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Band Folk Acoustic




"Big Top's "Chance" moves on"

Big Top Chautauqua's co-founder and lead writer said he saw Willett and Leah perform on Madeline Island on a cold night in January in the 1990's.
"I was just so blown away", Nelson said. "Ed's a master cellist. Cheryl is a great singer. They did all original music and I hired them on the spot".
Nelson said that he puts Willett in the same category as Yo-Yo Ma, the Grammy award winning cellist.
He's in that ether, Nelson said. The thing about Ed, he's classically trained. He can play rock and roll on the cello. There are few musicians who can play every style of music and play it authentically."
Written by Warren Nelson/Sioux River Song Farm/Recording Artist - The Wave - Duluth News Tribune

"CD Review - Poor Farm Road is a rich blend of friendship, musicianship"

They make music that is at once unlike anything you've heard and extremely accessible and comfortable, like coming home to a warm kitchen smelling of freshly baked bread.
They come from the world of trained musicians, something that I find to be sure death when transferred to the world of contemporary music. But they both rise above being stiff, antiseptic and "all technique - no substance". Chance's music is inviting and warm, kind of like comfort food for the ears. "Night Steps Softly" is drawn from Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony and features virtuoso cello from Willett, and lyrics sung acrobatically by Leah that summon the sleep of angels.
In its entirety, "Poor Farm Road" is a lovely little disc that celebrates the wholesome things in life like family, friends, life and love.
Written by John Ziegler/radio host, interviewer, record producer/professional musician - The Duluth News Tribune

"Poor Farm Road CD"

"I wanted to take a moment to say how lovely these songs are - the variety of instruments, played so well, is a real treat. Some lovely romantic moments, pensive moods, delicate nuances. Just great. I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for your music, and hope you will stay in touch. Be good out there.

Editor in Chief/Music -

"Not to be Missed"

Zeros in on your emotions and is supported by wonderfully unique instrumentation.
Under the spell of these fine performers, the music is fresh, alive, and moving.
- L.A. Weekly - L.A. Weekly

"Take a Chance"

The discovery of a new sound in music involves a dynamic process which can't be calculated, manufactured or even understood. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, critics and colleagues sit up and take notice.

In any of these myriad combinations, their playing was always polished and passionate. By the end of this musical treat, every audience member had learned one thing - taking this Chance was no gamble!

Greg Hettmansberger - Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles Times

"Great comments from a Grammy winner"

I'd like to thank you for a great time in the studio last month. Working with you on your latest project was one of the most rewarding endeavors I have been involved in for quite some time.Your musicianship and training along with your creative ideas combine to form a very unique and coveted sound.I am confident that your audiences and critics will find out for themselves what I have been fortunate enough to be a part of these past few weeks.

Charlie Bisharat - Personal Review

"Personal recommendation"

I have worked as a professional musician in the Los Angeles area continuously since 1965, significantly as violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, for which I also serve as Assistant Personnel Manager.

I am very familiar with the writing and performance talents of Cheryl Leah and Ed Willett. I fully endorse and encourage any venture which could further advance, nurture and enhance their abundant skills.

Sincerely, Roy Tanabe - Los Angeles Philharmonic

"Jefferson Public Radio recommendation"

We are delighted with your new release, Chance - Something Ventured. It works well on our daytime projram, Open Air, which blends contemporary jazz, adult alternative, pop, blues and world music.

As soon as our Music Director, Pat Daly, and I heard your release, we both agreed to add it to the playlist and give it regular airplay.

Best of luck in all your endeavors.

Colleen Pyke
Producer/Announcer - Southern Oregon State College


Poor Farm Road, Poor Farm Road Publishing
Fields: A Cantata for the Peaceful Rain, Poor Farm Road Publishing
Long Grass and Ladybugs - An Illustrated MusicBox DVD, Poor Farm Road Publishing
Something Ventured, Portal Records
So Much to Think About, Portal Records and Desert Heart Music



Chance coalesced in Los Angeles, CA, a joining of two musicians with wildly diverse backgrounds. Their music is a hybrid of R&B, jazz, and classical influences and training.

Cellist/Vocalist Ed Willett has recorded and performed with many wonderful artists, including Lalo Schifrin, John Williams, Herb Alpert and many more. In addition to touring with Chance, Ed tours with Pop/Rock icon, Rickie Lee Jones.

Vocalist Cheryl Leah has recorded and performed with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Miroslav Vitous as well as with singing legend Robert Goulet.

For many years Chance was a featured component of "Tent Show Radio", a weekly Wisconsin Public Radio show recorded live at Wisconsin's premier summer music festival, "Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua".

Chance has opened for many acts: Rickie Lee Jones, Los Lonely Boys, Little Feat, Howard Levy, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Wailin' Jennies, Willie Nelson and many more.