A night of swinging sophistication is in store for you with singer Hilary Harris. Singing songs from the Great American Songbook to Bossa Nova to old soul, Hilary's swinging style and rich tone, along with first class musicians, make for great ambiance and lots of fun. Duo to a big band, Hilary customizes her show to fit the mood of the event. Equally at home in a concert setting or playing incidental 'mood music' to paint the perfect backdrop for cocktails or dancing, she and the band are a classy addition to your event. Her influences include. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McCrae, Julie London, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, Jobim, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, The Manhattan Transfer Singers' Unlimited, Al Jarreau, Dusty Springfield, Earth Wind & Fire, The Carpenters...she has listened and absorbed a lot of great music that results in her style today.
***“The Palm Springs Art Museum has hired the Hilary Harris Quartet two times to perform at during the reception of our annual black tie gala. Both times we have been thrilled with the performance. Hilary’s professionalism and attention to detail are unparalleled. The quality of her performance and diversity of song selection is remarkable. I give her the highest recommendation.” Greg Polzin, The Dorothy and Harold J. Meyerman Director of Development, Palm Springs Art Museum
***"I have hired Hilary Harris on many occasions to play at large events that I held in my loft in Seattle, WA. I had a large enough space that was used to support the arts, music, theater and various important events in Seattle. Hilary has a wonderful voice, great sense of musicality, and a professional ability to bring together other musicians to complete a program that results in my audience being 'knocked out' every time she sings. People who have been to these events in the past always remember Hilary, her band and the wonderful music she played to entertain everyone." Koryn Rolstad - Koryn Rolstad Studios, Seattle, WA
***"We had the pleasure of having Hilary sing at two of our Christmas parties. Her voice, song collections, and that bright smile set the tone for our parties. All of our guests enjoyed having a live singer and this added warmth to our evenings. What is more important is that our guests could chat and have conversation, while Hilary was singing. She just had a way of knowing what the volume should be and this made the perfect setting.
**We always love hearing you sing! The songs she sang for my mom and dad at their viw renewal ceremony were beautiful and very touching. I highly recommend Hilary for any special celebration. - Mary
**"The Hilary Harris Quartet was exactly what I had in mind for my wedding reception. Thank you!" - Ashley G.
**"Musical artistry." - Phil Mattson, Vocal Arranger, Educator, Musician
Hilary believes that respect of the melody & lyrics, a good feel, intonation and interesting phrasing are foremost. Always up for a musical adventure, Hilary sings many styles of music. A recent Bay Area transplant, Hilary moved from Seattle, where she spent the last 25 years performing in restaurants, private parties, clubs, weddings, cruise ships, festivals, performing the national anthem at sporting events. She does session work and voiceovers.
Her original musical love is the "old standards", so performing for seniors at Assisted Living centers is the perfect gig. "I love hearing stories of growing up during the time when those songs were popular. And it is so much fun to see a person's face light up when you start singing their favorite song from the '30's or '40's. Nothing like it," she said. (See "Music for Seniors.")
Hilary's love of harmony and sensitivity to intonation and vocal blend make her background vocals a welcome addition to any project. She has a good sense of humor and genuinely likes people and enjoys the musical diversity of other musicians on the project. She provides rock solid backing vocals for rock and variety band projects, both live and in studio.
Hilary grew up in Spokane, WA, and had the good fortune of having "very cool, jazz loving mom, Max" and access to one of the nation's best school music programs. One rainy day in eighth grade, she listened to Ella's version of "How High the Moon" over and over and mimicked the scat solo. She was hooked, and joined the jazz choir. Director Mike Smith got her soloing right away. High school was a musical whirlwind. Dave Cross, educator /arranger extraordinaire, took her under his wing and opened her mind to all kinds of jazz. University High's jazz choir hit all the festivals in the region, and soon Hilary was winning "best soloist" awards. The choir(s) consistently placed #1 at festivals. Dave Cross instilled in the kids that it isn't about winning, it is about making great music and having fun. Band Director Gary Greene invited her to to sing with the 18 pc. Jazz Lab Big Band, a thrill she will never forget. Director David Teal, who proceeded Dave Cross, introduced the kids to complexities of Gene Puerling's Singers' Unlimited arrangements, and encouraged Hilary to attend the Phil Mattson School (Music). She was awarded the Gene Puerling Scholarship to attend. Intense training in jazz,classical voice and piano, theory, arranging and more, while singing in a world class chorale and jazz sextet totally immersed the students in music, 24 hours a day. The vocal jazz sextet, under the direction of Michelle Weir, placed 2nd in the 1985 Downbeat Magazine Collegiate music competition, and featured an improv solo by Hilary. Under Phil Mattson, instructors at the school, and guest instructors such as Clare Fischer, Mark Murphy, Gene Puerling, helped carry out the mission of the school - and that mission was to create "smart singers."
