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Art Lillard

Born: August 15, 1950    Primary Instrument: Drums

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 unique and refreshing contribution to our musical culture.

He has been leading his own jazz big-band, Art Lillard's Heavenly Band, since 1987, playing in many New York area nightclubs and concert spaces. In 1995 he produced “First Flight,” a recording of this 16- piece band with vocals, featuring ten of his own compositions. The band’s first compact disc recording, “Reasons to be Thankful,” another vibrant compilation of originals, was released on the Summit label in 2006. The Heavenly Band enjoys a special relationship with Brooklyn’s Spoke the Hub Dancing, regularly providing live dance music for its community events. The band's repertoire consists of original compositions and arrangements, plus fresh arrangements of standards from the American song book. Styles include bebop, Latin jazz, blues, and numbers which defy category altogether. Whatever the style, the music swings....
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What Reviewers Say about the Heavenly Band’s CD, “Reasons to be Thankful”

A solid ensemble with soloists who can ideate with the best - John Gilbert, EjazzNews

File this one under: Swingin' NYC Big Band! - Michael P. Gladstone, AllAboutJazz

Lillard’s variable-pitch drum solo on “Bluez Organ Man,” and the song’s incredible fusion of Caribbean percussion with big band, is one of the session’s high points. - Jim Santella, AllAboutJazz

Reasons to be Thankful is a recording of fresh original material with wonderful orchestration and a unique way of blending the swing fad and the modern big band sound in one setting. This album merits many reasons to be thankful, which lovers of the big band sound will recognize. - Edward Blanco, AllAboutJazz

Those who love big-band jazz should go down on their knees and thank Art Lillard and his kind. - Peter Westbrook, JazzReview.com

Here’s a nice presentation by Art Lillard’s big band from New York City. Lillard’s classy congregation retains the spirit of the swing era but avoids repeating all the time-worn standards. Instead, the Heavenly Big Band offers more than a dozen novel pieces penned by Art Lillard and other band members. - Richard Bourcier, JazzReview.com

[The music is] very soothing, yet it diligently sets the big band mood with its colorful tones and bittersweet chords that border blues with a soulful dig…[I]ts title… reminds us listeners that being thankful is never out of season. - Angela Gittens, Program Coordinator, Brooklyn Arts Council

This band boasts several fine soloists who inject the bop, post-bop, and Latin elements into the mix. Mike Longo, Mauricio Smith, David Peterson, Michael Boschen, Erik Jekabson, Jay Collins and Kyle Whelan are some of the crème de la crème musicians in the New York area… a memorable and powerful output. ” Ty Bailey, Ty Bailey Productions

AS A LEADER

Reasons to Be Thankful
Art Lillard’s Heavenly Band
Summit Records
2006
Tracks: leader and drummer on all tracks
Personnel: Art Lillard: drums, leader. Jan Leder: flute. Jeff Schiller: flute. Mauricio Smith: flute. Jay Collins: flute. Kyle Whelan: soprano sax. David Valdez: alto sax. David Peterson: tenor sax. Michael Boschen: trombone. Phil Arnold: trombone. Justin Mullens: trumpet. Erik Jekabson: trombone. Mark McCarron: guitar. Mike Longo: piano. Arturo O’Farrill: piano. Sean Smith: bass. George Mitchell: bass. Mary Foster Conkin: vocals. Cleve Douglass: vocals. Miles Griffith: vocals. Brook Lillard: vocals. Gilad: percussion. Todd Isler: percussion. Jim Cifelli: trumpet. Bob Mover: featured soloist on alto saxophone.


Guiding Light television series, 2 episodes
Blue Swing sextet
CBS Television
1998
Leader and drummer on all tracks
Personnel: Art Lillard: drums. Mark McCarron: guitar. Joe Fitzgerald: bass. Walter Szymanski: trumpet. Dave Peterson: tenor sax. Mike Fahn: trombone. Larry Browne: vocals.


