|Country||United States of America|
|Occupation||Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Performer, Singer, Teacher|
|Categories||Folk, Jazz, Neoclassical|
CYNTHIA HILTS - internationally renowned jazz artist, pianist and vocalist - is a prolific composer and brilliant lyricist. Originally from Arizona, she has been based in New York City for fifteen years. Playing and singing since she was two years old, she studied classical and played anything in her path in those early years - standards, folk, show tunes, rock and blues. Talent and technique peeked through as she began composing at twelve, vocalized on educational recordings, and started picking up jazz standards by ear from records. She also performed on the road with a musical revue, and rock and blues bands.
Cynthia got deep into playing and singing jazz in her teens and studied jazz composition and arranging at Berklee College of Music. She developed a firm rooting and a fresh voice for the standards. Her twenties opened up into post-bop jazz, avant-garde and free jazz, as well as playing regularly in reggae and calypso bands. She spent time in San Francisco Bay Area, Florida, France and Sweden - exploring, expanding and deepening her musical realm.
Cynthia Hilts' Lyric Fury Ensemble, an eight-piece group formed expressly to play her avant garde jazz and new music works, has played in New York City in the Texaco, JVC and Knitting Factory Jazz Festivals. With four horns, cello, piano bass and drums, the band has a roster of master musicians, many of whom are excellent composers as well.
She also performs an entirely different body of original music as CincHa, a singer/songwriter. Her beautiful solo CD “Any Child Who Dreams” was released on Blond Coyote Records in 2009.
Cynthia Hilts' trio CD "Second Story Breeze", with Ron McClure and Jeff Williams, was released to critical acclaim in 2008. Her first CD, "Stars Down to the Ground", was released in 2000. Montana Artists Refuge's first release, it is music that Ms. Hilts wrote during her 1999 residency there and recorded with Montana musicians. She recorded a free-jazz CD with Mike Ellis, George Garzone, Cecil McBee and Pheeroan Aklaff in April 2002. She has also recorded with The Spirit of Life Ensemble and Tunisian guitarist/composer Mamdouh Bahri.
Ms. Hilts has performed solo and led a number of ensembles over the years, playing mostly her original compositions. Her jazz groups have included such musicians as Ron McClure, Jeff Williams, Pierre Michelot, Claire Daly, Ratzo Harris, Jack Walrath and Gene Jackson. She has played in festivals, concerts and clubs in New York City, around the USA, France, Germany, Mexico, Madagascar, and Tunisia. She has recorded with the French and Swedish National Radios.
Cynthia has received a number of awards and grants from Meet the Composer, US West, and the Montana Arts Council as well as commissions from The Festival of Women Improvisers, the Montana Artists Refuge, and choreographer Bernadette Knaeble. She received the M