Where to start...?!
I have always loved music and performing. I just recently took a trip to Argentina to visit family. One memory that they all recalled from when I was young (and will never let me forget) was how my mother would get me all dressed up, make sure everyone was present and I would give anyone who would listen a private violin concert! I even remember going out on the front lawn to play so the neighbor kids could hear me.
So really, have things changed that much?! Ha! I don't think they have because I have the best fan base ever; friends and family.
In Middle School, I threatened to quit playing the violin. Gasp! Mom found me the best fiddle teacher possible, Brian Wicklund, and I was introduced to the world of bluegrass. Playing by ear and improvising was exactly what I was missing from my musical life. At 14, I played in a kid bluegrass band at a bluegrass festival here in MN.
In High School, I started playing the guitar and writing songs. I later went on to college and just like my musical tastes, I had to try a little of each college. I attended NDSU, Concordia and MSUM. I was in the Concordia Orchestra and on the side, I started doing a loop station solo show at local bars and festivals. I met lots of wonderful musicians and joined a band called "Hot Hands Jalopy" where we played a mix of jam/rock. I then went on to play in an Irish band called "Poitin" in Fargo, ND. They still play and are great to watch and do some Irish dancing too.
Back to a family story; I have 3 brothers and they all play music too. Thanks to mom, they all started with violin. They all jumped ship and chose a different instrument not long after. My brothers and I have always jammed at home. Julio, my oldest brother, and I were in a bluegrass band together after I was in college called "Frickin' Pickin'". Next up was the "High Strung String Band" where I continued to play in the Minneapolis music scene.
When I came back to Minneapolis after college, I also started my own singer/songwriter band called "Bettina Villamil & Friends". This is where my heart lies. There are so many great musicians in the midwest and I am so happy to say that I have played with many of them! We played a weekly gig in Dinkytown and had so much fun being creative and original.
After that I started getting into the Country and Cover band music scene. I've played the main stage at WE Fest with "Thunder Road" and opened up for acts like Jason Aldean and Eric Church to name a few.
Currently I am also in the "Shalo Lee Band". This is a very fun and energetic country/rock band. We play often and have had the honor of opening up for the Charlie Daniels Band! Soon we get to open up for the Big & Rich band too!
My Goal: Right now I am trying to get back to my songwriting and collaborative roots. I am so excited to see where this takes me next!