CraZy WeAtheR again!
Well I’d like to keep those “Happy Spring” wishes going, but the weather doesn’t seem to be co-operating does it? Drought-scape SoCal has rain today, the north- east had recent snow, Arkansas got flooded and it’s snowing in Chicago right now! No matter what the weather, if you’re looking for and easy relaxed night in NYC Sunday please come by my last show of the season at ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL/Stage 3 at 8:30 pm – there are even cheap tickets online: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1090601. I also have a stop in Boston for a Berklee College for a Board meeting then a small performance in support of The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, so I’m hoping the weather will settle down!
THANK YOU everyone who not only came to the Pepperdine show and Portland shows, but we had a really fun show, (and full house) at SFJazz – quite a few family members at all those shows – I really appreciate that! Thanking everyone at radio too – spending most of Jan-March on the JazzWeek Radio chart and still on the ZMR radio chart too for our release NOCTURNAL. Your support is really appreciated!
Jazz Times produced 2 new videos you might be interested in. The first on my lifelong love of the piano, my introduction to jazz and a bit about my creative process as a musician: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nJknWIgz30 The second one is on my work with sight-impaired youth, the Newport Jazz Festival and the importance of the arts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S08Ldjd6BxY
Here’s a new article, (easily translated), from the beautiful Punte del Este/Uruguary…http://www.estilopunta.com/interview/el-mundo-seria-mas-feliz-si-todos-escucharamos-j and from the cool Canadian Riveting Riffs website is an interview: http://www.rivetingriffs.com/Lisa%20Hilton%20interview%202016.html
Don’t forget, NOCTURNAL is easily available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nocturnal/id1058965612 Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Nocturnal-Lisa-Hilton/dp/B017Y6AQRE and of course, Lisa Hilton Music: www.LisaHiltonMusic.com You also can listen on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or Pandora, or on YouTube or SoundCloud under LisaHiltonMusic. (PS there’s some new video up on YouTube too!)
Wishing ALL OF US good weather this weekend! Hope you can come by Rockwood Music Hall on NYC Sunday too.
I realize that not everyone is getting spring time weather yet – I do wish everyone luck through any “spring” storms. It’s been wetter in the west than the last 5 years, so that’s a good thing for us. The meteorologists are still hoping for a “Miracle in March” – meaning MORE rain, but the west has made a lot of forward progress on drought recovery. Yeah!
My news? NOCTURNAL continues to do well at radio which warms my heart – going on two months now – thank you radio everywhere! I’ve also been having SO much fun touring and performing. Carnegie Hall was, of course very enjoyable in January with my band, and then recently I had a terrific show at Pepperdine University. (I’m happy to say there is video from that show that I’ll post soon too). I also had my usual stop at Junior Blind of America in Los Angeles – what wonderful students they have there! Last weekend, a matinee performance in Portland (see the photo above), was a new spot for me, and I got to hang with my sister on that trip too. (THANK YOU everyone who came out to these shows!) Upcoming is an INCREDIBLY COOL venue, SFJazz Center in San Francisco on Thursday March 24 8pm. Why is this spot so, uh, hot? It’s brand new, great architecture with outstanding sound. It’s in the hipster Hayes Valley neighborhood, so that means it’s easy to get a bite or a drink nearby before or after. The room itself is exciting though – mainly glass that actually interacts with the performance and the performer. Not only can you see people walking by outside, or watch dusk settling, as it gets dark the reflections inside the room from the glass create their own impressionistic energy. Please come if you can, or tell your friends or family -it really is a cool venue and (hopefully!!) the show will be pretty good too! Tickets here: http://ticketing.sfjazz.org/single/selectSeating.aspx?p=8833&tnewq=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&tnewp=93b99779-9494-4cfc-8944-3091cb9f5231&tnewts=1456769189&tnewc=sfjazz&tnewe=march1onsale&tnewrt=Idle&tnewh=7049e5adb1ecfe56f6a0c72
After that I’ll head back to NYC for Sunday April 10th, 8:30 pm at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 – a nice stop after dinner in the east village: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1090601
Journalist/photographer, Ken Franckling, wrote in a recent issue of Jazz Notes: “As jazz player/composers go, Lisa Hilton is one of the finest musical impressionists. Her art comes from the piano rather than canvas as she explores a stunning amount of original material on Nocturnal, her 18th recording. There is much to dig here, from the Latin-tinged moodiness of “A Spark in the Night” to the musical complexities of the trio piece “Seduction,” with support from bassist Gregg August and drummer Antonio Sanchez. There are two covers here, with trumpeter Terell Stafford featured on “Willow Weep for Me” and tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen on The Pixies’ “Where is my Mind?” This project underscores the concept that for keen listeners, jazz is all about emotion – whether you are writing it or playing it”. http://kenfrancklingjazznotes.blogspot.com
Just in case you need any quick links to NOCTURNAL: http://www.amazon.com/Nocturnal-Lisa-Hilton/dp/B017Y6AQRE iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nocturnal/id1058965612 or of course, http://lisahiltonmusic.com/product-category/cd-albums/
Take care and enjoy the beauty of this time of year as much as you can!
