Whether it’s encouraging toddlers to jump around and shout out their favorite mode of transportation (Excavator!), or persuading couples to two-step while singing along to original Americana tunes, “Mr. Will” Dupuy has energized crowds for two decades with lively, toe-tapping and often interactive music. A multifaceted singer/songwriter, Will entertains the young and young-at-heart with children’s concerts and country music sets, frequently performing both in the same event to provide a full day of entertainment for all ages.
An infectious enthusiasm that has made him a relatable hero for kiddos began with his work in 2008 as a preschool music teacher and led to the release of his first children’s CD in 2011. As his repertoire and fan base has increased over the years, especially following the release of “Frank the Frog” in 2013, so has his success in entertaining at a variety of venues and events. With a third children’s CD now under his belt, Will continues to host more than 100 children’s shows a year at libraries, toy stores, boutiques, coffee shops and supermarkets across Texas. In fact, the organizer of the very first Touch-a-Truck event in Austin booked Will after her son started learning his music at local community events and said, “Will puts a lot of heart and soul into his work, and it shows. He's 100% authentic and a complete professional as well. No kid can resist the charm of Mr. Will's tunes and rollicking guitar strumming." As a proud member of the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, he is a top choice for any festival wanting to feature children's music. And as a TCA artist, Will can travel across the state; but as a dedicated performer, he's ready to take on the nation, and then the world!
Mr. Will taps into the developmental and interactive aspects of raising kids with fun songs, while showcasing a rambunctious spirit in live concerts for the under-seven crowd. The greatest charm of his shows is how the infectious melodies, combined with upbeat lyrics, get undeniable stuck in your head. “It's nice to play events that are kid-centric, and yet the parents enjoy themselves just as much,” Will said. “Being a parent has given me the gift of empathy when it comes to picky eaters, brushing teeth, improving motor skills and all the developmental things we experience as parents.” With original hits like “Macaroni and Cheese” and “Cubba Bubba,” he has a blast teaching and entertaining a new, growing generation of music lovers.
Hip dads may catch nods to Grateful Dead tunes slipped into the music for kiddos, and it's not uncommon for a parent to hire Will for private and corporate events. Some parents might also recognize Will’s voice and showmanship from songs like “La Tampiquena” and “Feelin’ Easy,” or his pre-kid days of touring with the South Austin Jug Band. But that's what music is all about — bringing people together and having fun, no matter the age. The talent that propelled him to perform with country musicians Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis and Bob Schneider continues with the latest incarnation of his own “adult” band, Will Dupuy and the Wilderness. With this group, Will often trades an acoustic guitar for his signature upright bass while playing a mix of original tunes and genre-crossing hits. The associate director of development and marketing at Hill Country Conservancy said, “We hire Will for many fundraisers and special events, as he has a special knack for reading the crowd and keeping the energy of the room right where it needs to be. He is a joy to work with — dependable and professional — and his deep and varied musical catalog ensures that although we work with him often, no two sets are ever the same.”