"It is the ultimate task given to the musician, whether as singer or instrumentalist, to create a unique signature or fingerprint that is instantly recognizable as their own. What is surprising and delightful in Laila Biali is that both as vocalist and pianist she accomplishes this with equal aplomb. She is an exciting and unique talent, and I admire her greatly." – Sting
Award-winning pianist, vocalist and songwriter Laila Biali has lived most of her musical life in the jazz world. With her latest recording, under Laila Biali & The Radiance Project, Laila reveals a new side. Set for release this coming April 14th, the 11-track album – titled House of Many Rooms – sees the Brooklyn-based, Canadian artist venturing into more pop-oriented territory, full of catchy hooks, sweet melodies, and anthemic musical arrangements.
“House of Many Rooms is about the living spaces we construct inside our own hearts and minds,” says Laila. “I've not poured more effort, time, tears and passion into any other project to date.” The project also has a performance component – a spring 2015 cross-Canada tour with an all-star band, which lands at The Aeolian under the Sunfest umbrella on April 25th.
House of Many Rooms is Laila’s first album of entirely original material, and also marks her first foray into arranging for gospel choir and string orchestra. Laila’s unique sound is an amalgam of the best of pop, rock, classical, world and soul, informed by the musician’s expertise in jazz. Co-produced with her husband, Ben Wittman, the recording is fitted for a wide range of instruments – from gospel choir to brass quartet, bass clarinet, Haken Continuum (Fingerboard), and string orchestra. House of Many Rooms also highlights collaborations with various singers Laila has worked with over the years, including Grammy 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. Laila’s 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. 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 New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
"Laila has the uncanny gift of making familiar songs sound brand new—and when we hear her new songs, it feels like we have known them for years. Laila invites us to a secret place that we never want to leave." - Robert Sadin, multi-Grammy award winning producer (Sting, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter)
"The singer-pianist brings the greatest exuberance, creativity, range of expression and charisma to her music. She’s firmly grounded in jazz, but her embrace of pop materials has the ring of truth too." - Peter Hum (Ottawa Citizen)
"Laila Biali is a rare find. She is not just a great pianist filled with an ever shifting and seemingly endless lyricism; she has the voice of an angel, and seems incapable of singing one bad note or a phrase not tied to the emotional landscape of the lyric. Laila Biali is a musical treasure." - Rob Mathes, producer, arranger & composer (Sting, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Yo Yo Ma)
"Laila Biali is one of the most naturally gifted musicians I've ever worked with." - Paula Cole, Grammy winning recording artist
"Full of bold musical ventures, youthful funkiness, ingenuity, verve and depth." - Ottawa Citizen