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Hilary's new album of city-inspired songs by Tom Waits, Duke Ellington, Joni Mitchell, Sammy Cahn, Leonard Cohen & more.
Hilary's new album of city-inspired songs by Tom Waits, Duke Ellington, Joni Mitchell, Sammy Cahn, Leonard Cohen & more.
149 backers pledged $14,325 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$14,325

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"If there is anyone who can evoke the class and sophistication of the 'girl singer,' it's Hilary Gardner.  Her singing is effortless and intelligent with a personal warmth and musicality that makes for delicious listening."     Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel, Grammy award-winning vocalist

"Hilary Gardner, like the great 'girl singers' of decades past, brings elegance and wit to every song she sings.  She lends a touch of vintage cool to new material and makes the old songs sound fresh again."        Twyla Tharp, Tony & Emmy award-winning director/choreographer 

Hi, I'm Hilary Gardner, and I'm a singer in Brooklyn, New York.  Welcome to my KickStarter page!

New York City is a place where dreams can become reality overnight.  Take me, for example.  After struggling for years, waiting tables and singing on the side, last year I was cast in a Broadway show: Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away, a celebration of Frank Sinatra's music.  In a quintessential New York minute, I went from waitressing to singing duets with Sinatra's voice on the Broadway stage.  Hearing Sinatra sing "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere..." night after night was the thrill of a lifetime.

These days, I'm getting ready to embark on another dream of mine: recording an album of my own.  Remember albums?  Remember the joy of placing a record on a turntable and listening to a collection of songs that, together, formed a narrative, a point of view, a...vibe?   Just the word "album" makes me nostalgic for the hisses and pops of the vinyl records I grew up with.  

My album is called The Great City, and as the title suggests, all the songs are inspired by city life.  The tunes are culled from the songbooks of Duke Ellington, Tom Waits, Sammy Cahn, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and others. The Great City celebrates the vitality, electricity, and sense of possibility that permeate life in New York City. The album will also reflect the bittersweet melancholy that comes from feeling alone while surrounded by millions of people.  

These songs are about love, loneliness, and human connection.  Sure, The Great City tells my story, but I bet you'll find that it tells your story, too.  That's why I've launched this KickStarter campaign: I want you to be a part of my album.  

HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS

There are two ways you can take this journey with me:

1. You can make a pledge.  On the right of your screen, you'll see various pledge levels and their corresponding rewards.  All kinds of very cool thank-yous are available, including: 

  • autographed, advance copies of The Great City
  • signed copies of my Christmas album
  • studio exclusives: photos & bonus-track mp3s
  • a never-before-released Hilary Gardner EP 
  • a special "Happy Birthday" phone call to you, complete with singing
  • autographed album art
  • I'll perform a song of your choice & recognize you from onstage at one of my shows
  • spots on the guest list at my shows
  • thank-you credits in the album liner notes
  • a concert in your home for you & your guests
  • the chance to be Executive Producer of The Great City

2. You can spread the word. Tell your circle of friends, family, and music-lovers about this project!  Use email, Twitter, Facebook, and the analog favorite, word-of-mouth.  A city is only as great as its people, and this KickStarter community is what will bring The Great City to life. 

One caveat: We must meet or exceed our goal of $13,000.00 by the December 16 deadline, or we don't get any of the pledge money and you don't get any of the rewards.  Put another way, the fate of The Great City is in your hands.  Don't delay!

Thank you so much for watching my KickStarter video, and thank you so much for being a part of this album.  I can't wait to share it with you.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Loose Change: You'll receive Great City good vibes from me to you.

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    1 backer
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Ten-Spot: You'll receive a thank-you email & an mp3 of the title track from The Great City.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You’re So Hip: You'll be among the first to receive an autographed advance copy of The Great City. Trend-setter.

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    23 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Cool Yule: You'll receive an autographed advance copy of The Great City 
PLUS an autographed copy of my Christmas CD. The Christmas CD will arrive just in time for the holidays. Break out the egg nog!

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    36 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Wish You Were Here: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS a thank-you on my website, PLUS exclusive extras from the recording studio, like photos & bonus track mp3s. It's the next best thing to being in the studio with us.

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    19 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Isn’t It Romantic?: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS a never-before-released Hilary Gardner EP of romantic jazz standards, PLUS a hand-written love letter of thanks. Ooh la la!

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    13 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ‘Tis Better to Give AND Receive: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS an extra copy of The Great City and 2 extra copies of my Christmas CD to give to loved ones. You're so generous.

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    26 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Oh, Happy Day: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS I’ll call and sing “Happy Birthday” for you. You're worth celebrating!

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    6 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Picture Perfect Plus-One: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS an autographed blow-up of the album art, PLUS free entry for you & a guest to any gig of mine. I can't wait to meet you!

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Why Yes, I Do Take Requests: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS I’ll thank you from onstage at one of my shows AND perform a jazz standard of your choice (which we'll discuss in advance). Oh, AND you'll get a thank-you in the album liner notes. You are a VIP, after all.

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    2 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Paint the Town: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS you & a friend will be on the guest list for all of my gigs...for a whole year! It's really fun to say, "We're on the guest list." Not in NYC year-round? Well, the next time you ARE here, I'm taking you to a favorite New York haunt for coffee and conversation.

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    0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Can I Come Over?: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS I will do a performance in your home (if you live outside the NYC area, you’ll need to provide travel & lodging for me & another musician). We're good at parties.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Hey, Big Spender: You'll receive all of the above, PLUS you will be credited as Executive Producer in the album liner notes. You’ve always wanted to be in the music business, right?

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (33 days)