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article imageFrom The Great White North to The Great City Special

By Tom Mortensen     Oct 3, 2014 in Entertainment
New York - Don't miss accomplished New York City jazz singer Hilary Gardner as she celebrates the release of her new CD, "The Great City" Sunday evening October 5th at Birdland.
“New York is a complicated, ever-evolving city that I love wholeheartedly and without reservation, though it’s not always an easy place to live. There is a unique melancholy that can come from being surrounded by millions of people but still feeling alone,” reflects singer Hilary Gardner who appears this Sunday evening at New York City’s legendary Birdland in celebration of the release of her debut CD, The Great City.
“The album is really a love letter to New York City and encompasses so many shades of my personal experience here. Tunes like Brooklyn Bridge or Chelsea Morning echo the euphoria and beauty of living somewhere so vibrant yet there is also the loneliness and hard-scrabble element of city life as depicted in the title cut.”
You’re caught in a whirlpool of eastside cafés
where love is a cocktail of beards and berets
and blues are the main things you’re drinkin’ about
so now you’re in and now you want back out.
Gardner and her band seamlessly breathe new life into this timeless melody originally recorded by Nancy Wilson and it sounds as fresh today as it did more than half a century ago.
“Music was always a huge part of my life. I remember hearing Ella Fitzgerald for the first time when I was 11 and feeling as though I’d come home. I obsessively sang along with her recording of the Cole Porter Songbook and wrote her a fan letter. She sent me an autographed photo that I have to this day!”
Hailing from the Midwest, the singer spent her formative years in Wasilla, Alaska where she began her singing career as a member of the Alaska Children’s Choir. She went on to study classical voice and performed as a soloist with the Anchorage Opera. The road to accomplished jazz singer began however in the least likely of places.
“My earliest paid gigs were singing country tunes in Wasilla dive bars. Patsy Cline was one of my early vocal heroes. Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin are hugely important to me and I have always loved Tom Waits.”
Gardner pays tribute on the CD to Waits whom she claims provided her with a sonic introduction to late nights and the urban underbelly with a smoky rendition of Drunk on the Moon.
“My musical path has been a bit circuitous and eclectic from the beginning, which made it a longer process perhaps to find my artistic voice but I’m so grateful for the breadth of genres and styles that I’ve been able to explore.”
Hilary Gardner’s ode to the Big Apple is an aural odyssey spanning all that is New York as imagined through the vocal prowess of a woman who arrived here to pursue a lifelong passion and learned that dreams really do come true in The Great City.
Don’t miss the CD release party this Sunday October 5th at Birdland. For tickets and further information visit the website at www.birdlandjazz.com or call (212) 581-3080.
More about Jazz, Singer, NYC, Birdland
 
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