April 3, 2013

Lisa Hilton

"A true original at the top of her game." - Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

One of the most distinctive and instantly recognizable composers and pianists in jazz today, Lisa Hilton has honed her evocative, individualistic and impressionistic “sound paintings” for over a decade as a leader. Like Dave Brubeck and Bill Evans, her imagistic compositions draw as deeply on the classical tradition and the avant-garde as much as they look back to jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. A lifelong passion for music and art informs this California native's sonic tableaux. Hilton's approach is nuanced, and expressive, her compositional style thorough and painterly, her touch on the keyboard alternately tender, brooding, playful or cerebral.

Over the course of her creative career, the "Lioness of Jazz" has played with many of this era's jazz luminaries, notably Larry Grenadier, Nasheet Waits, J.D. Allen, Christian McBride, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, Lewis Nash and Bobby Militello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. As a band - leader, Hilton has produced a total of fifteen albums, representing nearly 200 iTunes tracks. A leading advocate for 21st century composition, Hilton notes, “I've only seen the New York that inspired Gershwin in movies. Jazz composers today must create a body of work that represents the sound and energy of our lives in this century while embracing our past”. Hilton's post bop style influences extend beyond jazz legends to include bluesman Muddy Waters, minimalists like Steve Reich, current rockers Green Day and modernists Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Bartok.  Originally from a small town on California's central coast, Hilton studied piano formally from the age of eight, and in college, received a degree in art. 

Known for her warmth and leadership on the stage, Hilton has played major jazz venues coast to coast, both as a solo pianist and with her band, and been heard on hundreds of radio stations around the world – including syndicated programs like NPR's popular Morning Edition. Committed to helping students of all abilities, Hilton has led master classes, with a special commitment to helping young, blind musicians at the historic Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, The Junior Blind of America in Los Angeles and helped with The Berklee College of Music in Boston and their adaptive music lab for visually impaired musicians.

Website: www.LisaHIltonMusic.com