Jill Jack’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous artistry. By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation. She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won 30 Detroit Music Awards in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter. Much of this provincial success is due to her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting. It’s simply called connecting, and it’s the bounty of a true songwriter open to all of life: her own defeats, victories, hopes dashed, dreams fulfilled, her muse, her loneliness, her misplaced love and her romantic successes.
Jill has built her audience with her whimsical, genuine live performances. Genuine is the defining term here. Propelled by her musical exemplars Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris, there are few performers with less conflict between who they are on stage and off than Jill. She extends the tradition of the confessional (i.e. achingly open, unafraid of intimacy) singer-songwriter, and is proud of that style and its continuation.
"SHE'S GOT THE STAGE PRESENCE, THE VOICE, THE ABILITY TO INTERPRET SONGS PASSIONATELY ... THERE'S A LOT OF SOUL IN WHAT SHE DOES" - BILLBOARD MAGAZINE
You get all of Jill Jack in a performance -- her blend of folk and rock traditions, her open humor. Jill harbors little of her process from her audience -- each concert is about opening a window and shining a light into her songwriting, leading inevitably to the intense relationship with her fans. Her career is founded on folk’s best idea -- that there’s a shared knowing between artist and audience, a conversation that flows both ways during a show.
Jill began her professional career singing backup with well known Detroit country and rock names The Forbes Brothers and Stewart Francke. By the late 90s she was writing constantly, fronting her own band and beginning to open for what would become a long list of prominent touring acts -- Bob Seger, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Dan Fogelberg, Marshall Crenshaw, Chris Issak, and Loretta Lynn, who gave Jill priceless backstage encouragement and advice. As well she developed her reputation as headliner at venues & festivals -- SXSW (South by Southwest), Ann Arbor Folk Festival, WYCD Downtown Hoedown, Blissfest Music Festival, The Bluebird Café, The Living Room in NYC, and consistent sell-outs at The Ark. Regional touring has branched to successful tours of England and the American Southeast. Jill was also a finalist in the 2011 Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase, and was chosen as an Americana semi-finalist in the 2011 International Songwriting Competition for Fallen (A Love Song).
Over a decade of writing, recording and live performance set the stage for the daring Songwriter Sessions (2009), a recording of two live performances of previously unreleased material that utterly removed any wall between songwriter and world. Directed by award-winning Nashville producer Colin Linden, Songwriter Sessions hit #6 on the Americana charts in Europe, and the Top 100 in the US.
"LIFE IS A BATTLEFIELD, AND THIS MICHIGAN GIRL SEEMS TO HAVE WON THE BATTLE." - ROOTSTIME MAGAZINE (BELGIUM)
Jill took the reins as producer for her latest release, Sunflower Girl (2012). Although the word "organic" is oft overused in contemporary music, Sunflower Girl transcends into the realm of those very rare records where artist, songs, band, emotional spirit and recording process coalesce to give us a masterpiece. You want to know Jill Jack the woman and artist, listen to Sunflower Girl -- it’s all there, laid bare with artistic honesty, played with a true degree of mastery, and lyrics sung with passion and vitality.
Her success in music has led to recent opportunities both acting in and scoring for independent films. A natural extension of her inclusive music, Jill contributes mightily to her community. In late 2010 Jill was asked to write and record a theme song for a Detroit campaign called I’m A Believer. The highly successful pro-Detroit campaign driven by Jill’s anthem recently took Best of Show honors at the international Mercury Excellence Awards in NYC.
2012 will see more touring, film work and charitable activities. Her performing and songwriting comments on and includes both the obvious parts of life and all those things we can’t easily discuss. In this sense, Jill Jack is reaching for one of music’s more elevated purposes -- she’s touching those things within her reach, and then extending beyond what even she can see. Sky’s the limit.