Hawaii’s Renaissance Woman

Classically trained in voice, Willow Chang is noted for her musicality, bell-like tone and clarity. She is sophisticated, emotive and expressive, singing not only the lyrics, but also the story each song tells.

Willow’s versatility embraces such genres as Broadway show tunes, Jazz, American Standards, French Melodie, art songs, madrigals, choral works, R&B, funk, world beat and ’80s pop. Her diversity is evident with the groups she’s been the lead vocalist for: Swingwood Revue (neo and classic Big Band), Plush Nugget (funk and R&B), Paradise Sisters and Co. (Top 40) and The Hot Club of Hulaville (Gypsy Django Reinhardt Jazz).

For over 20 years, Willow has specialized in jazz standards and contemporary cabaret. Audiences find her mesmerizing and memorable through her great song choices, vibrant delivery, her witty humor, engaging rapport and impeccable, elegant stage presence.

Since 2008, and returning to the band in 2012, Willow has been the chanteuse with The Hot Club of Hulaville. Specializing in Jazz, Gypsy Django Reinhardt stylings, chansons, showtunes, novelty music and American Songbook fare, they add flair, panache and style to any event! Willow carefully selects songs that reflect the eras that span from the early 20s throughout the early 60s, shifting with ease from blues to bossa nova, torch songs to ballads, and from English to French and an ocassional scat singing.  She completes the feel with unique insights to the music, humor and of course her well know kazoo skills! Together, Hotclub of Hulaville have played at various events and venues, from the historic Hawaii Theater & Maui’s Mac with John Pizzarelli trio, the Gypsy Fest  with the John Jorgenson Quintet, at the Doris Duke Theater, Maui’s Jazz Festival, Kauai’s All Angels Jazz Festival, the Chocolate Festival at Dole Cannery, concerts at Hawaii Public Radio, corporate parties and events, the closing ceremony for Hawaii Polo’s Great Gatsby Fete and Honolulu Magazine’s Hale Aina Awards to name a few!

Willow has been singing for audiences since she was 7 and has been studying voice since she was 13. Among her early vocal achievements, she was invited into the exclusive Punahou Chorale and select honor choir, which performed in Japan, and was a representative for the Hawai‘i State Honor Choir. She contiued her choral studies in choirs at sarah Lawrence College and the University of Hawaii, and recently returned to choral works, participating in the 2013 Choral Festival at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Hawaii.

At Sarah Lawrence College, she studied vocal literature, sight singing, composition and music theory. Willow graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a minor in music. She is recognized by musicians for her excellent pitch, tone and musicality, in addition to her ability to ‘shift gears’ and musical genres. Her well trained ear translates into ease of singing in numerous languages, including German, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, French, Turkish and Arabic, to name a few.

Willow, continues to study voice, and has studied with Julianne Cross, Erik Haines, Eddye Pierce-Young, Jean Wentworth, Vicky Gorman, Annette Johansson, Larry Paxton and Theresa Bomberger. Since 2001, she’s had weekly training in the, Bel Canto technique with renowned Maestra Neva Rego, of the famed La Scala Opera. In 2008, she was a finalist in Hawaii Public Radio’s Art Song Contest, with her rendition of Aaron Copland/Emily Dickenson song The World Feels Dusty.

Internationally, Willow has performed at the Club Piano Piano in the Cairo World Trade Center, the Cairo Jazz Club in Mohandessen, Egypt and the Sakiat al Sawy Cultural center in Zamalek, Egypt. She’s had impromptu vocal performances at Le Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Paris, France with musician Nikerson, in Montreux, Switzerland and was prominently featured as a singer and dancer with Don Tiki at Berlin’s House of World Culture’s Wassermusik Festival in 2008.

From 2003-2009,Willow was a featured lead vocal soloist and dance artist with The Forbidden World of Don Tiki (Hawai‘i exotica). With them, Willow headlined at Turtle Bay Hilton’s Jazz Festival, the Honolulu Symphony and with the legendary late Martin Denny at the Historic Hawai‘i Theater, the Hawaiian Hut, Aloha Tower, the Tapa Bar at Hilton Hawaiian Village and numerous TV appearances on Night Time with Andy Bumatai. In 2008, she performed with Don Tiki in Las Vegas in January, and in July in Berlin, Germany at the House of World Culture’s Wasser Musikfestival,

and well as the outer islands.

On the Islands, she has had steady engagements at Michel’s at the Colony Surf, the Ship’s Tavern at the historic Sheraton Moana Surfrider, O‘ahu Country Club, MidPacific Country Club, Café Che Pasta, monthly jazz at the Hanohano Room and The Dragon Upstairs. She sings for exclusive events, ranging from wine tastings and art openings to conventions, and is much in demand for gala and fundraising events (Hawaiian Humane Society, Hawaii Opera Theater, Juvenile Diabetes, Diamond Head Theater, Hawai‘i Theater for Youth, Honolulu Academy of Arts and opening celebrations for the Waikiki Tiffany & Co. store, to name a few). Locally, she's been a part of the Slack key Guitar Festival with Jeff Peterson, the Hawaii Books and Music Fair and Honolulu Magazine's Hale Aina Awards Gala and Best Lawyers Social.

Willow placed in the top three in the juried 2006 Hapa Haole Song & Dance Contest by performing an original composition. Her original music was featured on the Discover Recycling soundtrack CD, alongside cuts from Henry Kapono and Jack Johnson. Recently, she recorded a duet with singer John Valentine, slated for release in 2010.

Willow has written and composed original songs, completed her first demo of jazz standards and has recently produced her own showcase entitled Songs of the Season, at the Hawaii Public Radio Atherton Studio. She believes in the universality of music, and values all it has to offer.

Willow has collaborated with many fine musicians including:

Allan Alexander

Aaron Aronita

Gilbert Batangan 

Lopaka Colon

Adela Chu

Tom Chun

Kit Ebersbach

Yvonne Elliman

Rod Esteban

Eric Folk

Dan Furst

James Kraft

Amina Goodyear

Carmine Guida

Anita Hall

Deshannon Higa

Rockford “Rocky” Holmes

The Honolulu Symphony

Kevin Hughes

Miles Jackson

Steve Jones

Souhail Kaspar

Joshua Kaye

James Kraft

Abe Lagrimas Jr.

Georges Lammam

Mark Lindberg

Jeff Linsky

Kiana Luna

Reggae McGowan

Andrew McLellan

Sonya Mendez

Bobbie Nishida

Jason Nobriga

Noel Okimoto

Jon Osorio

Noli Pa‘a

Duane Padilla

Reggie Padilla

Marc Pearlman

Les Peetz

Jeff Peterson

Ernie Provencher

Steve Rosenthal

Greg Sardinha

Kit Samson

Hossam Shaker

Naseer Shama

Joel Spier

Jonathon ‘Intrepid’ Sypert

Mark Tanouye

Bettie Loo Taylor

Sandy Tsukiyama

Jason Tom

John Valentine

Chris VanderCook

Svemir Vranko

The late Abe Weinstein

David Yamasaki

Chris Yeh


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