Carnegie Hall was SO much fun. The piano was in excellent shape, the acoustics in Mrs. Carnegie’s former “salon” are perfect, and there was a really warm and enthusiastic audience to the new music from DAY & NIGHT. So many people braved the chilly 20 degrees to come out – many of them friends – and we had a really great time. There are a few more performance dates – if you missed the Carnegie show, (or just feel like coming again!), here are the dates and links and descriptions:
FEBRUARY 9/THURSDAY / JUNIOR BLIND OF AMERICA 4PM LOS ANGELES/CA / 5300 Angeles Visa Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043 (323) 295-4555 / www.JuniorBlind.org Please come for a tour before or after the show if you are interested in learning more about this great organization. Ask to speak with Laura Hardy if you are interested in coming to this show for special needs students.
FEBRUARY 18/SATURDAY / THE EDYE SECOND SPACE AT THE BROAD THEATER 7 PM / 1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 434-3200 http://www.thebroadstage.com/en/Performances/visiting_events/Productions/lisahilton/ There are so many great restaurants to go to before this show: Huckleberry, Milo and Olive, Wilshire, Santa Monica Seafood and Rustic Canyon are all very close by. This is an intimate theater in a convenient location, with good parking.
MARCH 10/FRIDAY / SAN FRANCISCO JAZZ /Joe Henderson Lab 8pm / 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 https://www.sfjazz.org/events/lisa-hilton-solo-piano-day-night This show is in the very cool Hayes Valley neighborhood known for its trendy cafes and wine bars all within walking distance of this new and contemporary venue. Better to get your show tix now – we almost sold out last year. This is a great venue to bring friends to – there is a bar in the venue as well.
APRIL 8/SATURDAY/ BERKLEE COLLEGE /DAVID FRIEND RECITAL HALL 8pm / 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115 (617) 747-2261 https://www.berklee.edu/events/lisa-hilton It’s always fun to listen to music in walkable Boston. I haven’t played there in a few years, so please come out for this one!
APRIL 11/TUESDAY THE GREEN MILL 5:30-8PM/ 4802 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640 (773) 878-5552 To benefit The Chicago Lighthouse These tickets will be posted in March. The Green Mill is the oldest continuously run jazz club in the US and has the cool historic vibe – always a fun time there!
The new music debuted at on the JazzWeek Radio chart the very first week at #39 – thank you for your support!
A nice new review is up at JazzWeekly: “Hilton creates deep brush strokes to her works of art….” http://www.jazzweekly.com/2017/01/everything-right-where-you-need-itlisa-hilton-solo-piano-day-night/
If you haven’t picked up a copy try here: AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4GOGKQ or here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/day-night/id1168095658
Enjoy your day and hope to see you soon!
Happy New Year!
I hope you had some good times over this holiday season. It’s been busy but fun for me in SoCal. It’s unusual and very exciting to have a new CD and a show coming up at Carnegie Hall January 10th, 2017 as well! https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2017/1/10/0800/PM/Lisa-Hilton-Piano/
DAY & NIGHT now heads to radio with an add date of 1/2/2017.
Although the album has only been out a few days, I’ve gotten a few nice reviews already:
“What is evident is the aura that underlies and overlays the album – it is attention-getting and subtly strong and drawing you in. I felt enveloped in what I realized was a perfectly seamed performance. Virtuosity aside, Hilton has imbued this succession of songs with so much nuance – so much extension of incredibly phrased riffs – that take the song places that are so unexpected that one is left simply awestruck by beauty”. Hugh Carson/KVNF Radio
“Day & Night just might be the tonic this nation needs…everyday treasures that strengthen the bonds of humankind are intrinsic to the music of Lisa Hilton.” AXS/Carol Banks Weber http://www.axs.com/lisa-hilton-s-upcoming-day-night-nurtures-power-of-love-110294 There are more shows coming in February too.
“Hilton is in player in full command of the nuances of her instrument. Her approach is a welcome expanse of dynamics and tonal variety, enabling her to conjure aural pictures in a richly impressionistic style. Memorably resonant original songs….and gentle pianistic fireworks.” George Kanzler/Hothouse Jazz Guide January – page 10. http://hothousejazz.com/index.php
“Lovely Album!” WUNH Radio
In case you missed them here are the videos that just came out for the album too:
DAY & NIGHT video: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=unx2_pJ6AsY
Caffeinated Culture video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTAels_d1A0
Take care and HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Q: What is “trans-genre” music? You mention that some of the music on NOCTURNAL is trans-genre.
LH: While I was composing music for NOCTURNAL, there was a media uproar regarding a white woman pretending to be black and a male athlete who transgendered to female. I also saw a comedian in Los Angeles, make us laugh when he noted that soon we’d all be the color of ‘khaki’. These instances show that our world is not as segmented – not as black and white- anymore, and I think music should reflect that. This whole idea that jazz or any genre of music should adhere to strict guidelines is antiquated. We eat food from all different cultures and we should be able to be cross-cultural in our music too, right? Some of the music I composed on NOCTURNAL takes classical ideas, concepts or forms and are then completed with our jazz concepts of improvisation, free jazz, blues, shifting modal key centers, or poly – rhythms.