Nocturnal Music Video Released!
I am happy to announce the completion of the music video for my song Nocturnal. Directed by James Grant, and shot by Cinematographer Blake Gaytan, the video delves into the spirit of the night and the many themes that the cover of darkness embodies. Take a look and enjoy!
THANK YOU TO RADIO EVERYWHERE!
Did you enjoy the SuperBowl? I think it’s always more fun to have a closer game – like last year, but the weather in California was spectacular for a February day and I liked GaGa’s arrangement of our anthem too.
Here’s a photo from NYC last month with JD Allen on tenor sax, Ben Williams on bass, Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and Rudy Royston on drums at Carnegie Hall. We had a great time! We had the same band last year but we were lucky to have Ben Williams join us – he’s just terrific and so nice too. Love those acoustics and my big Steinway at Carnegie!
Well Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU radio stations EVERYWHERE for playing NOCTURNAL. Just 2 weeks after our Jan. 22nd release date, we are #20 on the JazzWeek radio chart and being played around the world. We have deep appreciation for this. There is a lot of music out there – mostly from larger labels, so it is a great vote of support to Antonio Sanchez, JD Allen, Gregg August, Terell Stafford and myself that the music is connecting so well. As artists, a lot of our creative work is done in relative isolation and then 6-12 months later you find out if anyone likes what you do, (no instant gratification!), so this has been great news. Stations that we know are playing NOCTURNAL our first couple weeks are listed here (did I miss anyone?) – as well as my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaHiltonMusic. I just got this not from Russ Davis at MOJA RADIO/VOICE OF AMERICA: “You can add the 134 million people who hear JAZZ AMERICA on Voice of America as Nocturnal will be featured with our interview this coming Valentine’s Day weekend!” www.mojaradio.com – WOW! You can also listen here too:
WAER/NY, WBGU/OH, WBLU/WBLV/MI, WCLK/GA, WDNA/FL, WECI/IN, WERU/ME, WFCR/MA, WFMT/CA, WFDU/Jazz& What’s more/NJ, WGMC/NY, WGVU/MI, WHRV/VA, IL, WJSU/MS, WLRN/FL, WNCU/NC, WNMU/MI, WPFW/DC, WPPB/NJ, WQSU/PA, WRIR/VA, WRTI/PA, WSHA/NC, WSNC/WSSU/NC, WTJU/VA, WUEV/IN, WUMR/TN, WWOZ/LA, WWSP/WI, WWUH/CT, WXPN/PA, WYCE/MI, KANU/KANH/KANV/KS, KBEM/MN, KCBX/CA, KCCK/IA, KCSB/CA, KCSM/CA, KEWU/WA, KIOS/NE, KKRN/KWMR/CA, KKUP/CA, KMBH/KMHD/TX, KNTU/TX, KRFC/CO, KSDS/CA, KSJS/KSJD/CA, KTEP/online, KTSU/TX, KUSD/SD, KUVO/KVJX/CO, KUTX/TX, KVNF/KUMT/CO, KXPR/KYJZ/CA, KYGT/CO, 2MaxFm/Australia, ClassicFm/Abu Dhabi, All Jazz Radio/South Africa, AnimaJazz/Italy, Apple Music, Echoes/syndicated, Hawaii Public Radio/HI, Jazz After Hours/syndicated, Jazz from Gallery 41/CA,JazzHappeningNow/syndicated, IO Radio/UK, M3Radio/NY, MOJARadio/syndicated, No Solo Jazz/Spain, Otras Musicas/Spain, Peaceful Radio/Netherlands, Radio Despi/Spain, Radio Jazz/Uruguay, PRX Jazz/syndicated, Radio Swiss Jazz/Switzerland, Radio Valencia/CA, RadioVideoJazz/online, Rhapsody, RTVA/Spain, Soul&Jazz/UK, Spotify, Taint Radio/syndicated, Toppy Jazz/Netherlands, Radio Rick/Netherlands, BO FM/Canada, RLI/Madagascar, JazzCoRadio/Australia, Radio 794/Netherlands, Spectrum Jazz/online, CIWS/Canada, 2RRfm/Australia, Solar Radio/UK, Pacific Jazz, Canoefm/Canada, CFRO/Canada, CUIT/Canada, BBC Radio Stoke/UK, Scotland69fm/UK, 2NVR Australia, O’s Place Jazz, Output Radio/Netherlands, Style Quarterly Radio/online, West Gippsland Community Radio/Australia, …. Thank you all!
