Born: January 8, 1974 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Californian turned New Yorker Gillian Harwin is a songwriter, producer, arranger, band leader, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. She sings in multiple languages and accompanies herself playing either guitar or upright bass. She otherwise entertains by playing the ukulele, musical saw, or tel avi and has even been known to do a nose flute or kazoo solo.
She graduated with a degree in classical vocal performance although her true passion is for singing jazz, Latin, soul, R&B and the blues. After years of paying dues singing in smoky blues bars and searching for “the vibe”, she shares her voice, vision and depth with the release of her debut album, Whiskey Sandwich. It is an eclectic ten song mix of jazz, blues and ballads engineered by producer and musician Troy Dexter.
The majority of the songs were penned and arranged by Gillian. Noteworthy is the sultry En Sourdine with lyrics by French poet Paul Verlaine. Recognizable cover takes include Quincy Jones’ Miss Celie’s Blues from the Oscar winning film The Color Purple and a slow 12/8 version of Mojo, with the original lyrics written by Anne Cole and Preston Foster, made famous by Muddy Waters.
Gillian’s multi-lingual vocal talent helped secure her a place as a front-woman with Latin sensation, Movimiento, with whom she tours. She has appeared with the band at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club, The Highline Ballroom, The Brooklyn Academy of Music and is scheduled to appear with them later this year at the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and the Millennium Music Festival in Ethiopia.
Gillian upholds a tremendous work ethic. This combination of diligence, talent, and an adventurous spirit is what has propelled her to work, travel, live and perform nationally and abroad.
She has also performed and studied with legends such as John Lee Hooker, Benny Green, Ron Carter, Tootie Heath, Elio Villafranca, Francois Rabbath, Rebecca Parris, Nancy Marano, Randy Porter, Harvey Wineappel, Josh Jones, Jovino Santos Neto, John Santos, Carolyn Brandy, Scott Colley, Faye Carroll and Geoff Brennan among others. Between performances she is available for workshops as well as private vocal training and instruction on playing the ukulele, guitar, musical saw, upright and electric bass.
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Gillian has a degree in music from UCSB and is available in Brooklyn for $50-75/hour and $100-150/hour in Manhattan. She is available for private or group instrucion for Voice, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Musical Saw, Theory, Songwriting and Arranging.
Gillian's clinics involve an exploration of possibilities through music. Stage presence, musicianship, anxiety, band leading, mic technique, arranging and efficiency are the central focus of her workshops.