[JPL] Art Hillery RIP
nou.dadoun at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 16:01:12 EST 2011
There were several notices on the West Coast Jazz list but I don't recall
it coming up on JPL (the original notice had the date Nov 30th which is
clearly wrong, I received the notice last Thursday so I assume that it's
Funeral details are :
Saturday, 3 December at 10 am
1839 Firestone Blvd.
South Gate, CA 90001
Our dear jazz friend and extraordinary musician, Art Hillery has passed
According to his dear friend, Richard Simon, he was admitted to the
hospital a few weeks ago with symptoms of feeling weak and disoriented,
which he thought was a reaction to some medication. It was determined that
it was cancer which had spread rampantly, and was inoperable. He was
released. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the hospital for pain shots,
and expired on Wednesday, November 23rd.
As a jazz promoter/ producer and founder of In-House Music, I have had the
pleasure of having this incomparable pianist at many, if not all of my jazz
venues, beginning with the first room I opened in 2004, The Westin LAX
Hotel " Jazz in the Lobby" series. He usually performed as an accompanist
to many of the jazz greats here in town and not until recently did he put
out a CD as leader. I remember just a few years ago I opened a little
funky jazz space in an off the wall bar behind the airport called "Bar
Melody." You could find folks in there from all walks of life coming in
for a drink until the new owners got rid of the brawlers and turned it into
an ok place to feel safe. To there credit they agreed to add jazz in the
back room. Art was so cool about playing in any room that served up jazz.
No matter that it had pool tables in the next room or TV's blaring with
sports, he was an old pro! With his quiet demeanor soft smile and
identifiable cap on head, he toted in his baby organ , sat down at the
keys and tore the place up with his "down home blues" great playing!
To my surprise when researching the web for information about this amazing
musician, there was very little offered. The following is just a smittance
of the accomplishments of Art Hillery.
ART HILLERY has had a long recording and performing career, with recording
credits including Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, Red Holloway,
Harry “Sweets” Edison, and many others. He has also performed with, among
others, Dexter Gordon, Blue Mitchell, Art Farmer, and Teddy Edwards. His
ensemble includes DONALD DEAN on drums and LOUIS SPEARS on bass. A native
of New Orleans, Mr. Hillery began his career as a concert pianist, but
cites the legendary Oscar Peterson as his inspiration for turning to jazz.
On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM, Paul Combs <pcomb at comcast.net> wrote:
> I heard, through another source, that LA pianist Art Hillery died over the
> weekend, but I cannot find an obituary for him. Can anyone give us some
> more information? If I missed a posting here on JPL, I apologize.
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