Lili Añel considers music a calling. This six-foot tall singer-songwriter grew up in New York City, where she discovered her passion for music. As a child Añel remembers, singing along to her mother’s Cuban, jazz and pop standard albums. It was also her mother who supported Lili’s desire to join the church choir. However, it was her grandfather’s recognition of how much joy singing brought to her being, which served to set her feet firmly on the path of a career in music. “My grandfather was very influential and instrumental,” says Lili. “When I sang in the church choir, he would sneak in to the Mass without telling me. I would ask him later, after letting him know that I saw him in the back, why he came to church at all and then left before it was over. His response was: “To hear you sing. I can hear your voice above the others.”
Defying categorization she calls her music a hybrid of “jazz/folk/soul/pop” combined with powerful vocals bringing her to the forefront. Lili continues to win over audiences with her vocal stylings, guitar playing and songs, that while often recalling her many influences (Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Janis Ian, Joan Armatrading) prove her own unique style. She has supported The Holmes Brothers, Boz Scaggs, B.B. King, Raul Midon, Robert Cray to name a few. Palmetto Records released her first CD “Laughed Last” (1994), following with “Hi-Octane Coffee” (2002), “Dream Again” (2007) and “Every Second In Between” (2009) all self-released. In 2007, JazzTimes Magazine said of Lili “…her songs are consistently excellent…” and proclaimed of her 2009 release “…a cd to blow your mind at first listen…”. “Every Second In Between” (produced by Glenn Barratt) also made the All About Jazz 2009 Year End Writers Choice for the “10 Best New Jazz Releases” list, along with winning 3 NY Music Awards 2010, Best Singer-Songwriter, Best Jazz Album and Best Female Jazz Vocalist. 2013 release, “I Can See Bliss From Here”, Lili celebrates her past on the autobiographical “Something To Do” along with songs of struggle and loss, always in complete honesty and total feeling. Lili's 2017 EP “Another Place, Another Time” brought her continued accolades, with an invitation to record 3 songs on WRTI's “Vu Haus” video series. The end of 2019, found Lili’s latest recording, “Better Days” released on Philadelphia label Winding Way Records. Lili and has been included in NPR’s Live Sessions Series and has been on Public Radio’s Emerging Artist Spotlight “Station Breaks: The Best New Songs From NPR Member Stations along with NPR’s 2021 Live Sessions From Home, showcasing video performances from artists during the pandemic.
2018 PEW Arts and Heritage Fellowship
2014 Nominee, Tri State Indie Music Awards - "Indie Jazz/Blues Band/Artist"
NY Music Award - 2010 - Best Female Singer-Songwriter-Female
NY Music Award - 2010 - Best Jazz Album “Every Second In Between”
NY Music Award - 2010 - Best Female Jazz Vocalist
NY Music Award - 1989 - Best Unsigned Artist
Tanglewood, Acoustic TW45-HB, Super Folk Cutaway Heritage Guitar
“Better Days…the best song on Lili Añel’s new album…what you get on [this] release, is pure, pure feeling over pristine chops on nine heartfelt tracks…her voice rapturous and confessional…”
– Carol Banks Weber/Festival Peak-Medium
“…sings with soul and vulnerability while also playing a richly textured guitar…all of the tunes, are intimate and vulnerable, with her vocal flexibility bringing you into her biographical lyrics…she wears her heart on her sleeve, bringing you into the deep recesses of her soul. Not easy in this day of feelings with no emotions”
– Jazz Weekly-George W. Harris