Winston Willis, better known as 'Buzz' has been a true innovator and industry pioneer for all of his over 25 years in the music industry. Born ond raised in Harlem, Buzz thrived on the creative ond cultural energy that surrounded him. He attended De Witt Clinton High School and was a member of The Solitaires, a high school doo-wop group that was later inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. After school he worked as a stock boy for Royal Roost/Roulette Records before going away to Case Weston University in Cleveland, Ohio, on a basketball ond scholastic scholarship. Back from college, he didn't miss a "note" but continued his career in music doing local promotion for MGM/Verve Records.
Buzz then joined the staff of RCA Records in New York and proved he had the "Midas touch." With a string of gold records to his credit, his ride to the top was in meteoric style. He holds the distinction of being the youngest Vice President of that company, and for creating the first Black Music Division for the label. It was under his guidance the careers of Jose Feliciano, The Main Ingredient and Hues Corporation were nurtured. Buzz Willis still found the time to pursue his graduate studies at Pace University in marketing.
His astute business savvy did not go unnoticed and he was soon recruited by Phillips Electronics Corporation (parent company of Polydor/Polygram Records) to be the Senior Vice President of all American Operations. Always rising to the challenge, Buzz proved that he could conquer the context of corporate politics by being instrumental in the acquisition of Mercury and Verve Records by Phillips. In his capacity as Senior Vice President he was responsible far the marketing strategies for such world renowned artists as: James Brown, Joe Simon and Millie Jackson. A true trailblazer, it was time for Buzz to conquer new territory, so he accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of CTI Records, the largest jazz record label in the world. Once again, it was the innovative marketing skills, industry acumen and innate creativity of Willis that propelled the successes of jazz greats Grover Washington Jr., George Benson, and Esther Phillips. Buzz was personally responsible for music industry's first platinum jazz album - "Mr. Magic" by Grover Washington, Jr. Respected by many as a marketing genius, Buzz created the blue prints of success for such artists os the multi-platinum Kool & The Gang, Sister Sledge ond Alexander O'Neal.
In May 1996, Buzz launched One World Entertainment, Ltd. in partnership with The Sanctuary Group (UK), one of the largest management firms in Europe. OWE, Ltd. boasts on impressive roster that includes the likes of: Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Wasp and Holloween. The Sanctuary Group is partners with the BBC, producing three specials a year for the network.
OWE, Ltd. provides a myriad of services such as artist management, tour direction, record production, contract negotiations, video production and concert tour promotion. As President and CEO of OWE, Ltd., Buzz and his partners Robert "Kool" Bell and industry veteran Cecil Holmes have assembled a collection of talent that is on the cutting edge and represents today's hottest sounds. Unlike so many of his contemporaries that are confined to the parameters of a specific category, Buzz has proven that his abilities transcend the barriers of musical genres. OWE Ltd., in union with 89 5th Records, Inc., will feature contemporary music crossing all musical genres and also provide manufacturing and distribution services for new labels.
An active community leader, Willis has been recognized for his personal as well as professional contributions. He has been named Young Businessman of the Year by the New York Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women. Listed in the "Who's Who in America," he was appointed Minority Market Consultant for the Department of Defense under the Carter Administration, Entertainment Consultant to the United Nations', 50th Anniversary and most recently named Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Commission of Jersey City, New Jersey Winston "Buzz" Willis remains one of the most influential movers in the music industry.