Hailed by critics as a “musical marvel!” (Rex Reed, NY Observer), Hilary Kole continues to engage audiences throughout the world since beginning her professional career at the legendary Rainbow Room as the youngest singer ever to grace that stage. She has appeared to sold-out audiences at the famed Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, at Lincoln Center as part of the “American Songbook Series” with Jonathan Schwartz, and at Carnegie Hall for the tribute to Oscar Peterson alongside Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Nancy Wilson. Ms. Kole has had the privilege of being the last singer to record with Oscar Peterson, and the first singer since Ella Fitzgerald to record a duet with that jazz legend.
Long a beloved staple on the NYC jazz scene and world-renowned as a multi-faceted concert hall and symphony performer, Hilary Kole has emerged triumphantly from a difficult three-year legal struggle to put out a recording – and found her true musical heart in the process. On her new independent full-length album, the acclaimed vocalist and musician paints A Self Portrait with illuminating stylistic brushstrokes and an expansive repertoire that takes her far beyond her storied roots as a purveyor of the Great American Songbook. Back, better than ever and baring her jazz and pop soul like never before, Hilary celebrates life free of limitations and full of optimism
Songbook choices include the opening track “While We’re Young,” “When The World Was Young”(featuring English lyrics by Johnny Mercer and whose Blossom Dearie interpretation especially inspired Hilary), Cole Porter’s “It’s Alright With Me,” “I Remember You” (lyrics also by Mercer, previously recorded by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Diana Krall), the cabaret classic “Come a Little Closer,” Bobby Troup’s clever swing tune “Lemon Twist,” the Gershwins’ “The Man I Love” and the lush, melancholy closer “Some Other Time” from Leonard Bernstein’s musical On The Town. The 60s and 70s gems include Stevie Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac ballad “Landslide,” a crafty take on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (including unexpected high-register wordless vocal runs), an understated journey down Joni Mitchell’s “River” and a heartrending take on The Beatles’ “And I Love Her.”
Throughout her caree her major international appearances have included repeat performances at Blue Note Tokyo, the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Umbria Jazz Festival, as well as appearing with orchestras throughout America, including the New York Pops, Colorado Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and others. In addition to her recordings with Oscar Peterson, Ms. Kole has also recorded with music legends Dave Brubeck, Hank Jones, Michel LeGrand, Mulgrew Miller, David Frishberg, Monty Alexander, Benny Green, Freddy Cole, John Pizzarelli, and Mike Renzi among others.