After college Hilary jumped right in and sang in a house jazz band for a couple years at the Couer d' Alene Hotel. She moved to Seattle in 1990, and sat in anywhere she could. She credits the late Buddy Catlett and Jack Perciful and drummer Andre Thomas for introducing her to the Seattle jazz scene by letting her sit in on their gigs. And away she went...
Hilary recently relocated to the SF Bay Area (East Bay) and is enjoying discovering the amazing musical opportunities CA has to offer.
**In March 2014 the Hilary Harris Quartet performed for the 75th Anniversal Gala for the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Following is a partial list of venues and clients for which Hilary has performed over the years:
Palm Springs Art Museum Gala 2014 & 2015, Palm Springs, CA
Princess Cruises, Alaska
Kalalloo Caribbean Restaurant, Seattle, WA
Columbia City Beatwalk, Seattle, WA
Local Color Gallery, Seattle, WA
Bilbao Spanish Restaurant and Bar, Seattle, WA
Grazie Ristorante, Everett, WA
Crowne Plaza Hotel Regatta Lounge, Seattle, WA
Murray LLC Harvest Festivals, Enumclaw, WA
Pike Street Market Festival, Seattle WA
Locol, West Seattle, WA
Tula's Jazz Club, Seattle WA
Ella's Jazz Club, Spokane, WA
Emerald Downs Race Track, Auburn, WA
Jimmy Jack's Bar, Everett, WA
Hollywood Schoolhouse, Everett, WA
North City Wine Bar, Shoreline, WA
Coffee To a Tea With Sugar, Seattle, WA
Wallingford Center Live Jazz Series, Seattle, WA
Jubilante Restaurante, Renton, WA
Hyatt Hotel, Seattle, WA
Fairmont Olympic / Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle WA
Tully's Coffee Houses, Seattle, WA
Oyster Run (Harley Davidson Rally) Anacortes, WA
Wedding, Boston, MA
Taste of Tacoma Festival, Tacoma, WA
Toot's Tavern, Crockett, CA
Bite of Seattle Festival, Seattle, WA
Morgan Junction Festival, Seattle, WA
National Night Out Festival, Lacey, WA
Northwest Airlines, Seattle, WA
Port of Seattle, Seattle, WA
Boeing, Seattle, WA
Port of Seattle, WA
Hollywood Schoolhouse - Everett, WA
Spirit of Puget Sound, Seattle, WA
Rose Hedge Foundation, Seattle WA
Bachison/Alcantara Celebrations, Seattle, WA
Verrazano's, Federal Way, WA
Taproot Theatre, Seattle, WA
Coeur d' Alene Hotel, Coeur d' Alene, ID
Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sun Valley, ID
Creekside Restaurant, Ketchum, ID
Itron, Spokane, WA
Sheraton Tacoma - Tacoma, WA
Washington Mutual Bank, Spokane, WA
Templin's Restaurant and Bar, Post Falls, ID
Various Elks,Eagles, VFW lodges through WA, OR, ID
Ankeny's, Spokane, WA
And various private parties, weddings, and other happenings along the way!
Note from Hilary:
****Please enjoy the audio samples of Hilary's groups. Recordings were done the "old timey way" - live in the studio...so what you hear is how we sound! Enjoy!
"Hilary's Kit Cat Coat" photos by:
Hilary Harris 2013