Judith Hill is an American soul artist with a unique look and sound that stands out in today’s marketplace. Born into a musical family, Judith was surrounded by music since the day she could hear her dad thump his funk bass and her mom storm classical pieces in the living room. With a Japanese and African American descent, she experienced a wealth of cultural and musical influences including traditional Japanese folk songs, funk and Motown, jazz, gospel, and classical. She gleaned from the greats including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, and Frederic Chopin. Her passion further blossomed in college when she went on to study composition and orchestration at Biola University. During her college and post college years, Judith worked on several movie projects including Happy Feet 2, Dreamgirls, and the Lorax. She also performed and recorded with several artists including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Leon Russell, Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Babyface, Brian McKnight, Josh Groban, Kirk Franklin, Lionel Richie, Usher, and Michelle Polnareff. In 2009, Judith was chosen to go on tour with the late king of pop, Michael Jackson. However, his tragic and unexpected death took her on a radically different journey. At his memorial service, Judith closed the ceremony with her rendition of “Heal The World”. This received global recognition as over one billion people viewed it. Later on that year, Judith’s duet with Michael was seen in the rehearsal footage from the movie, “This Is It”.
Carrying on his message of healing, Judith continued her journey as a humanitarian, working with children and people in poor communities, as well as teaching and inspiring youth. In 2011, she was asked to be the first artist to sing for the International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Hillary Clinton and special guest, Michelle Obama. In 2011, she also joined Avon on a tour to inspire women in major cities around the world including Istanbul, Birmingham, Mexico City, Warsaw, Shanghai, New Delhi, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Johannesburg.
Judith is currently working on her first debut album, which will be released very soon. She is touring her band and performing new material from her highly anticipated record. With an edge of high fashion, and an innovative blend of funky beats and nostalgic melodies, Judith is steadily becoming a groundbreaking influence in pop culture.
By any standard, Bruce Hornsby has built one of the most diverse, collaborative and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Drawing from a vast wellspring of American musical traditions, the singer/pianist/composer/bandleader has created a large and accomplished body of work that has employed a vast array of stylistic approaches, while maintaining the integrity, virtuosity and artistic curiosity that have been hallmarks of his work from the start. The 13-time Grammy nominee’s commercial stock soared early on, when “The Way It Is” – the title track of Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s 1986 debut album – became the most-played song on American radio in 1987, winning ASCAP’s Song of the Year award. “The Way It Is” and such hits as “Mandolin Rain” and “Every Little Kiss” established Hornsby as a popular pop act, while subsequent high-profile work with the likes of Don Henley, Willie Nelson, Charlie Haden and Bonnie Raitt made him an in-demand collaborator. For all his talents as a singer, bandleader and pianist with an instantly identifiable sound, Hornsby is a songwriter at heart who is committed to portraying his songs in new ways that allow them to evolve and expand. This approach was further developed by his time with The Grateful Dead, playing over one hundred shows with the band between 1990 and 1995. Hornsby found in the Dead’s vibrant tradition of loosely blending folk, blues and improvisation a kindred spirit. Over the years, Hornsby has successfully ventured into jazz, classical, bluegrass and even electronica, as reflected by such acclaimed recent releases as the bluegrass project Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby (2007) and the jazz trio album Camp Meeting (2007), with Jack deJohnette and Christian McBride. The prestigious list of Hornsby collaborators now includes such diverse figures as Ornette Coleman, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Robbie Robertson, Leon Russell, Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, Squeeze, Tupac Shakur, Eric Clapton and Sting. A University of Miami alum, Hornsby has also partnered with The Frost School of Music to establish the Creative American Music Program, a curriculum designed to develop the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions that form the foundation of modern American songwriting.
In July of 2006, Bruce Hornsby released a four CD/DVD box set titled
Intersections (1985-2005). Typical of the artist’s freewheeling
approach to his own music, which involves ensuring that even his
most-heard pop songs don’t become frozen-in-time “museum pieces,” a
full third of the music was previously unreleased and most of the
familiar tracks were presented as unreleased live versions. The set
also featured “Song H,” a new composition that was nominated for a
Best Pop Instrumental Grammy award in 2007.
Intersections is definitive in many ways, yet only tells part of the
Virginia native’s incredible musical story. His three Grammy wins
typify the diversity of his first decade of recording: Best New Artist
as leader of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Best Bluegrass Recording for
a version of “The Valley Road” that appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt
Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two, and a shared award with
Branford Marsalis in 1993 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for
“Barcelona Mona,” a song for the 1992 Olympic Games.
The sales stats and breadth of his superstar collaborations (including
being sampled many times by rap/hip-hop artists) speak volumes about
Hornsby’s unique fusion of mainstream appeal and wild musical
diversity. His albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide.
Harbor Lights was the 1994 winner of the Downbeat Reader’s Poll Beyond
Album of the Year (meaning all music other than Jazz and Blues). Tupac
Shakur “co-wrote” a new song over “The Way It Is” music with Bruce,
using new words, called “Changes”; it was a major worldwide hit,
selling 14 million copies.
He has played on over 100 records over the years, including albums by Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Bob Seger, Crosby Stills and Nash, Stevie Nicks, Cowboy Junkies, Squeeze, Liquid Jesus, Bonnie Raitt (piano on the classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me”), Shawn Colvin, Bela Fleck, Clint Black, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Scruggs, Willie Nelson, and end-title songs for two other Spike Lee movies, Clockers (1995) (with Chaka Khan), and Bamboozled (2001). Throughout the years, Hornsby has participated in several memorable events: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opening concert in September 1995 (featured on the Sony 2 CD set), Farm Aid IV and VI, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Festival, Woodstock II (1994), Woodstock III (1999) (featured on the Epic 2 CD set). An avid sports fan, Hornsby, solo and with Branford Marsalis has performed the National Anthem for many major events including the NBA All-Star game, four NBA finals, the 1997 World Series Game 5, the night Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s all-time consecutive game streak, and the Ken Burns Baseball soundtrack.
Indeed, Bruce Hornsby’s restless musical spirit continues to spontaneously push him forward into exciting new musical pursuits. He’s currently working on a prospective Broadway musical titled SCKBSTD. He’s composed and recorded several projects for filmmaker Spike Lee, most recently writing and recording the score for Kobe Doin’ Work, Lee’s 2009 ESPN documentary on Kobe Bryant. Hornsby is also featured onscreen in the recent Robin Williams/Bobcat Goldthwaite film World’s Greatest Dad (2009). That film features lots of Hornsby music, including the Levitate track “Invisible.”
2011 brought the release of Bride Of The Noisemakers - an ambitious 25 track, double CD chronicling 2007-2009 live performances of some of the singer/songwriter and pianist’s handpicked songs of the past 20 years. The songs are recorded live capturing the playful, freewheeling spirit and unique chemistry of his longtime band The Noisemakers.
Such projects are consistent with the same lifelong pursuit of musical transcendence. “To me,” says Hornsby, “it’s always just been about broadening my reach and moving into new areas. So it’s a fantastic situation to be able to do that, and to continue to pursue a wide-ranging musical life.”