Q: Why classical – hasn’t that been done?
LH: Throughout history, many jazz composers that I admire have also worked in classical forms: Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, and George Gershwin to name a few icons. I also liked the idea of working on longer, more emotionally driven works – like John Coltrane did on ‘A Love Supreme’. Composers need variety: I’ve got over 200 tracks on iTunes now – I really enjoyed investigating what I liked best about classical vs. jazz.
Q: Any straight ahead jazz on NOCTURNAL?
LH: Of course – I love that too! The title track ‘Nocturnal,’ ‘Whirlwind’, and a cover of (Ann Ronell’s) ‘Willow Weep for Me’ are very traditional, while ‘Seduction’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Symphony of Blues’ are really bluesy. ‘A Spark in the Night’ has a Latin flavor, (that was the band’s favorite track, btw), while ‘Twilight’ and ‘Midnight Stars’ are examples of impressionism. The Pixie’s ‘Where Is My Mind’ is conceptual I’d say, and ‘An August Remembered’ has a tinge of gospel.
Q: Tell us about the band – you added some new players didn’t you?
LH: I explore different ideas in each album – last year’s HORIZONS was inspired by nature, KALEIDOSCOPE dealt with poly-genre ideas. For NOCTURNAL, I was looking for greater emotional depth, with more complex playing on some tunes. I felt I needed really great players, and I was lucky to get them! I have worked with J.D. Allen on tenor sax for several years – I consider his deep Detroit sound to be the ‘Tenor of our Times’. J.D. introduced me to bassist Gregg August, and I’ve toured a little with him and now we’re recording together too. Gregg has an extensive Latin background, is in the Brooklyn Philharmonic, has a masters degree from Julliard, composes, AND is a great jazz bassist – I knew he could handle anything. I hadn’t met Terell Stafford before, but my trumpeter from last year was touring so I reached out to him and he was perfect – what a beautiful tone, and spirit he has. I had met Antonio Sanchez in the past but, as you know, he tours a lot, and we had never played together. Fortunately I still had his email, and he said yes right away. Everyone is aware of what an amazing drummer he is, and how great his score for ‘Birdman’ was, but playing with him really put me on my toes – he creates so much movement in his playing. Everyone was amazing to work with – the skill level was really up there. Terell said after it was an ‘honor to work with such great musicians’ and I felt the same way.
Q: Did you do anything different on the sound?
LH: I love great sound, so I work with the same engineers every year. They are the ‘Unsung Heroes’ in music: James Farber for recording, multi-Grammy winner Al Schmitt, ‘The God of Sound’ (with Steve Genewick) mixes the albums and multi-Grammy winner Gavin Lurssen mastered my first album and we’re still working together! They are my friends and I look forward to seeing them every year.
Q: What do you like to do best – compose, perform, or produce albums?
LH: I like all those hats, and they really all add up to being a better musician – a more whole person. Even the business side helps you understand music. Most musicians you see perform are primarily performers or players that might compose a little. For me I really HAVE to compose – that is my art form.
Q: Speaking of art, you were a college drop – out in music, but got a degree in art instead. How did that effect your career?
LH: I think it had a bigger emotional impact on me – I loved the piano but the institutional education in SF was stifling creatively, so it felt like walking away from my ‘true love.’ Studying art, art history, and being creative based on visual, rather than aural decisions, has turned out to be really helpful. Music is an art form – it’s not physics. I think a lot about the challenges different artists had when I compose too. I think it has helped me immensely to have a background in art.
Q: You perform at venues like Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, but you also have dates at schools for blind students, music stores or clubs – that’s quite a range there.
LH: I think music should be accessible anywhere: not just for those who can pay for pricey tickets. Every performance is a unique – I like to be open to almost anything – in New Zealand I played in a city park outside once. I love it all! I’m excited about debuting the new music for the first time January 17th at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall though – it will be the first performance of “Midnight Sonata” and other compositions: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2016/1/17/0200/PM/Lisa-Hilton-and-Friends/
Q: Do you have friends or family that are blind – is that why you go to schools for the blind?
LH: No one in my circle is blind, but I’ve met all kinds of great people who are blind in recent years: lawyers, musicians, and many inspiring individuals. I like to give what I would have liked to have received – growing up in my small town I would have loved to have met a professional musician, but never had that opportunity, so I hope other students enjoy when I visit and perform. I am also aware of a bias today – all musicians play for people who are young or old, black or white, yet few make the effort to reach out to those with disabilities. I think music should be for everyone. Lisa Hilton performs at Perkins School for the Blind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F14YsHvKIK4
Q: Lastly, who are your favorite pianists – who do you listen to?
LH: I try and listen to a wide variety of music: Brad Mehldau or Thelonious Monk for jazz. For classical I listen to Lang Lang and Yuja Wang. For Latin I like Chucho Valdez.
