TILLERY was a collaboration project by Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato, and Becca Stevens. Individually, Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens are three of New York’s most acclaimed and respected vocalist/songwriters. They are a powerful collective force, like Tillery. Their seamless creative chemistry and natural personal relationships make for an impressive collaboration that has been wowing audiences live since 2010. Tillery sees these three distinct individuals as a cohesive and compelling group, united by an unbreakable friendship and mutual admiration for each other’s talents. Tillery’s members have already been praised for their musical accomplishments. Rebecca Martin, a Maine native, is a well-respected veteran of two decades whose songwriting and vocal talents allow her to seamlessly cross the boundaries between jazz and pop. She has released half a dozen albums that have been acclaimed, and she has worked with some of the most respected players in jazz, such as Paul Motian, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Martin’s husband Larry Grenadier. Gretchen Parlato, a native Californian vocalist, is one of jazz’s most acclaimed rising voices. When she won the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, Parlato was first to be noticed. She’s since released three solo albums and contributed her voice to over 50 albums, including notable releases by Terence Blanchard (Kenny Barron), Lionel Loueke, Esperanza Spalding, and Terence Blanchard. Becca Stevens, a North Carolina native, has rapidly emerged as one the most promising young jazz stars. She has released two albums with Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra and performed with and/or recorded with renowned musicians like Eric Harland, Taylor Eigsti and Brad Mehldau. Tillery was born in 2010 when Tillery’s seeds were planted. The three artists first met each other and became avid admirers of one another’s work. Even though they come from different backgrounds and are of different ages, the three artists quickly became friends. They also began to form a strong creative partnership. When Gretchen Parlato was invited by a mutual friend to the Rebecca Martin concert at Manhattan’s Jazz Standard, it set off the circumstances that would lead to the formation of this partnership. Parlato says, “Her voice and songs made me cry.” “She has such an infectious, loving energy and I instantly felt like she was someone that I wanted to spend my time with.” Parlato had been singing Becca Stevens’ praises to Parlato and encouraged her to go to Stevens’ show at Cornelia Street Cafe. Gretchen says that she was “in complete awe” of Stevens. “She has the intensity that you can tell from the first sound she makes, that something is deep. When we sang in Taylor Eigsti’s band Free Agency, we got to know one another better. We discovered that we both understood music the same way and shared the same interests. Knowing Rebecca and Becca, it was clear that their energies would connect and bond.” Stevens had been familiar with Martin and Parlato for a long time. She says, “They were the women I could admire in jazz when I was growing up.” “I was completely humbled by Gretchen’s brilliance, so when Gretchen came to my gig, it was truly a great feeling. After being familiar with Rebecca for many years, I felt the same when she sent me an email introducing herself. When I attended one of her shows, I met her for the first time at Cornelia. Gretchen was also there and they took a photo together. It makes me laugh to look at that photo now. We had the same spontaneous, goofy energy back then.” They reunited in late 2010 for an all-girl getaway weekend at Martin’s house in upstate Kingston. Martin recalls, “At one point, I picked my guitar up and said, ‘Let’s sing something.’ And that was it.” It was just a matter of time. It was just what happened and it made sense.” Stevens recalls that Rebecca taught her one song and then another. The sound was similar to love butter, thanks to the combination of the three of us singing and the warm, receptive energy present in the room. It’s easy to spread it everywhere.” Gretchen and Becca joined Rebecca to perform a few songs at Rebecca’s record-release party. It quickly became clear that this informal arrangement would become a permanent one. In January 2011, the new trio was officially introduced at the Cornelia Street Café as part of a series that Stevens had booked at the venue. Martin, Parlato, and Stevens initially operated under the tongue in cheek name Girls Gone Mild. However, they eventually adopted Tillery, which is also the title of a Stevens composition, as their permanent moniker. Martin, Parlato, and Stevens have a lot in common musically and personally. Their work together reflects that. Tillery’s live shows are a strong reflection of that collective spirit. They combine original songs, material from their individual repertoires, and a surprising assortment of covers. Martin says, “I’ve had so much moments on stage where I’ve felt transported,” Martin adds. “I believe that we allow our unique and authentic selves through the music. Becca and GP are grateful and humble in their lives which allows them all to share their unique and authentic selves when they come together.” Tillery is allowing its intimate spirit to continue and developing at its own pace. Visit www.tillerygals.com

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