Judith Hill

Judith Hill

Syncopated Ladies

Mon, September 25, 2017

8:00 pm

Adv tix $20.00 / DOS tix $22.00

This event is all ages

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Judith Hill
Judith Hill
Back In Time

Over the course of her remarkable career thus far, singer/ songwriter Judith Hill
has shared her musical gifts in a variety of ways. The Los Angeles native has
been a background singer for such legends as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ringo
Starr, and the late Michael Jackson, serving as the latter’s duet partner on the
classic ballad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” which later became a highlight of
Jackson’s posthumously released film This Is It. (Hill’s deeply moving
performance of “Heal the World” was an indelible moment during the singer’s
public memorial service.) She also appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary
20 Feet From Stardom, a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of several
acclaimed background singers, including Hill, who earned a Grammy Award for
“Best Music Film” for her participation. Post-This Is It, Hill appeared on The Voice,
where she began to cement her identity as a solo artist with a series of knockout
performances that showed her ability to put her own distinctive, captivating spin
on familiar songs.

Hill’s global fanbase has gotten to know her through these high-profile
performances. However her biggest champion these days, yet another music
legend, did not. “Prince did not see me on This Is It. He had not seen 20 Feet
from Stardom. He had not seen me on The Voice. He saw me on some random
TV interview where I was asked who I’d want to collaborate with and I said him,”
Hill says with a laugh. After doing a bit of research, Prince called Hill personally
and said he’d love to work with her. “Right out of the gate it was an artist-to-artist
conversation about music,” Hill recalls of the call, during which Prince also
extended an invitation to the listening party for his latest album, Art Official Age
and, a few weeks later, to his studio in Minneapolis. “There were no plans,” she
says of her first time at Paisley Park. “It was just an invitation to come hang out. I
jammed with his band. I played him some of my songs. That's when we began to
start talking about music and creating. That's really when it all began.”

After hearing her original songs and watching Hill sing live, Prince knew he was
in the presence of a genuine talent, just as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson
realized before him. He offered to play on and produce her debut solo album,
Back in Time, which was offered as a free download for two days in March on
LiveNation.com and quickly attracted 200,000 downloads. The album is a


showcase for Hill’s soulful, powerhouse voice and considerable songwriting
prowess, with smart, deeply felt songs about racial injustice (“As Trains Go By”)
and overcoming struggle (“Angel in the Dark,” “Beautiful Life,” “Cry, Cry, Cry”)
nestled comfortably alongside supremely funky party jams (“Turn Up,” “My
People,” “Wild Tonight”) that Hill says are a celebration of music, community, and
family.

“I had written some of these songs a long time ago and had been performing
them for a while,” Hill says. “Prince helped give them a whole new makeover. He
would say, ‘You can make a stadium song. Picture yourself in a big stadium
singing this. How big is the song? Is it going to register to the person in the very
back?’ There are ways to make that happen, like simplifying the structure or
brightening up the chords. I used to play ‘Beautiful Life’ with minor chords. It was
a bit more melancholy. Prince said, ‘Why don't we try it with major chords?’ All of
a sudden, the song opened up in an epic way.”

Sonically, Back In Time’s amalgam of soul, funk, blues, and jazz has an
appealing retro quality thanks to the duo’s production. “I told him that it needed to
be a classic-sounding record,” Hill says. “I want people to feel like they're
listening to something that was done in the ’70s. We did it all in analog, recorded
to tape, the old-fashioned way. It was fun doing that with Prince. He would tell me
old stories about how he recorded things. It was very cool to work with a legend
who understands that world better than anyone. Oftentimes, newer producers are
just trying to recreate a way of doing things. With Prince, it was the real deal. It
was like a time machine. That's one of the reasons why the record is called Back
in Time. The sound of the record, the style of it, the way it was recorded — all of
it was back in time.”

Hill says the recording sessions at Paisley Park, which took place over a few
weeks in January, often felt like flashbacks. “It reminded me of how I grew up,
jamming with my family for hours. My brother was on the drums, my mom on the
keys, my dad on the bass, and I would sing. So it was like going back to my
roots.” Hill’s father, Robert “Pee Wee” Hill, is a pioneering funk bassist known for
his work with such artists as Sly Stone, Jimmy Smith, and Bob Dylan, while her
mother, Michiko Hill, is an accomplished keyboardist, with credits that include
Rufus & Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, and Billy Preston. In addition to their
steady session work, the Hills also own and operate Master’s Crib Recording
Studio in Los Angeles. “My bedroom was actually the vocal booth for their first
little home studio, so I always had singers in my room,” says Hill, adding that one
visitor was Sly and The Family Stone’s Rose Stone, who became one of her
early mentors. Hill wrote her first song at age four and eventually began singing
in school choirs and in the studio with her parents. “I couldn't help but sing,” she
says. “It really came from within.”


Her passion eventually led her to earn a degree in music composition at Biola
University, where she wrote her first symphony as well as pieces for piano, vocal
groups, chamber ensembles, and string quartets. After graduating, Hill spent a
year in Paris, singing background vocals for French singer/songwriter Michel
Polnareff. Then in 2009, Hill was tapped to join Jackson on his comeback concert
tour This Is It, but the star died less than three weeks before the tour was
scheduled to kick off. “Michael unlocked my imagination in a big way,” Hill says of
her time with Jackson. “Seeing such an incredible show put together right in front
of me made me realize that there's so much more to be explored and discovered
as an artist, and that we, as artists, have the power to transform lives and impact
them in a major way. Michael showed me that I can dream big. I began to ask
myself, ‘What do I really want to say to an audience?’”

Hill considered that same question while making Back In Time. “I want people to
remember good times when they listen to it,” she says. “It’s good old-fashioned
music and I hope people will experience it that way. I want them to be happy. I
want them to dance. I want them to feel encouraged. I want it to be the
soundtrack to their lives.”
Syncopated Ladies
Syncopated Ladies
ABOUT US

Syncopated Ladies is a Female Tap Dance Band from Los Angeles, CA created by critically acclaimed tap dancer and choreographer, Chloe Arnold. Discovered at an early age in Washington, DC by legendary choreographer Debbie Allen, Chloe has since gone on to perform on stages around the globe.



Syncopated Ladies' latest viral video in tribute to Prince, Several months prior, their viral video covering Beyonce's hit song, Formation has gained international exposure with over 6 million views online after Beyonce shared the video on both her Facebook and website. Recently Syncopated Ladies performed on ABC's Good Morning America and previously were seen on Season 11 of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance as the winner of the first dance crew battle. They have also performed to sold-out audiences in their full-length concert, "Syncopated Ladies: Live” in Dubai, Washington DC at the Howard Theatre, and New York City as part of the CUNY Dance Initiative at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater. Other credits include: Dizzy Feet Foundation/Share, Inc. “Dancing With The All-Stars”, Nigel Lythgoe’s Dizzy Feet Foundation “Celebration of Dance” Gala, DanceOn's SPOTLIGHT, Dancescape L.A.’s 10th Anniversary Showcase, B.B. Kings in New York City, the Annual DC Tap Fest, and a star-studded gala hosted by Diddy & Debbie Allen at The Howard Theatre.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change