Award-winning Canadian pianist and vocalist Laila Biali has been garnering global recognition for her performances at prestigious venues like the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), Tokyo’s Cotton Club and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Over the past couple of years, she has toured with Grammy winners Chris Botti, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega. Also, she has recorded with and supported music icon Sting, who raved, “Laila is an exciting and unique talent and I admire her greatly”.
But for all her artistic brilliance and string of critical accolades, it’s Laila’s affinity for seeking inspiration in human relationships that most defines this highly admired TD Sunfest guest artist. These special qualities were recognized by Toronto pianist Ron Davis, who described Laila as “a spiritually deep and beautiful soul,” adding “and this shows in her music."
Laila’s studio recording, Tracing Light, received a 2011 JUNO nomination for “Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year,” and her follow-up CD, Live in Concert, was named one of the “Best Albums of 2013” by DownBeat Magazine.
Last spring, Laila premiered House of Many Rooms – a bold indie-pop album of original material featuring Lisa Fischer (Rolling Stones, 20 Feet From Stardom), Jo Lawry (Sting, Paul Simon), Alan Hampton (Robert Glasper), and the Toronto Mass Choir. She is currently working on a second studio album of original music, expanding on her unique “ability to meld traditional jazz with contemporary pop so effortlessly that neither style seems out of place on the same record” (Spinner Magazine). This project will highlight collaborations with several celebrated songwriters and is slated for release later this year.
In June, Laila had the pleasure of performing at the inaugural global TEDSummit, held at The Banff Centre in Alberta.