About Lily

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~~~~~Known as one of the West Coast's most respected rhythm & blues singers, Lily Wilde began life surrounded by music and art. Her mother Joyce's favourite story is that of a little Lily adding a fifth harmony while singing along to her parent's Hi-Lo's records back in Toronto, where she was born and spent the first five years of her life. Wilde's father, Calvin Jackson, was a world-renowned pianist, composer and arranger with a career that began in the thirties and continued until his death in 1985 while working on arrangements for a 31 piece concert jazz orchestra. The Julliard graduate started at MGM studios as an assistant musical director and went on to score innumerable movies and musicals such as "Ziegfeld Follies", "Anchors Away", "The Asphalt Jungle", "Meet Me in St. Louis" and much later "Viva, Las Vegas". Jackson received an Academy Award nomination in '64 for the musical scoring of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". Lily's favourite pastime was to lay under her father's concert grand while he was composing. He performed and recorded with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Calvin Jackson Trio (the fabulous Leroy Vinnegar was his bass player for years) and many other legendary musicians of the day. He also worked with a veritable "who's who" of talent including Duke Ellington, Harry James, Lucille Ball, Errol Garner, Lionel Hampton, Chico Hamilton, Bobby Troup and Julie London, Herschel Bernardi, Jimmy Durante, Theodore Bikel, Johnny Otis and many others. Jackson also recorded several albums of his own on the Colombia and Verve Labels. Growing up in this creative atmosphere was in no way lost on a young Lily.

~~~~~Lily struck out on her own at the age of 15 and turned pro at 17 when she joined a rock band in Venice, California, playing local music clubs. Not long after, during a trip to New York to work on an album, she met Stevie Wonder at Electric Ladyland studios and quickly became a member of "Wonderlove," his backup vocal group, touring and appearing on the landmark album "Music of My Mind." She spent most of her 20's as a professional fashion model while doing session work, local and national radio jingles, and singing back-up vocals for many name artists including Ricky Lee Jones, Mexican Top 40 artists Los Freddys and Los Bukis, and lead vocals with famed saxophonist Lee Allen. Fed up with the deterioration of her once beloved Hollywood and the "pay to play" mentality of that time, she headed for Sun Valley, Idaho where she fronted a popular local band for a few years.

~~~~~Lily then relocated to Seattle, where she became a mainstay of the rhythm & blues scene. She spent three years as a member of the Northwest's legendary group "Junior Cadillac", touring Russia with the band along with a number of goodwill emissaries including Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young and Seattle's Mayor Charlie Royer in 1989. In addition to fronting her own bands, Lily would occasionally perform with the some of the most highly regarded musicians and ensembles that the Northwest had to offer like Buddy Cattlett and Floyd Standifer. She was also a favourite pick to sing the National Anthem at Seattle Mariners games. On one notable occasion she led a few select members from the cast of the only professional stage production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (in which Lily held a major role) in her own four part vocal arrangement of said Anthem. In 1991 the Washington Blues Society named Lily "Entertainer of the Year".

~~~~~Lily moved to Portland, Oregon in 1992 and quickly became a local favourite. In 1993 she received a Cascade Blues Society "Muddy" award for "Best Female Vocalist of the Year." Shortly thereafter, she met her future husband and together they went about the business of creating what would become a major turning point in both their musical lives. In 1997, Lily Wilde and her Jumpin' Jubilee Orchestra was born and in 1999 they recorded and released their first CD "Insect Ball" which has become a swing "staple" internationally, many selections from which have been included in a number of swing compilation CDs out of Argentina, Sweden, and North Carolina. "Oh Babe", one of the cuts from the CD, eventually went on to garner Lily the first-ever "Single of the Year" award in 2002 from SwingTop40.com and the Swing Awards. Soon after the release of the CD she performed with a stellar line-up of internationally revered jazz vocalists including Nancy King and Dave Frishberg in a special event called "Vocal Madness". In February of 2001, she was featured vocalist in the Oregon Symphony's POPS Series "Sing, Sing, Sing" (conducted by Norman Leyden), which sold out all four performances at Portland's famed Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. "Jazzscene", the monthly magazine for the Jazz Society of Oregon, featured Lily as "Musician of the Month" in their March 2001 issue.

~~~~~Lily has continued to dazzle audiences with numerous performances over the years at the Waterfront Blues Festival, "The Bite" of both Portland and Seattle, the Gig Harbor Jazz Festival, Winthrop Blues Festival and Bumbershoot in Seattle, to name a few of the better-known annual events in the region. Her (now renamed) Lily Wilde Orchestra has performed at countless benefits and galas for major organizations including The Oregon Ballet, the Cascade Festival of Music, The NW Film Center's International Film Festival, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Doernbecher Children's Hospital and most recently Portland Center Stage and Pacific Northwest College of Art. On April 25th, 2001 and 2002, Lily staged a production called "The Three Ellas", a birthday celebration in honour of Ella Fitzgerald which also featured music of the lesser known Ella Johnson and Ella Mae Morse, and included guest appearances by Nancy King and Mario DePriest. In February of 2004 Lily was the featured performer with the Harry James Orchestra at the United Negro College Fund's gala "This Joint Is Jumpin' " held at the prestigious Paramount Theater in Seattle.

~~~~~The Lily Wilde Orchestra maintains a faithful and growing following among swing music fans and the swing dancing community who pack the house at any event where they appear. Lily and her husband of eight years, Tom Royer, who is the musical director/arranger/band leader and drummer for LWO, are currently compiling songs for a long overdue and much anticipated new CD. "Insect Ball" continues to sell steadily and is available through CDBaby.com and Amazon.com (where it maintains a five-star rating and rave reviews), and also through her website. Be sure to check out the photo in the CD's liner notes of the "budding" fashion model, little Lily (age 8), taken by world-renowned jazz pianist Les McCann!

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