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Member since 2012.
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Lisa Hilton is a composer/pianist/bandleader/producer.
Lisa Hilton is a composer/pianist/bandleader/producer who has been
hailed as “One of the major voices in the modern jazz community” (The
Jazz Messenger) and is compared to some of the best pianists in
history in the book The New Face of Jazz for what Down Beat
magazine recently noted: “Hilton clearly has a musical voice.” Hilton is
especially recognized for her expressive and impressionistic approach
at the keyboard. Although she has been compared to such diverse
musicians as Brad Mehldau, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson,
Thelonious Monk, Erik Satie and even Debussy, Hilton is cited as, “A
rarity that she displays a truly original voice,” (The Jazz Messenger).
Her compositions are exciting: rich in musical heritage, blues inflections,
intelligent use of harmonic and rhythmic textures and imbued with
warmth, beauty and soul. “I appreciate traditional jazz, but I am not a
traditionalist, “ Hilton explains, “As a composer I admire the
compositions of Miles Davis, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington and
Muddy Waters, and I do reference them in a style that represents our
cultural desire today to embrace our past. I also choose to be moving
forward though in jazz and create new musical approaches”. The result
is a fresh sound that is evocative, intelligent, engaging and redirecting
jazz into the twentyfirst century. Dubbed by JazzReview a “Lioness of
Jazz”, Hilton continually works with some of the greatest jazz musicians
today: Christian McBride, Nasheet Waits, J. D. Allen, Larry Grenadier,
Lewis Nash, Bobby Militello, Jeremy Pelt, Brice Winston, Rudy Royston,
Jaimeo Brown, Ameen Saleem and Steve Wilson. She produces an
album a year of her own compositions and arrangements, now totaling
thirteen stateside CD’s and over 160+ tracks on iTunes. Hiltons’ music
continues to receive critical acclaim, honors, awards and also longevity
in radio airplay in the US, Canada and around the world.
Lisa Kristine Hilton was born in San Luis Obispo, a small Southern
California town, into a very musical family. Passionate about the piano
from a young age, she was later inspired by stories of her great uncle,
Willem Bloemendaal (1910-1937 Vlaardingen, Netherlands), a young
Dutch piano virtuoso. Hilton began the formal study of classical and
twentieth century piano literature beginning at eight, and later began
playing Standards, jazz and blues along with Bartok and Beethoven.
Most teens would probably opt for rock concerts, but the first live show
Hilton saw was the classic blues duo Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.
“They seemed really old, and very cool by my teenage standards. I
was also a big B.B. King fan in those days too.” Her interest in the
expressive capabilities of music was soon to be challenged: at college in
San Francisco, Hilton studied with a renowned classical pianist but
became disillusioned with the conservative teaching methods, so she
switched her studies, and graduated with a degree in Art. After many
years, Hilton returned to the piano in 1997, and continued some
coursework at UCLA. Hilton says that her passions for music and art
are now combined: “Music is an art. You need to know instinctually
what to do beyond studying technique, history and theory.”
The difficulties she experienced with her own music education has led
Hilton to support music programs for children and teens, especially for
those that serve the blind or the visually impaired. She has performed
benefit concerts for Helen Keller’s alma mater, Perkins School for the
Blind, (near Boston/2006, 2007, 2011), The Chicago Lighthouse for
People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, (2008, 2009, 2010), The
Junior Blind of America, (Los Angeles/2010, 2011), Camp Bloomfield for
those that are visually impaired, (Malibu/1998, 1999) and ArtsReach
(2000/Malibu, CA). She has written about these experiences for Jazziz
and Jazz Times Magazines.
Hilton now lives in Malibu, California and her compositions draw
inspiration from other West Coast musical luminaries and one time
Malibu residents such as Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Horace Silver, and her
friend, the late Joe Zawinul. Besides composing, performing,
recording, and producing, Hilton has authored a popular children’s book,
and is currently working on a book on musicianship.