Hilary Burt is a jazz influenced composer writing for large and small ensembles. She plays flute, alto sax and piano and is based in Brighton, UK.
(photo by Neil Garrett)
Playing flute and piano from an early age and learning sax as an adult, she studied music at Warwick University whilst training to be a teacher (1982-6). As a mature student, Hilary completed the BA in Jazz at Middlesex University after studying jazz harmony at the City Lit in London. It was here she met her husband, jazz trombonist and educator Mark Bassey.
During the 1990's Hilary played flute in several London-based jazz/funk bands whilst a full-time primary school teacher. She has continued to work with children throughout her career and now combines work as a private dyslexia tutor and a composer/musician.
Playing in Terry Pack's Trees (“the unfeasibly big band” of often 35 musicians) has given her the opportunity to explore large ensemble writing and she is now a regular composer for Trees and the Sussex Jazz Orchestra.
She also composes for her 8-piece band, 'Hilary Burt's Blue Calluna', and they have released their first album, Step Off And Fly. It is available on Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music. Just search for 'Hilary Burt's Blue Calluna'.
A selection of her compositions are with Lemoncake, a UK music publishing library, Pond5, a US based music library and also Music Gateway, a London-based sync music company. She works in midi, fusing rich textures over a strong rhythmic bed and adding acoustic elements such as flute, sax, vocals and live percussion.
Her first CD, North Beach (2014) is available on itunes and has been described as 'witty, haunting and beautiful'. Her second album of compositions (by Hilary Burt's Blue Calluna) was released on November 19th 2018.
In April 2016 Hilary began her first online course at Berklee - the extension school of Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has completed courses in reharmonisation, music production using Logic, mixing and mastering, writing and producing commercial music, and music marketing. Big thanks to the five brilliant tutors: Steve Rochinski, David Doms, Jeff Baust, Peter Bell and Chandler Coyle.
In this video Hilary talks to Terry Pack about 'Trees', the unfeasibly big band which she played in and composed for from 2015 to 2018.