-MARCH 4th/Friday/Smothers Hall Pepperdine University/Malibu, CA 8pm 4255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu/ https://pepperdinearts.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=132
-MARCH 10th/Thursday /Junior Blind of America, Los Angeles 4pm Performance for special needs students: 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd. L.A. www.JuniorBlind.org
-MARCH 12th/Saturday/Classic Pianos Portland, 3:30pm www.PortlandClassicPianos.net/events http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2495400
-MARCH 24th/Thursday/ SFJazz: https://www.sfjazz.org/events-calendar
-APRIL 10th/Sunday/Rockwood Music Hall/NYC 8:30pm: http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/ https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1090601
Hope you can come out to one of the performances for NOCTURNAL – see ya there!
H O L I D A Y S!
I enjoyed family time, hiking, a movie or too and food of course! Time to listen to NOCTURNAL – our new release that arrived Wednesday, which was exciting too, (it will be available for sale January 22nd, 2016). I also got time to play piano – so there was MUCH to be thankful for here in still sunny SoCal.
Every one has a discounted deal going on right now, but I try and offer a good price at Lisa Hilton Music all year round. With 17 CD’s out, plus 1 vinyl, digital downloads and sheet music, I hope you will find some good ideas to make your Holiday shopping easier!
I’m also getting excited about upcoming tour dates – especially January 17th, 2016 at 2pm at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Perfect acoustics, an awesome piano, and a great band: Ingrid Jensen/trumpet, JD Allen/tenor sax, Ben Williams/bass and Rudy Royston/drums. FUN! I really like to encourage students to all performances, but especially for the matinees. Student tickets (or APAP passes) are available at the Box Office: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2015/1/11/0200/PM/Lisa-Hilton-and-Friends/ Other dates are coming up for next spring too:
MARCH 4th/Friday/Smothers Hall Pepperdine University/Malibu, CA 8pm
4255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu/ www.arts.pepperdine.edu/ (310) 506-4522 West Coast premier of NOCTURNAL/ SOLO PIANO
MARCH 10th/Thursday /Junior Blind of America, Los Angeles 4pm SOLO PIANO
Performance for special needs students: 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd. L.A. www.JuniorBlind.org
MARCH 12th/Saturday/Classic Pianos Portland, 3:30pm
3003 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202 (503)546-6522 www.PortlandClassicPianos.net/events SOLO PIANO
MARCH 24th/Thursday/ SFJazz
201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (826)920.5299 SFJazz.org SOLO PIANO
APRIL 13/Thursday/Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired
1850 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 666-1331 http://chicagolighthouse.org/ A short solo piano performance for special needs students.
There will be more performances coming up in 2016 too of course.
Enjoy your week and the start of the Holiday Season – my favorite time of year!
Q&A with Lisa Hilton on NOCTURNAL out January 22
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.
Behind the scenes at Avatar Studios….
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!
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