By Mark Concannon Special to Published Sep 22, 2010 at 5:25 AM

Willy Porter is a busy man these days, doing everything from teaching his 7-year-old son to play the guitar to working with a world famous string quartet to provide a new layer of music to some of his most well-known songs.

The quartet, Carpe Diem from Columbus, Ohio, will play a concert with Willy on Friday, Oct. 8 at The Pabst Theater to promote the release of a new CD featuring Porter's superb vocals and guitar mixed with the quartet's elegant strings.

Willy will also be playing house concerts in October and December for Storyville, a newly-formed coffee company which is sponsoring musicians across the country with all proceeds going to efforts to eradicate human slavery worldwide.

Porter has always been a musician with a conscience, a serious contemplative writer, but someone who has never lost his sense of humor or the love of his hometown, incorporating a Cecil Cooper baseball card into the lyrics of one of his songs. This is an artist who has always focused on the process of creating great music, efforts that have made him a Wisconsin cultural treasure.

We spoke with Willy and had him play a few songs for us at his home studio.

Mark Concannon Special to
Mark Concannon moved to Milwaukee in 1987 when he started at WITI TV as weekend sports anchor. He began hosting Wakeup News, signing the new program on the air in 1990. He anchored Wakeup until the spring of 2010. In his 23 years at the station, Mark won four Emmy Awards and multiple local, state and regional honors.

Before arriving in Wisconsin, Mark was a TV sports director at stations in Greensboro, the Quad Cities and Fort Smith, Arkansas. He got his first job at the ABC affiliate in Syracuse during his junior year at Syracuse University where he majored in TV and Radio at the Newhouse School.

Mark is an avid fan of all sports. He covered the Packers at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans and has also reported on the Final Four, the Daytona 500, the Rose Bowl, the NLCS and the PGA and U.S. Open golf championships. He covered the GMO for 20 years. Mark played soccer in high school and is a passionate supporter of "The Beautiful Game." One of his greatest experiences was attending a UEFA Champions League game hosted by Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium.

Mark was born in Philadelphia but has happily made the transition from cheese steaks to cheese heads and is thrilled to now call Wisconsin home. He is currently president of Concannon Communications LLC and working on projects involving, writing, producing, voice-overs and public relations.