival 2016