July 27th – Chillie Willie Groove – Percussion Jazz / Funk
William Portela, “Chillie Willie Groove”, was born into a musically inclined family. His father was a well-known Latin percussionist in the New York salsa scene and his mother was a singer. Chillie has played with countless salsa bands, smooth jazz bands, funk bands, soul rhythm and blues bands, and now gospel bands. He has also toured Germany, France, and Luxembourg. Chillie Willie Groove auditioned to open up for Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington Bands. Major highlights in Chillie’s music career came when he met and played right beside Tito Puente at the Brian Alden Jazz Festival in Connecticut.