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Wanda Ray Willis
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actress & Scriptwriter.
Wanda, Bermudian singer, musician, actor & writer began as a soloist at public functions in her home, Bermuda. Her music studies and career took her to New Jersey, New York, Japan and Los Angeles, where she now resides.With bachelors degrees in Music Theater/voice, and Speech Communications-radio and television, Wanda has been able to perform many genres of music and is a versatile performing artist who performs locally in Los Angeles and also overseas.
Her professional theater experiences began in Baltimore as Luttiebelle in “Purlie Victorious” with The Arena Players. From there her studies in New Jersey led to New York Theater and many music performances in the tri state area with her Jazz trio with Thad Jones on bass. Upon coming to California, She wrote, produced and stared in the PBS children’s Reading readiness program, “Spunk Bubble’ which publicized positive events in the school system while engaging viewers in fun activities with music.She opened for artists in Los Angeles such as Kenny G and performed in various theatrical productions, including winner of five NAACP , North on South Central which still performs it’s Club Alabam Review in which Wanda plays Dorothy Dandridge.Wanda was also a member of Howlett Smith’s Carpenter singers and is currently a first soprano in HB Barnum’s LIFE Choir whose vocals can be heard on many major recorded music materials.
She is also cast member in the musical I Feel Sin Commin On, by Michael St John, in which Marla Gibbs, Anna marie Harsford, Ruta Lee and Leon Isaac Kennedy have starring roles. She plays the part of Shirley, sister to the main character.In Los Angeles she successfully entertained guests in The Buggy Whip, Creme De La Crape’ and The Marina City Club where she continues to perform her solo piano/vocal act. She also performed In Bermuda at The Landfall Restaurant, thanks to Bermuda’s veteran performer Sherylynn Swan Caisey, Shine Hayward’s Jazz club in Hamilton, Bermuda and occasionally at The Fairmont Southampton Princess.
Wanda also this year worked in compilation with Jack Castle and New Orleans Hall of Fame drummer charles conklin by writing the melody and chord changes for their lyrics of ‘The Spirit of New Orleans’, a bluesy funk tune. Release date of the material TBA. Wanda’s solo cd “Here I Am” is still available on line and is one example of her writing skills with other material ready for production and more importantly, her original, “Stay With Me” on the current cd “The Raynors’ shows further her sensous writing ability. As Executive producer and contractor working along with HB Barnum on the soon to be released cd “The Raynors”, a cd duo act recording with her brother Eldon Raynor Jr Wanda further demonstrates her professional and creative vocal abilities as she juggles being an artist and handling the business end of production and marketing. She also wishes to thank lawyer Mr Harold Levy for both his professional music advice and legal assistance with this project. The excellent musical magic created on “The Raynors’ cd effectively combines The Carpenters material with the unique, dynamic and magical music and vocal arrangements of HB Barnum one of the music legend greats of our time.
Contact: Wanda Ray Willis
Click here for the official website of Wanda Ray Willis at: www.wandaraywillis.org
Click here for the official website of HB Barnum.at www.hbbarnum.com
Wanda features in the following videos. They are also on the player below.
- Why Do The Children Have To Cry.
- Wanda Ray Willis Club Alabama
- Wanda Ray Willis Demo. Catalina performance with The Raw Sugar Quintett/ Giant Steps performance/ Tempo dance band – Jazz.
- Wanda Ray Willis Piano/vocal act.
- Pain in the Rain
- Wanda Ray Willis /DeMO1
- The Glow of a Warm Aquarium Trailer – Wanda Ray Willis: Part played: Jazz singer and wife of the main character in the movie shot in New York.
- Chris Conner on Bass & Wanda Ray Willis.