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Soprano Hilary Gardner joins "Monday Off"

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November 9, 2004: Monday Off, the jazz vocal quartet hailed by Skitch Henderson as having “exquisite taste, rich creativity, fresh ideas, spread over a palate of standard repertoire" is welcoming a new member to their group, Hilary Gardner. The group has already begun recording their second album for release in 2005.

Classically trained vocalist Hilary Gardner began her musical training at age twelve in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. While living in Seattle, Washington, Hilary was much in demand as a jazz vocalist throughout the Pacific Northwest. Hilary studied jazz singing with Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan, and can be heard on Darin Clendenin's holiday recording, “Tidings of Joy and Jazz" (Pony Boy Records). Hilary performed in Seattle's many jazz venues with an impressive roster of jazz luminaries, including Buddy Catlett (Count Basie sideman, Frank Sinatra alumnus), Larry Fuller (Ray Brown alumnus), Jeff Johnson (Hal Galper alumnus), and Bill Anschell (musical director for Nnenna Freelon), among others.

Since moving to New York in April 2003, Hilary has become the featured vocalist of the New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble, an 18-piece big band led by Mike Longo, longtime pianist and musical director for Dizzy Gillespie. Hilary is featured prominently on the NYSAJE's newest CD, “Oasis" (CAP Records). The CD was released in September, to critical acclaim and is currently receiving radio airplay on jazz stations throughout the United States. She is the vocalist for the New York City based ensemble, “A Touch of Jazz" and recently made her solo debut at the Triad. Hilary has also had the good fortune to share the stage with jazz great Bob Dorough at the Iridium Jazz Club.

John Hoglund of Back Stage says that Monday Off

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