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Art Lillard


Composer, arranger, bandleader, lyricist, and drummer Art Lillard grew up in Miami, where his jazz roots include playing with the great master Ira Sullivan and studying with pianist/composer Wally Cirillo. Art also studied at Karl Berger’s Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, where his instructors included Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Stu Martin, and John Surman. Subsequently, he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in composition and arranging, having garnered multiple scholarships and honors along the way. Art has also studied with Dean Anderson, Steve Bagby, Tom Boras, Paul Caputo, Andrew Cyrille, Mike Gibbs, Mike Holober, Greg Hopkins, Joe Hunt, Jim McNeely, Portinho, Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner, and Eliot Zigmund. Art’s nine-horn Heavenly Big Band has been playing in clubs and concert spaces since 1987


Certain Relationships

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2015
Track listing: Evidence / Just You, Just Me; Carolina Shout; Heavenly; Happy Blues; Just Friends; You Bluesed Me; Swing Trane; The Girl from Ipanema; God Bless the Child; Eleanor’s Place; Brusheeze; Let’s Get Lost; Softly as in a Morning Sunrise; Boogie Woogie Stomp; Pennies from Heaven.


Article: Live Review

Art Lillard's On Time Trio at Sugarcane, Brooklyn

Read "Art Lillard's On Time Trio at Sugarcane, Brooklyn" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Art Lillard's On Time Trio Sugarcane Brooklyn, NY June 24, 2015 Attend jazz performances in a big city like New York long enough, and you're liable to realize how often the genre serves as a background to social activities. By the same token, music which isn't always fully acknowledged can peek ...


Article: Album Review

Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band: Certain Relationships

Read "Certain Relationships" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band continues to spread sunshine and happiness on Certain Relationships, an album recorded in three sessions spanning the half-dozen years between 2005-2011. Of the fifteen selections, nine are vocals --by Pete McGuinness, Hilary Gardner, Andrea Wolper, Mary Foster Conklin or Dominique Eade. In Lillard's optimistic eyes, even the blues are gladsome ...


Reasons to Be Thankful

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: Bluez Organ Man; The Fast Track; Swingin’ the Blues; Justice Waiting; Conclusion Jump; Heavenly; Nonchalant; Incognito; Biznes Changes; Finding Our Own Way; You Can’t Win Blues; Dreamscape / Perfect World; Reasons to Be Thankful.


News: Event

The September Concert: The Heart Of Jazz For 9/11- Now In Its 10th Year

The September Concert: The Heart of Jazz for 9/11- now in its 10th Year. On Thursday, September 11, 40 of NYC’s top jazz artists will meet at Somethin' Jazz Club, 212 E 52nd St. NYC from 7pm - 1am, to play their take on various facets of that wretched day & its aftermath. They’ll be playing ...


Article: Album Review

Art Lillard's Heavenly Band: Reasons to Be Thankful

Read "Reasons to Be Thankful" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although drummer Art Lillard's Heavenly Band makes its home about as far from heaven as one could plausibly roam--New York City, to be precise--the music it produces on Reasons to Be Thankful (recorded in 2000 and released six years later) evokes at times an empyrean vibe, thanks in part to blissful arrangements by Lillard and guitarist ...


News: Performance / Tour

Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at Iridium on August 10

Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at Iridium on August 10

With guest sax soloist Bob Mover Iridium 1650 Broadway @ 51st Street New York, NY 212-582-2121       Tuesday, August 10 Sets at 8:00 and 10:00 P.M. Tickets: $25 About Art Lillard Art Lillard is a musician with many gifts. In each of his musical roles--drummer, composer, arranger and bandleader--he shares with us his ...


Reasons to be Thankful

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2006
Track listing: Bluez Organ Man; The Fast Track; Swingin


Article: Album Review

Art Lillard's Heavenly Band: Reasons To Be Thankful

Read "Reasons To Be Thankful" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

File this one under: Swingin' NYC Big Band! Drummer, bandleader and composer Art Lillard has been leading versions of this organization over the past nineteen years and has produced in Reasons To Be Thankful an upbeat and impressive album that exposes several talented and underappreciated musicians in the Big Apple. The thirteen selections are all Lillard ...


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