With what has been described as a “throbbing undercurrent of West Coast Cool”, critically acclaimed composer and pianist, Lisa Hilton has been compared favorably to such diverse pianists as Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver and Brad Mehldau, but Hilton’s sound and touch are completely her own. Since 1997 Hilton has recorded and produced an album a year of her compositions and arrangements for solo piano, trio, and as a leader for her band. Dubbed by JazzReview a “lioness of jazz”, she works with some of the greatest musicians in jazz: Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Bobby Militello, Larry Grenadier, Jeremy Pelt, Reggie McBride, J.D. Allen, Tal Bergman, to name a few, and her current band is comprised of all Down Beat Magazine Critics Choice Award Winners. Hilton has produced five of her eleven releases with the legendary, eighteen time Grammy award winning engineer/producer, Al Schmitt. Based in Malibu, California, Hilton’s fluid, expressive playing style has a blues inflected and refreshing Pacific Coast vibe that has been influenced by other one time Malibu residents: Miles Davis, and Stan Getz. One of the few women producers working in jazz, she also runs her own publishing company to oversee 130+ recorded tracks. She has received various awards and nominations for her compositions.
Growing up in Southern Californian, Hilton first taught herself to play and compose simple pieces before starting formal education in classical and twentieth century piano literature at the age of eight. Voracious about music, she accompanied on the piano for the school chorus and theatre productions, played flute in the band, and in high school started composing blues riffs on the side. But college was an entirely different experience: while studying in San Francisco with a well - known and exacting performer, Hilton became disillusioned with the classical canon. At nineteen, Hilton packed up: leaving college, the piano, and her passion, eventually graduating with a degree in art. It wasn’t until 1997 that her interest was re-ignited to return to composing and the piano. “It was difficult to leave music, my first love, but it did enable me to study art”, responds Hilton. “Now my art is my music; now my passions are combined.”
Performances: Hilton loves to perform: “I have a need to share our world musically. I have an incredible band, but the solo shows that I do also go over really well with audiences”. Hilton explains how her compositions or arrangements were inspired, to draw listeners in to her instrumental jazz. “I’ve had adults ecstatically proclaim that they could really hear what I was communicating – that they could really ‘get it!’ Others have been moved to tears, or call an evening ‘magical’, and then I’ve had teens shout out ‘YOU ROCK!’ Touching others musically is really what I desire to do.”
Radio: Hilton’s music is played on hundreds of radio stations in the U.S., Canada and around the world, and has been featured prominently on shows like NPR’s Morning Edition, various airlines and XM. Broadly appealing to all ages, Hilton’s albums appear on radio charts for JazzWeek, College Media Journal (CMJ), Earshot Jazz/Canada, SmoothJazz.com and New Age Reporter.
Television: Hilton has been featured on CBS/Boston and WGN/Chicago. Written Word: A published author, Lisa Hilton has also written for Jazz Times and Jazziz magazine. She is currently working on a book about musicianship, and has been interviewed for the upcoming Random House book, “The New Face of Jazz”, by Cicily Janus. She has had a music blog on her website since 2001.
Workshops: Due to the challenges in her own music education, Hilton is now very committed to music programs for children, teens and college students. Hilton also enjoys working with people who are blind or visually impaired, such as programs at Perkins School for the Blind near Boston, the Junior Blind of America's Camp Bloomfield in Malibu, and The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
Live at the Waldorf Astoria
Official Website: http://www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco/jazzclub/artist/show/1270
Added by Yoshis on April 20, 2010