Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band
Art Lillard’s Heavenly Big Band has been entertaining local audiences with its uplifting and danceable sounds since 1987. Led by drummer-composer Art Lillard, the band performs an extensive repertoire of original songs varying in style from swing to samba to jazz ballad to bossa nova. Also in the band’s repertoire is a corunopia of fresh, new arrangements of old jazz and swing standards and a few other surprises. This variety allows the group to provide music for a swing or Latin dance event, play a jazz concert, or even give a blues performance.
The Heavenly ensemble, ranging from 13-17 players, features flutes along with the more traditional saxophones and brass. The mix gives the band its unique, rich, bright signature sound. Each arrangement showcases the inspirational soloing abilities of some of NY’s finest jazz instrumentalists. Many numbers feature lyrics and display the special talents of top vocal artists.
Art Lillard’s Heavenly Big band has played in many New York City area jazz venues, as well as at churches, community centers, outdoor concerts, festivals, and dance events.