Biography: Kelsey Jillette Jazz Group
Jillette's music is rooted in classic jazz, but bears modern and world music influences, drawing on styles from Latin traditional to country, pop to bebop with songs in Spanish and Portuguese as well. With an extensive standards repertoire, she performs arrangements of classic tunes from the American songbook, as well as blues, Latin folk music, bebop and originals. Her sound is intimate and soulful, as adept at handling her own lyrics to Coltrane’s music as interpreting the melodies of George Gershwin, Charlie Parker and Paul Simon.
Born in Washington, D.C., Kelsey Jillette holds degrees in Theater Arts (Brown University) and Jazz Performance (The New School University) and has studied with Reggie Workman, David Glasser, Jane Ira Bloom, Mike Longo, Richard Harper and Janet Lawson.
She has spent the last seven years in New York City leading The Kelsey Jillette Group, an organ quintet, and working for numerous bandleaders in the city. She fronts the 10- to 16-piece Big Bang Big Band, a classic dance orchestra under the direction of Tom Abbott. Her most recent record, The Water is Wide releases this month on Consolidated Artists Productions. She has previously released three independent albums and two children’s albums for Dansasi, a Spanish children’s workshop. Based in New York, she has performed extensively in Spain, and completed her most recent tour there in 2006.
"The vocalist Kelsey Jillette...is one of the best in the business today. Totally soulful and rich in taste. She is a major talent! You ought to hear her. You have to. I hope you do."
- performer, author, educator Tim Price
"Great vocal, strong with excellent breath! Nice groove, too!"
-Indie-Music.com, Nov 2008
"A fresh approach to jazz standards... Her scat evokes memories of Ella Fitzgerald..."
-Greenwich Time, May 2006
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