Laila Biali

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Laila Biali
Laila Biali photo.jpg
Background information
Born (1980-10-03) 3 October 1980 (age 37)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboards
Years active 1999–present

Laila Biali (born 3 October 1980) is a Canadian jazz singer and pianist. She has been nominated for a Juno Award and has worked with Chris Botti, Sting,[1] Dave Brubeck, Phil Dwyer, Diana Krall, Paula Cole, and Suzanne Vega.


Biali at Burlington's Sound of Music Festival, 2016

Biali was born in Vancouver and began playing piano at the age of four. She studied classical piano for many years and is a proud alumnus of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She then developed a keen interest in jazz in her late teens. At age nineteen, she began her professional career when she moved to Toronto to attend Humber College on scholarships. By 2003, she had won the CBC Galaxie Prize (Rising Star Award) at the National Jazz Awards.[2] In 2005, she won SOCAN Keyboardist of the Year and Composer of the Year at the National Jazz Awards. She performs regularly around the world and her most prolific performance includes taking to the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She plays regularly to sold out audiences at Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto.[3] She has also toured with Paula Cole, Chris Botti and Suzanne Vega.[4] (She met her husband - drummer Ben Wittman - on tour with Cole.) In 2009 she performed live on NBC Today, The View, and David Letterman as a backup singer for Sting.[5] She recorded the DVD for If On a Winter's Night with Sting in Tuscany in August 2009.[6]

Her first independent album, Introducing the Laila Biali Trio, was released in 2003. It was followed by the CBC Records commissioned album [7] From Sea to Sky with cover versions of popular Canadian songs, including "Mushaboom". Her third album, Tracing Light, was released independently on 26 October 2010 . One week later, the compilation album World Jazz for Haiti (produced by Biali's Tracing Light producer and bass player George Koller) was released on 1 November 2010, featuring an original song, Radiance. The album proceeds were for victims of an earthquake in Haiti.

Biali was nominated for a Juno Award for her Tracing Light album in February 2011.[8]

Biali is married to drummer Ben Wittman, and they have one son, Joshua. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

As of September 2017, she is the host of CBC Radio 2's weekly jazz series Saturday Night Jazz.


  • Introducing the Laila Biali Trio, (2003)
  • From Sea to Sky, (CBC, 2007)
  • Tracing Light, (2010)
  • World Jazz for Haiti, (2010)
  • Live in Concert, (2012)
  • House of Many Rooms (2014)
  • Laila Biali (2018)


External links[edit]

Media related to Laila Biali at Wikimedia Commons