Lili Haydn

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Lili Haydn
Lili Haydn.jpg
Haydn performing in MacArthur Park, LA
July 2009
Background information
Also known as"Helicopter"
Born1969 (age 48–49)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresClassical, jazz, rock, alternative
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, actress, activist
InstrumentsVocalist, violin, piano
LabelsAtlantic, Nettwerk, Arista, Private music

Lili Haydn (born 1969)[1] is a Canadian-born rock violinist, vocalist, recording artist, and composer. As a child, she pursued a career as an actress; at age eight she discovered the violin and began to focus on classical music. By the time Haydn was fifteen, she had played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.[2]

After graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in political science, Haydn started composing original songs and became one of the most requested session violinists around Los Angeles. By the time she signed with Atlantic in 1997, she had embraced a variety of genres, having played with Quwaali musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Porno for Pyros, Tracy Chapman, The Jayhawks, Brandy, Tony! Toni! Tone!, No Doubt, Tom Petty and more. In addition, she has played with, sung with, and opened for Sting, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Matchbox 20, Seal, and George Clinton, who calls her "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin".[2]

Early life[edit]

Haydn was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the daughter of comedian Lotus Weinstock and video artist David Jove, who was one of the first people to mass-produce LSD.[3] Haydn's parents allowed her to choose her own first name. She reportedly chose the name "Helicopter" by which she was known briefly.[4]

When she was three years old, Haydn and her mother moved to the United States.[5] For a time, they lived at the Brotherhood of the Source, a commune in the Hollywood Hills led by Father Yod. Haydn's father eventually rescued the two from the commune cult.[3]



Haydn began her career as a child actress at the age of seven. She initially appeared in commercials and moved on to television and film roles. From 1979 to 1980, she played Jenny Columbo, daughter of Lt. Columbo and his ex-wife, Kate Columbo/Callahan (Kate Mulgrew) in the Columbo spin-off series Mrs. Columbo. In 1983, she starred as Belinda Capuletti, the smart and sassy daughter of Rodney Dangerfield's character in the comedy film Easy Money.[5] She also appeared in the first Not Quite Human TV movie in 1987, and was a regular cast member on the syndicated sitcom The New Gidget.

She has a bit part in the Michael Keaton movie Jack Frost for which Trevor Rabin composed the score.


Haydn began playing the violin at the age of eight. She played her first professional gig in 1990. In 1992, Haydn graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in political science and began to pursue a career in music.[5] Her debut album, Lili, was released in the fall of 1997 and was followed by Light Blue Sun in 2003 and Place Between Places in 2008, which she promoted with television and radio appearances such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and NPR. NPR described "Place Between Places" as "A mix of neo-psychedelic flower child and rock star virtuoso...Heifetz meet Hendrix." She contributed to the score of the Edward Burns/Jennifer Aniston film She's the One (1996),[6] as well as several films with Hans Zimmer, including Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Haydn won a fellowship to the Sundance Film Institute composing in 2009, and has composed the film scores for three films, Jacklight, The Horse Boy (premiered at Sundance Film Festival and released in 2009 by Zeitgeist Films), and "The Lightmaker".[7][8][9]

In 2008, Haydn accompanied Roger Waters at the Coachella music festival when they played "The Dark Side of the Moon".[10] Haydn also performed on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008. That same year she appeared on the cable TV series, Californication. In 2009, Haydn sustained neurological damage after being exposed to the pesticide Chlordane. While she was unable to write lyrics, she was still able to compose music. For the five years, she continued working on film scores and composed music for her fourth album, Lililand, released in September 2014.[3]


A social activist, Haydn also performs regularly for various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Operation USA, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Action Center; and her song "Unfolding Grace" appears on a CD compilation with U2 and Sting which benefits Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese pro-democracy movement.[11]



  1. ^ "Lotus Weinstock". Variety. 10 September 1997. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Hayden, Lili (2009). "Lili Hayden/Bio". Official website. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Chelin, Pamela (29 September 2014). "While Making Her New Album, Lili Haydn Suffered Brain Damage". Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. ^ Turakhia, Dipali (25 October 2010). "Diva in Focus: American violinist Lili Haydn". Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Rubin, Chris (June 1997). "The Violin Femme". Los Angeles Magazine. Emmis Communications. 42 (6): 24. ISSN 1522-9149.
  6. ^ IMDb
  7. ^ "Jacklight (1999) - Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Lightmaker (2001) - Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  9. ^ "The Horse Boy (2009) - Full cast and crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Which Band Will Reunite Next? Placing Odds on 14 Groups, from Led Zeppelin to N'Sync Pictures". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  11. ^ Theakston, Rob. "For the Lady - Various Artists". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 December 2011.

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