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Willard began his radio career at San Diego City College in 1976. After working his way through a variety of NPR, rock, urban contemporary and adult contemporary radio stations in a variety of markets, Willard found himself in his “dream job” as Senior Producer at WNOP Cincinnati, OH… the country’s only remaining commercial jazz radio station.
When the station was sold in 1999, the format was changed and automated. At that point, Willard decided to accept an offer to produce events for tourist and cruise ship passengers on the island of St Croix, USVI. This later evolved into producing jazz concerts on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
In 2009, in pursuit of a lifelong dream, Willard began jazz and performance studies at Cape Fear Community College under the tutelage of Marc Siegel and, later, with Wilmington saxophone phenom Benny Hill.