Twenty-six-year old Lilli Unwin is an enchanting and soulful young singer, composer and arranger with an authentic sound, a playful and evocative stage presence and a penchant for intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. Since graduating with a BA (Hons) from London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she was awarded a first for her final recital and the TCM Trust Silver Medal in Jazz, she has been building her repertoire and performing at various venues in her adopted home town, London, including Spice of Life, Brixton East and the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen.
Her latest project sees her record, release and tour her debut EP of original songs in 2018/2019. The project will see Lilli working with brilliant London musicians Shirley Tetteh, Conor Chaplin, Corrie Dick and Rupert Cox, as well as being engineered and mixed by Alex Kilpartrick and produced by Sam Crowe. Lilli was awarded a Career Development Bursary from Help Musicians UK which has allowed her to be mentored by US artist Becca Stevens (Universal and GroundUP Music) and UK based jazz and soul singer-songwriter Natalie Williams.
Lilli Unwin moulds the ups and downs of navigating her twenties into a string of original songs that blaze and smoulder with bold femininity. Her debut release, addresses universal themes of love, longing and loss through honest and fearless female stories, propeling Jazz into a whole new dimension.
Learning through each season as you rise from the ashes,
navigating the storms and embracing the quiet. Lilli Unwin
In 2017 Lilli was selected as one of 14 artists to work with Mercury-nominated artist ESKA on a composition residency at Band on the Wall, Manchester.
Her projects have included:
Reworking The Great American Songbook, with the Lilli Unwin Band – with bassist Flo Moore, drummer Corrie Dick (“Up and Coming Artist” in the 2012 Scottish Jazz Awards and BBC Radio Scotland “Young Jazz Musician of the Year”) and pianist Matt Robinson (recipient of the Edwin Samuel Dove Price and a Yamaha Jazz Scholarship) – blending subtle grooves and story-telling into a cathartic jazz performance.
Her project HYLA, made waves in the alternative pop world with their intergalactic soul sound. They released their debut single ‘We Went Blind’ and amassed over 70K Soundcloud plays and many online reviews. (see below)
Also actively involved in the electronics music scene, she has collaborated with producer Ben Hayes, whose Hedonia EP (April 2015) – which features Lilli – was widely praised by Complex UK as “dizzying,” and by Clash magazine as “soulful and future facing.”
Lilli is a member of the London Vocal Project, the UK’s leading contemporary jazz-vocal ensemble led by jazz pianist and vocalist Pete Churchill. As part of LVP, she performed in the world première of Jon Hendricks’ Miles Ahead in New York in Feb 2017, produced by Quincy Jones. In addition to regular concerts in venues around London, recent highlights for the group include singing with Dave Holland, Norma Winstone, Nikki Illes and others as part of a tribute for Kenny Wheeler during the London Jazz Festival 2015 at Cadogan Hall, and performing with the New York Voices and Swingle singers at Kings Place and performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Ronnie Scotts.
As well as writing, performing, recording and collaborating, Lilli is a keen educator and workshop facilitator. An average week sees her working with many talented children/teens and adults, teaching them singing, songwriting and leading vocal masterclasses and choirs. Her specialism these days is in boosting self esteem, working on vocal technique, song interpretation and developing jazz vocal practice.
Lilli is gratefully supported by Help Musicians UK.
“ Lilli Unwin is a talented, bright young star who combines her richness of sound and the depth and agility of an instrumentalist- Captivating!” Anita Wardell
“Unwin is a rising star, with a fine voice, capable of the expressive requirements of a very wide range of material…” The Whitman Review, Wakefield Jazz
“The Lilli Unwin band was quietly wonderful; poised, & imaginative; perfect.” Jez Matthews, the Lescar.
PRAISE FOR HYLA
” You and I is five minutes of sprawling, downbeat jazz -inspired beauty, followed by an almost post-rock crescendo, serving for one of this years most impressively ambitious debut tracks. ” CRACK IN THE ROAD 2014
” We are so fascinated and impressed by their super –groovy joint titled ‘you and I’. ” SCRATCH THE BLOCK 2014
” The five-piece band is without a doubt a promising act which will be talked about in the near future. ” ORANGE PEEL 2014