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“Music in general but jazz in particular is about sharing your emotional experiences. It’s an intimate conversation between musician and listener. What appeals to me most about the jazz art form is its enduring sweetness and intelligence.” –Mitzi Zilka

If jazz is about emotions, Mitzi Zilka has found a way to pack a wallop by combining her talents as both a singer and a lyricist. The words she has penned to a variety of jazz instrumental classics including Monk’s Mood, Blue Bossa, Lament, Pent up House, Look to the Sky and Lady Bird, add a fresh dimension to the jazz tradition, says two-time Grammy winner, Peter J. Boe, “She not only has a great jazz voice, but also, the words she writes to original instrumental music and existing standards are among the best I’ve seen.”

A Portland native, Mitzi moved to L.A. with her family when she was 11 where she began her classical training as a singer. But says she fell in love with jazz the moment she heard a recording of Billie Holiday. “What got me about Billie Holiday is that you heard real stories about pain and love and I believed every word she sang.”

With her three octave-range and rich alto voice, Mitzi appeared in musical productions throughout her teen years – and even did studio back-up vocals for Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys – before college and a young family of her own interrupted her singing career. A lot of living since then has brought her back to jazz, her first love. “People say you can’t sing jazz until after age 30, maybe because it’s so much about the human condition. My goal is to touch each listener and give them an unforgettable musical experience.”

Mitzi has appeared in all of Portland’s top jazz venues including, Abou Karim, Aura, Benson Hotel, Blue Monk, Heathman Hotel, Jimmy Mak’s, LV’s Uptown Jazz Club, Museum After Hours, Riverplace Hotel, Rose Festival, Tony Starlight’s and Wilf’s as well as the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport and the Portland Jazz Festival.

Between 2003 and 2004 she spent nearly a year singing in Sydney Australia performing at the Soup Plus, Tea in the Library, Hype Park Jazz Bar, the Basement and the Sydney Conservatory of Music.

In 2006, Mitzi performed in the Netherlands with Europe’s celebrated pianist & composer, Amina Figarova.

Mitzi has produced three CDs; Lazy Aspirations, Something Good and Two Sugars.  Her CDs and her original Single Disappearing Woman is available on cdbaby, iTunes and Amazon. Please go to Discography for more information.