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Jill McCarron

Born in Minneapolis, MN, Jill spent her childhood and teen years in Canada.  She is a graduate of Humber College in Toronto, where she majored in jazz performance and arranging under the tutelage of Ron Collier, who himself had served as arranger to Duke Ellington in the 1970s.  While in Toronto she performed regularly with her ensembles in the city's top venues, including George's Spaghetti House and the Montreal Bistro.

Upon being awarded a Canada Council Grant, she made the move to New York City where she attended the New School, where she studied with Richie Beirach, Jim Hall, Kenny Werner and Hal Galper.
 

Shortly after completing her studies at the New School, the Jill McCarron Quintet won first place in the Cognac Hennessy Jazz Competition, which led to a spot in the national finals in Los Angeles. In 1993 she was a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.  In 1995 she secured first place in the 13th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, FL, whose judges included Horace Silver and Monty Alexander.  She was noted in a subsequent article for her "deeply rooted jazz sensibility".

Jill has worked and toured with such notable artists as the great trumpeter Randy Brecker, alto saxist Vincent Herring, tenor saxist Don Braden, guitarist Russel Malone, and bassists Harvie S. and Jay Leonhart. She has performed at Dizzy's Jazz Club at Lincoln Center, Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel, Smalls Jazz Club, Mezzrow, The Blue Note, Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, and the Iridium.  She was resident pianist at New York City's prestigious Harvard Club from 1991-2017, playing American Songbook, classical piano and performing with her jazz trio.  She was also featured twice on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, once as a solo guest in November of 1993, and again in November of 2009 with Randy Brecker's quintet.

Jill's acclaimed album Jazz Motif made the Top 100 Jazz Albums of 2021 on the JazzWeek chart. Her next recording is slated for release in mid 2023 on the Jazz Bird label.


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17
Album Review

Jill McCarron Trio: Gin

Read "Gin" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Gin, pianist Jill McCarron says of the title of her second recording as leader of the Jill McCarron Trio, refers to the card game of that name, and not to the alcoholic beverage. She balances the joy of winning with the luck of the draw in her entrancing three-part suite. While McCarron leads an admirable threesome (Paul Gill, bass; Andy Watson, drums), this is a trio album with an asterisk, as saxophonist Vincent Herring sits in on four numbers (including ...

16
Album Review

Jill McCarron Trio with Will Anderson: Jazz Motif

Read "Jazz Motif" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Pianist Jill McCarron's latest recording, Jazz Motif, gets off to a flying start with Will Anderson's irrepressible alto saxophone setting the pace on a fiery rendition of “All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" and his radiant flute showcased on John Lewis' groovy “Concorde." Alas, Anderson isn't heard again until Tracks 7 (Clare Fischer's “Ontem a Noite") and 9 (Antonio Carlos Jobim's “Chovendo Na Roseira"), both on flute, and uncases the alto only one more time, on Horace Silver's buoyant “Cool Eyes." ...

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McCarron, who in 1995 won the thirteenth annual Great American Jazz Piano competition in Jacksonville, FL, is a superb soloist who comps with perception and assurance. ★★★★☆ -- Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Jill McCarron’s playing throughout Jazz Motif successfully makes the case that she is one of the top pianists in today’s jazz scene. -- Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene

Jill McCarron is an icon of the New York City jazz scene. She's been uptown at Dizzy's, Carlyle, Knickerbocker, Iridium, Harvard Club, Pierre Hotel, Birdland; she's been downtown at Blue Note, Smalls, Mezzrow, Hermana

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Gin

Self Produced
2024

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Jazz Motif

Self Produced
2021

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