Award-winning pianist, vocalist and songwriter, Laila Biali, has lived most of her musical life in the jazz world. With her latest album, under Laila Biali & The Radiance Project, Laila reveals a new side. The 11-track album, titled House of Many Rooms
, sees the Brooklyn-based, Canadian artist venturing into a more pop-oriented sound, full of catchy hooks, sweet melodies, and anthemic musical arrangements.
House of Many Rooms
is Laila's first album of entirely original material, and it also marks her first time arranging for gospel choir and string orchestra. Taking the best of pop, rock, classical, world and soul, Laila informs the sound with her expertise in jazz, and weaves it into her original songs and arrangements. Co-produced with her husband, Ben Wittman, the album is fitted for a vast range of instruments, from gospel choir to brass quartet, bass clarinet, Haken Continuum and string orchestra.
"House of Many Rooms is about the living spaces we construct inside our own hearts and minds," says Laila. "We form and store dreams and memories of the people who have touched us โ lovers, friends, family, even strangers โ and place them inside these partitioned rooms, where their stories are transformed as we ourselves evolve and change. The process of bringing these stories to life through song has been arduous but deeply rewarding. I've not poured more effort, time, tears and passion into any other project to date, and it took years for me to find the courage to share this music with the world. I hope it moves those who hear it."
House of Many Rooms
also highlights collaborations with various singers Laila has worked with over the years, including Grammy Award-winner, Lisa Fischer (20 Feet from Stardom
, The Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross), Jo Lawry (20 Feet from Stardom
, Sting, Paul Simon), Alan Hampton (Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Glasper) and the Toronto Mass Choir.
Laila has toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega, and has recorded with and supported Sting. Her accolades include SOCAN Composer of the Year
and Keyboardist of the Year
at Canada's National Jazz Awards. She has presented her music at prestigious venues spanning five continents, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo's Cotton Club, Peru's El Festival Internacional de Lima, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Her 2011 studio recording, Tracing Light, received a JUNO nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
, and Live in Concert was named one of the Best Albums of 2013 by DownBeat Magazine. Laila currently divides her time between New York City and Toronto.
**The Radiance Project took shape under the auspices of charitable arts organization Imago in 2006, and Laila has been an honoured member of their roster ever since. To support The Radiance Project please visit www.theradianceproject.org.
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