Henry Willard is an established professional double bassist hailing from Sevenoaks, Kent UK, in the South-East of England.
Best described as an outstandingly intuitive double bassist with an excellent ear and exceptional rhythm & 'feel', Henry has become one of the most popular upright players to come out of Kent.
Having rapidly built up an impressive reputation in his early 20's as a versatile and reliable upright player covering folk, swing, latin, pop, rock, blues and country, the roster of bands and artists Henry has, and currently plays with includes some of London & the South-East's most talented musicians.
Influenced by bassists such as Jim Creeggan, Whynot Jansveld, Jon Flaugher, Millard Powers, and Chris Minh Doky, just some of the names Henry has performed & recorded with include Mike Evin (Canadian singer/songwriter), Joe McElderry (The X Factor winner 2009), Steve Spall (The Violet Jive), Conrad Vingoe, Freddy Green, David Mumford, Kyla Stroud, Lieutenant Leek, & The Orange Circus, amongst a host of other bands and musicians across the UK.
Growing up and playing through school and college as a gifted guitar player, Henry spent the years during his mid to late teens working on solo projects as a singer/songwriter before leaving college a year early and switching majors, turning his attention to the double bass.
Frustrated as a writer, Henry wanted to explore something different. Something unique, yet acoustic and artistic.
His first bass was an impulse purchase, influenced by the talents of Barenaked Ladies' bassist, Jim Creeggan. Although a huge fan of the band since the early 00's, listening and watching Creeggan's upright playing on stage triggered a musical epiphany, and it wasn't long before the double bass became the forefront of Willard's musical direction.
Henry has since found himself with his bass in cities, towns, and at festivals and events across the United Kingdom, playing with a host of artists across England, Scotland and Wales at prestigious Universities including St Andrews and Cambridge, popular festivals and events including the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition Preview Party in London, Henley Festival, Hop Farm Festival, & Barn on the Farm, and venues all over London and the South-East of England including The National Portrait Gallery, The Museum of London, Sage Gateshead, the NEC Birmingham, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, King's Place, the Southbank Centre, & Grosvenor Casino in Piccadilly.
Primarily a pizzicato player, Henry uses a Wilson K4 pickup, Acoustic Image amplifiers, Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Weich strings, Radial Engineering Tonebone PZ-Pre pre-amplifier, Boss TU-3 pedal tuner, LG Chen carbon fibre bow, and endorses Westbury double basses.