I’m happily finishing up our latest album, NOCTURNAL – my eighteenth. It will be out January 29th, 2016 and features myself on piano of course, Antonio Sanchez on drums, Gregg August on bass and J.D. Allen on tenor sax again and a new trumpeter for us – Terell Stafford. WHAT A BAND! Many people know about Antonio’s drum score for the film Birdman. He really is incredibly talented and was a pleasure to work with. Everyone knows that I love J.D. Allen’s deep Detroit sound and feel he’s the tenor sax for our times. JD introduced me a few years ago to his multi-talented bassist Gregg August who is the concert master for the Brooklyn Symphony, tours with Latin bands and also jazz groups – he’s got a masters degree from Julliard too. My trumpeter from last year was on tour, so I brought in Terell – one of the top trumpeters around and truly a nice guy. I was so happy with the results and can hardly wait to share the new CD! (photo above: J.D. Allen/Terell Stafford, Lisa Hilton/Gregg August/Antonio Sanchez at Avatar Studios by George Brooks).
We will be debuting the new music at Carnegie Hall January 17th at a 2pm show – PLEASE come by if you can. You cannot imagine what it is like to compose – alone at the piano for months and then finally having the music come alive with the band in performance. And Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall has perfect acoustics along with one of the greatest Steinway’s you can imagine. Tickets just went on sale here – the CDs will also be available that day: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2016/1/17/0200/PM/Lisa-Hilton-and-Friends/
If you’re a GRAMMY voter please look for our CD HORIZONS under jazz and you’ll also find my name in the Arranging and Composing on the preliminary ballot. Please wish us luck – it would be nice to be nominated of course, but it’s also a step forward to women – ever represented in the categories mentioned.
There will be more upcoming shows too, so stay posted:
MARCH 10th/Thursday /Junior Blind of America, Los Angeles 4pm Performance for special needs students: 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd. L.A. www.JuniorBlind.org SOLO PIANO
MARCH 24th/Thursday/ SFJazz 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (826)920.5299 SFJazz.org 8:pm SOLO PIANO
APRIL 13/Thursday/Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired1850 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 666-1331http://chicagolighthouse.org/ SOLO PIANO
Wishing you a great week!
Hopefully you are making it through the Holiday Season well so far and I hope that you soon will have some time to relax with your loved ones. I’m sharing this photo of my little 14 year old Italian greyhound Ricky from last year – I’m thankful for every year he’s still with me – he seems to get sweeter as he ages!
I’ve been the elf around here after my piano time. It’s been so busy that this year I’m waiting until the last minute to do the cookie baking, which means that I’m going to be pushed for time very soon – sound familiar? I’ve been preparing for our performance at Carnegie Hall January 11, 2015 at 2pm – hope you can come! (Please pass the link on if you have friends that might be interested). I’ll be there with JD Allen on tenor sax, Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Ben Street on bass and Rudy Royston on drums If you’ve never been to a performance at Carnegie before, I think it’s time for you to come, don’t you? : http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2015/1/11/0200/PM/Lisa-Hilton-and-Friends/ We will be debuting new music from our new 2015 release H O R I Z O N S which I’m extremely excited about. Here is the very new video from HORIZONS: The Sky and the Ocean: http://youtu.be/2WlTblOPs1c and a solo piece from the album from a live video at Cornell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3B4et-OcDE When it Rains.
Wishing everyone Holidays filled with riches: love, friendship, family, art, music, nature, and peace,
Fall is really here, isn’t it? I’m excited to tour on the east coast and see some real fall foliage. Here in SoCal, the only foliage colors are brown from our drought. I’ll be at The Green Mill Monday Oct 20th at 5:30pm for a benefit for the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired. http://greenmilljazz.com/events/530pm-800pm-benefit-for-the-chicago-lighthouse/ Please come by for a fun & casual evening for a great cause. The Green Mill was voted one of the Top Jazz Venues by Down Beat Magazine – you’ll love the vibe there!
I’ll be at Cornell University too – see their screen above with the photo by Steven Lippman. This is hosted by the University on Wednesday, Oct 29th at 7:30 in Barnes Hall – a historic building with terrific acoustics. The super radio host, Eric Cohen of WAER/Syracuse will introduce the evening, and I hear there are even refreshments after! Please come if you can: http://events.cornell.edu/event/lisa_hilton
For those of you planning ahead, PLEASE don’t miss our Debut of our new album, H O R I Z O N S at Weil Hall at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, January 11th, 2015 in NYC. I’ll be there with JD Allen on tenor sax, Rudy Royston on drums and Ben Street on bass. If you’ve never been to a performance at Carnegie before, I think it’s time to try and make one, don’t you? I’m really excited to share the NEW music then: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2015/1/11/0200/PM/Lisa-Hilton-and-Friends/
And for those who’ve been thinking about heading to Las Vegas, come May 15 or 16th 2015! http://www.thesmithcenter.com/events/dates/2015-05-15/
Good news – on the pre-Grammy Ballot our release is representing great engineers and for best jazz improvised solo from “Kaleidoscope”. Wish us luck please! You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/lisahiltonmusic
Lastly – so many challenges in our world right now, but I wish you and those around your peace and health and a Happy Halloween too!
P.O. Box 6368, Malibu, CA 90264