>Happy New Year and update from NYC

>Hi there and Happy New Year too!

It’s been a whirl-wind around here. I just got back from a week in NYC. I recorded a new album, (due out in late spring), and attended the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference, (APAP), at the NY Hilton. “Presenters” book jazz and other entertainment for clubs, festivals, and theater settings. This year the theme was Jazz, so there were several special interest discussions on how to attract jazz audiences, the challenges, and new ways to connect with the audience. It was very interesting, and promising too. I heard some good ideas, that give me hope for our future! I also got to meet, and hang with Ramsey Lewis, Vijay Iyer, Gerald Clayton, Stefon Harris, Kenny Barron and others. And I got my fill of music too: since all the jazz “buyers” were in town, there was LOTS of jazz to be heard. I saw Kenny Barron with Stefon and the great flutist, Anne Drummond at Jazz Standard, Ravi at Irridium, an all night rave type event at Le Poisson Rouge with Jenny Scheinman/Jason Moran, Lionel and others – with 1,000+ people /SRO that went on till the wee hours of the morning, Geri Allen with a multi media show, and Maria Schneider and her orchestra at a very cool event at Blue Note which included improvised bird calls from the audience via small wooden South American musical blowers. I played a solo event too that went well. My favorite evening? Kenny Werner at Small’s showed up with Ari Honig and their long time bassist, and I was blown away by their very intuitive and creative playing, to a SRO crowd. I think that The Wall Street Journal, and others who think jazz is dead should spend a week with me! I assure you, jazz is very much alive – try standing for a couple hours in a crowd of 1400 and you’ll agree with me!

I have more good news: Our August 10th release, “Twilight & Blues” just showed up #40 on the JazzWeek chart, right above some well known names with good sized marketing budgets, demonstrating that we have what we call, “legs”. THANK YOU! We love that support. We also continue to get great reviews, most recently in DownBeat, “Appealing impressionism… rich melodies and improvisations” and in All About Jazz/NY, “A definite West Coast cool vibe clings to a lot of pianist Lisa Hilton’s Twilight & Blues… an impressionist intent on creating and sustaining moods.” Wonderful! I also noted that my bassist, Larry Grenadier’s release with his band Fly, and my tenor sax player’s release, “Shine” received top marks for 2009. All good.

Wishing you the best in 2010,

Lisa Hilton