As a daughter of an all-round pianist, Xandra Willis got to know the American songbook repertoire at an early age. She studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where she won the Erasmus Prize and received a Masters Degree with distinction. Ever since those days she honed her skills in many formations and bands. She sang with the Conservatory Big Band in St. Petersburg and Moscow and at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2001. For years she’s refined her jazz and soul influenced repertoire. Some of her idols are Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker and Chaka Khan. At the end of last year she released her first CD To be With You featuring excellent musicians like Jan van Duikeren (trumpet), Rob van Kreeveld and Jasper Soffers (piano, Fender Rhodes), Aram Kersbergen (bas) and Martijn Vink (drums).