First Flight
Art Lillard’s Heavenly Band
Lilbien Records
1995
Tracks: leader and drummer on all tracks
Personnel: Thomas Chapin: soprano & alto saxes, percussion. Mark Whitecage: soprano & alto saxes. Bob Curtis, Dennis Mitcheltree: soprano sax. Alan Chase, Claire Daly, Danny Walsh: alto sax. David Bindman, Jay Collins, Felipe Molina, Peter Nashel, Ross Taggart: tenor sax. Rod Borrie, Steve Davis, Jason Forsyth, Carl Reinlib: trombone. Ralph Alessi, Chris Anderson, Steve Gluzband, Stephen Haynes, Vance Provey, Jim Rotondi, Jim Seely, Robert Silverman: trumpet. Jamie Baum, Julie Bluestone, David Bruskin, Marti Cuevas, Connie Grossman, Mitch Ingram, Jan Leder: flute. David “Jake” Jacobs, Paul Nowinski, Fred Zabin: bass. Richard Lindsey, Mark McCarron, guitar. Robin Pitre: keyboard. Cleve Douglass: vocals. Gilad Dobrecky, Peter Mark: percussion. Art Lillard: drums, leader.

AS A SIDE MUSICIAN

On the Balcony
Libby Richman
Libby Richman
2006
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 9.
Personnel: Libby Richman: alto sax. John Philpott: tenor sax. Sayuri Goto: piano. Tom Landman: guitar. Fred Weidenhammer: bass. Bob Sabin: bass. Art Lillard: drums. Gernot Bernroider: drums.


Call on God
Raymond Jordan
Raymond Jordan
2002
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
Personnel: Raymond Jordan: vocals. Albee Barr: keyboard & synthesizer. Art Lillard: drums.


Nonchalant
Jan Leder
A-Records
1999
All tracks
Personnel: Jan Leder: flute. Angela DeNiro: vocals. Cleve Douglass: vocals. Mark McCarron: guitar. Jon Davis: piano. Sean Smith: bass. Art Lillard: drums. Daniel Moreno: percussion.


Sounds Like a Standard to Me
Bill Young
Young Vienne, Inc.
1999
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16
Personnel: Bill Young; vocals. Mike Longo: piano. David Shaich: bass. Art Lillard: drums. Kyle Whelan: tenor & soprano saxophones.


Passage to Freedom
Jan Leder
Monad
1996
All tracks
Personnel: Jan Leder: flute. Jon Davis: piano. Yosuke Inoue: bass. Mark McCarron: guitar. Art Lillard: drums.


Duke Ellington Boulevard
Cleve Douglass
Namaskar Records
1994
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11.
Personnel: Cleve Douglass: vocals. Christopher Cherney: piano. Jed Distler: piano. Fumio Tashiro: bass. Art Lillard: drums. Mark McCarron: guitar.


Crossing the Line
Slicker
Slicker Music Now
1994
All tracks
Personnel: Mack Avery: vocals. Brenda Chassey: vocals. Cleve Douglass: vocals. Pete Blue: keyboards. Adam Pincus: bass. Art Lillard: drums. Bruce Kirschner: rhythm guitar. Guy “Fooch” Fiscetti: pedal steel guitar. Mark McCarron: lead guitar.


Groovalaya
Groovalaya
Killin’ Jive Records
1992
All tracks
Personnel: Fausto Bozza: guitar & vocals. Adam Pincus: double bass & vocals. Jeff Sick: 5-string, 6-string & acoustic violins. Art Lillard: drums & percussion. Jeff Schiller: tenor saxophone.


Deep Spirit
Robert Silverman
Robert Silverman
1991
All tracks
Personnel: Robert Silverman: piano, trumpet, organ, vocals. Belden Bullock: electric bass. Tarik Shah: acoustic bass. Rachel Evans: viola. Gina Chandler: vocals.

AS A COMPOSER

Reasons to Be Thankful
Art Lillard’s Heavenly Band
Summit Records
2006
Track 1 (with Jeff Schiller) “Bluez Organ Man”; Track 3 (with M. Finch, lyricist) “Swingin’ the Blues Away”; Track 4 “Justice Waiting”; Track 5 (with Jan Leder, lyricist) “Conclusion Jump”; Track 6 “Heavenly”; Track 7 (with Jan Leder, lyricist) “Nonchalant”; Track 8 (with Jan Leder, lyricist) “Incognito”; Track 9 (with Jeff Schiller) “Bizness Changes”; Track 10 (with Mark Mc Carron & Carol Chaikin) “Finding Our Own Way”; Track 11 (with lyricist Larry Browne) “You Can’t Win Blues”; Track 12 (with lyricist M. Finch) “Dreamscape//Perfect World”; Track 13 “Reasons to be Thankful.”
Personnel: see above (under “as a leader”).


