“I truly believe the message of love and hope that is woven throughout my lyrics and music is desperately needed in this world.”
JILL PALMER, PIANIST/COMPOSER/SINGER-SONGWRITER
Music is a huge comfort to many, a refuge of personal expression where we can be ourselves, feel the music notes responding to and mirroring our thoughts and feelings. As a writer and performer of her own original music, Jill has always felt blessed. She thinks music is the “great translator” of hopes and aspirations, or difficulties and challenges. It is truly a medium that crosses all boundaries of language and culture. Jill adores how her music reaches people with messages of hope and understanding.
As a child, Jill’s mother Karen always said she could tell what kind of a day Jill was having when she sat down at the piano: if loud, minor chords issued forth, it was a troubling day at school…agh, perhaps the challenges of being a preteen! Or, if lilting, joyful melodies skipped off the keys, Jill must have had a great day. Her feelings were in the melody and the patterns that emanated through the house then, and the same is true now.
“Jill is a rare find – an instrumental artist with star quality.”
Ted Cox, buyer, Tower Records, Vienna, VA
Jill shares, “I was very lucky to grow up in a house full of music: whether it was my grandmother singing in the kitchen while she was cooking or playing her multiple-octave, ragtimey “kadiddles” (as she liked to call them!) on the piano…or hearing my world-famous-opera-singer-auntie “warming up” in our spare bedroom loud enough to shake the walls…or my mom playing the piano or blasting Vivaldi through the speakers…my father listening to Stevie Wonder or the Doobie Brothers on old reel-to-reel tapes…or my brother playing the electric guitar…music was a constant presence in my life….
“Yet despite the hours I spent at the piano every day, it was years before my mother realized I was actually writing my own music! In fact, I vividly remember the day she discovered I was “making up” my own songs. I was playing the piano in our living room, my mother was resting on the couch, listening happily with her eyes closed….
‘What is that BEAUTIFUL piece Mrs. Fox is teaching you?’ she asked me languidly…her eyes still dreamily closed.
When I responded by telling her it wasn’t anything my piano teacher was teaching me, it was in fact my own song, her eyelids flew open and she started to CRY. I was 14. From then on, music was more front and center I would say, at least to my family when they heard me play. To me it was the same: I was driven to compose as a way to express my own feelings, and the fact that others would enjoy it too was such a joyful discovery!”
“Cinematic! Each piece is like its own little movie.”
Al Santos, WJZW-FM, Washington, D.C.
Artist Jill Palmer….
Years later, Jill met a man who, like her mother, would be equally moved by the fact that she was composing original melodies at the piano. He encouraged her to record a full-length CD of original piano solos which contained 13 different compositions. Jill was 22 and teaching piano lessons privately in Anchorage, Alaska when her very first CD “Remember When” came out in the snowy state much to the delight of her family and students.
Remember When became the #1 selling local artist recording in Anchorage, Alaska, and was quickly picked up for national distribution by Barnes & Noble Bookstores across the country. Jill was amazed and happy. She performed live in Music Festivals in Anchorage and Girdwood, Alaska; attended CD release parties and signings for “Remember When” at Barnes & Noble, and eventually moved to sunny Florida to be closer to her parents and continue writing and recording her own music.
Jill’s second CD “Wings to Fly” was released in 2000 in South Florida and included 15 original brand new piano solos that she wrote and recorded live. Each recording was done live in her own home. Jill never rerecorded or “edited” them. They are complete performances from start to finish, which is rare in this day and age of “overdubs” and “autotuned” songs created in a studio.
Many tracks from Wings to Fly are used in various professional soundtracks, including DVDs for cancer treatment centers and even a political ad in Australia. Jill’s work is played all over the globe and on radio stations in the US and abroad. She signed distribution deals early on with Groove Records in Asia, Barnes and Noble in the US, the Orchard in New York City and holds licensing deals with various companies and filmmakers. However, Jill still retains all the rights to her songs, as both the writer and publisher.
“My first commercially released recordings were all “solo piano” and yet to me there were always words bubbling underneath,” Jill says. “People would ask me after concerts how I could REMEMBER all that music without writing it down, or looking at music while playing. My answer was always, ‘It’s like telling a story…you don’t forget what happens next. One part just leads to the next.’
A singer at heart, Jill explains further: “In fact, my instrumental piano solos often have ‘words’ that I hear while playing the melodies…my own ‘internal lyrics’ that weave the song tighter.”
Jill’s latest creation — an EP of original songs simply called Home – features Jill’s original songs which were produced by Doug Emery and feature amazing Grammy-nominated musicians Beth Cohen, Dan Warner, and Lee Levin. Jill sings 4 out of the 5 songs on the EP (“Home”, “Gilded Cage”, “Traveler”, and “My Love”), and also includes a song Jill wrote called “Broken” featuring the vocals of the amazing Jenna O’Gara.
“I met Jenna as a 17-year-old who was looking for original music to sing for a Berklee College of Music audition. I wrote ‘Broken’ specifically for her and designed the lyrics and melody to to showcase her amazing voice. She is awe-inspiring,” Jill says.
“My new EP, entitled Home, just barely scratches the surface of what I have written and hope to release very soon. I am constantly writing new songs, and so far have a notebook of more than 125 finished songs, all waiting to be born! Thank you for listening to the first 5.”
—Jill Palmer, Boca Raton, Florida, September 2014