Hilary Gardner

Singer | Writer | New Yorker

NYC-based singer (mostly jazz) and writer. Lover of words, food, and all things Italian.

WHERE TO BUY The Great City:

  • Anzic Store - support this amazing indie label! Free shipping for physical CDs + high quality downloads (mp3, FLAC & more)!
  • iTunes
  • Amazon


  • Hilary Gardner: Vocals
  • Tatum Greenblatt: Trumpet
  • Jason Marshall: Tenor Saxophone
  • Ehud Asherie: Piano
  • Jon Cowherd: Hammond C-3 Organ
  • Randy Napoleon: Guitar
  • Elias Bailey: Acoustic Bass
  • Jerome Jennings: Drums

Recorded and Mixed by Joe Marciano at Systems Two Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Assisted by Max Ross & Zak Kazanski
Mastered by Gene Paul at G&J Audio

Produced By Eli Wolf



I’ve always been a New Yorker at heart, despite my Midwestern roots and upbringing in rural Alaska. My life as a New Yorker officially began, however, one sunny spring morning in a Greenwich Village bookstore. I was browsing the shelves when a gentleman struck up a conversation; upon learning that I had only recently moved to the city, he bought me a copy of E.B. White’s 1948 essay, Here is New York.

“I want you to have this,” he said, pressing the book into my hands. “I hope you’ll love New York as much as I do.” 

Grateful and somewhat stunned, I opened the book as the man departed and came upon this passage: “No one,” counseled E.B. White, ”should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.”

E.B. White’s advice was (and is) sound. New York City can infuriate, mystify, exhaust, and delight a person—sometimes all in the same day. Serendipity abounds, though, if one is simply willing to be lucky, which is the story at the heart of The Great City, my first solo recording.

In literal and abstract ways, these songs form a narrative of life in New York City, replete with its myriad contradictions, complexities, and moments of unexpected beauty. I humbly offer you this album in hopes that, as a kindly stranger once said to me, you’ll love New York as much as I do.