Heaven Help Us All
Claire Daly
Daly Bread Records
2004
Track 4 “Heavenly”
Personnel: Claire Daly: baritone sax. Eli Yamin: piano. Adam Bernstein: bass. Andy Demos: drums, percussion. Warren Smith: vibes, percussion. Kirpal Gordon: spoken word. Napoleon Maddox: human beat box. Susanne White: voice.


A Reed Breaks in Dumbo
The Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet
Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet
2004
Track 5, “Bluez Organ Man (with Jeff Schiller)
Personnel: Charley Gerard: alto sax. Jeff Schiller: tenor & soprano saxes. Jenny Hill: tenor & soprano saxes. Michael Göhler: baritone sax. Todd Isler: drums.


Nonchalant
Jan Leder
A-Records
1999
Track 2 “Nonchalant”; Track 10 “Conclusion Jump”
Personnel: see above (under “as a side musician”).


Guiding Light television series, 2 episodes
Blue Swing sextet
CBS Television
1998
Compositions: “Swingin’ the Blues Away” (with Austin John Marshall); “Conclusion Jump”; “You Can’t Win Blues” (with Larry Browne); “Jump on Through” (with Joe Fitzgerald, Walter Szymanski, Larry Browne, Mark McCarron, Mike Fahn, & Dave Peterson) “Nonchalant”
Personnel: see above (under “as a leader”).


Passage to Freedom
Jan Leder
Monad Records
1996
Track 5 “To Love One Someone”
Personnel: see above (under “as a side musician”).


Larry Browne Sings Swing Bean
Larry Browne
J’s Way Records
1993
Track 8 “To Love One Someone”
Personnel: Larry Browne: vocals,whistling, arranging. Dave Schroeder: flute, bass clarinet, tenor sax. Tom Boras: bass clarinet, baritone sax. Jon Gordon: alto sax. Chuck Clark: tenor sax, arranging. Michael Philip Mossman: trumpet, flugelhorn. Ron Tooley: trumpet. Dan Levine: trombone. Kenichi Shimazu: piano. Hilliard Greene: bass. Brian Kirk: drums. Bob Pilkington: arranging.


Groovalaya
Groovalaya
Killin’ Jive Records
1992
Track 5, “To Love One Someone”
Personnel: see above (under “as a side musician”).


Sequestered Days
Gust William Tsilis,
Enja Records
1991
Track 5, “Not Ever Quite”
Personnel: Gist William Tsilis: vibraphone & marimba. Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone & flute. Peter Madsen: piano. Anthony Cox: bass. Billy Hart: drums.

Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact discography@allaboutjazz.com. Thank you.

Primary Instrument:
Drums

Location:
Brooklyn, NY

Willing to teach:
Beginners

Credentials/Background:
TEACHING EXPERIENCE 2001-present and 1986-94 Maggio Music, Brooklyn, NY. Teach drums, flute, piano. 2001- 2003 New York City Public Schools. Substitute teacher (music). Spring 2001 Public School 226, Brooklyn, NY. Taught music theory, flute-recorder, and instrumental music to middle school classes. 1997 Bromley Studio, Brooklyn, NY. Taught various instruments. 1996 Music faculty, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. Taught drums. 1993-94 After-school programs at P.S. 1 and P.S. 169, Brooklyn, NY. Taught choral music and flute-recorder to elementary school students. Designed curricula and planned concert performances for these programs. 1982-84 Elsie Bennett Studio; Kings Music; Little Theater School; Brooklyn and Bronx, NY. Taught piano, drums, flute. 1975 Groton High School, Groton, MA. Taught drums. 1973-present Private teaching: drums, piano, music theory, harmony, composition. Substitute teaching at private schools, including Brooklyn Music School, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and Westchester School of Music. Please inquire for available hours and rates.

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