Laila Biali is no stranger to change - in fact, it's what drives her. The virtuosic jazz pianist, singer and songwriter splits her time between New York City and her native Toronto and is constantly juggling her musical career with her devoted family, but through it all, Laila's dedication to her craft has never wavered. Her self-titled, self-produced new album 'LAILA BIALI,' out January 26th (Kobalt), reflects on the challenges of being an artist and a mother, and the uprooted sense of place that comes with the territory of being a dual citizen, making for a diverse song cycle of both originals and covers that serves as a candid and authentic representation of who Laila is.
The songs on 'LAILA BIALI' don't shy away from tough topics. Album opener "Got to Love" tackles the negative side effects of gentrification, and reflects on Laila's experience living in Brooklyn and watching her neighborhood change before her eyes. On "Refugee," Laila eloquently pays tribute to the children who have lost lives during the Syrian refugee crisis from the perspective of a mother in the privileged western world. "Satellite" is one of the most personal songs on the record, on which Laila admits the emotional hardships of being a mother, a wife and a musician on the road. The covers on 'LAILA BIALI' hold important meaning, too - Coldplay's "Yellow" is an oft-requested fan favorite and the first ever jazz cover of the song to be recorded and published. Listen to that song here.
Laila is one of Canada's foremost Jazz pianists and vocalists, and has toured with the likes of Sting, Chris Botti, Suzanne Vega and Paula Cole - she and her husband, drummer and producer Ben Wittman, actually met while recording with Paula in New York City, and he contributed production and played on the new album as well. Other notable musicians on 'LAILA BIALI' include drummer Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy), bassist George Koller (Michael McDonald, Chaka Kahn), vocalists Carlos Ricketts (U2, Adele) and Lisa Fischer (Rolling Stones, Paul Simon), and more.
In addition to being a musician, Laila is also the host of CBC Radio 2's national weekly Saturday Night Jazz radio show, the station's only jazz show and the number 1 streamed show on CBCmusic.ca. Laila was nominated for a JUNO award for "Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year" for her album 'Tracing Light,' and her music has earned praise from Downbeat, who named her record 'Live in Concert' one of the best albums of the year.
Laila and her band of musicians will tour in support of 'LAILA BIALI' through 2018, full routing below.
'LAILA BIALI' TRACKLIST
1. Got to Love
2. We Go
6. Dolores Angel
7. Queen of Hearts
9. Code Breaking
10. I Think It's Going to Rain Today
12. Let's Dance
PRE-ODER 'LAILA BIALI'
LAILA BIALI TOUR DATES
Jan 14 - New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3
Jan 24 - Winnipeg, MB - Kitchen Sync
Jan 26 - Regina, SK - Le Bistro
Jan 28 - Calgary, AB - Venue TBA
Jan 30 - Saskatoon, SK - Yamaha Piano Centre
Feb 01 - Vancouver, BC - Frankie's Jazz Club
Feb 02 - Edmonton, AB - Giovanni Music
Feb 06 - Seattle, WA - Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
Feb 07 - Seattle, WA- Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
Feb 09 - Ottawa, ON - GigSpace
Feb 13 - Toronto, ON - Jazz Bistro
Feb 14 - New York, NY - SubCulture
Feb 15 - Baltimore, MD - An Die Musik
Feb 19 - Irvine, CA - Concordia University
Feb 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Vitello's E-Spot
Feb 22 - San Francisco, CA - Red Poppy Art House
Feb 27 - Detroit, MI - Cliff Bells
Mar 01 - Waterloo, ON - Jazz Room
Mar 03 - Cleveland, OH - Nighttown
Mar 04 - Indianapolis, IN - Jazz Kitchen
Mar 08 - New York, NY - Birdland Jazz Club
Mar 10 - Durham, NC - Sharp 9 Gallery
Apr 06 - Atlanta, GA - The Velvet Note
Apr 07 - Atlanta, GA - The Velvet Note
Jun 28 - Aspen, CO - JAS Cafe
Jun 29 - Aspen, CO - JAS Cafe
MORE INFO ON LAILA BIALI