Helen Gillet, looped cello, voice and electronics plays original compositions and French jazz. Helen Gillet was just voted best in Contemporary Jazz in New Orleans Gambit Big Easy Music Awards and given a four star review in Downbeat Magazine for her latest recording "Running of the Bells". Whether she’s performing solo, in intimate new ‘chamber music’ settings, or going full throttle with various jazz-driven ensembles, Gillet has been described as having “a Mingus like passion both as a player and as a band leader, often coaxing energy and lifting the spirits into dynamic and dazzling displays of artistry.” by Michael Dominici (WWOZ New Orleans Radio DJ)
New orleans based cellist, singer, composer and improviser Helen Gillet grew up in Belgium, Singapore, Chicago and Wisconsin. Gillet has forged a path for the cello in the New Orleans music scene since her arrival in 2002. She has performed extensively across the United States and Western Europe.
Beginning cello lessons at the age of nine, Gillet has taken her classical education all the way to a Master’s Degree (Beloit College ’00, Loyola University New Orleans ’04). Her training as an improviser began with North Indian Hindustani vocal ragas in 1998, which launched her into the worlds of free improvisation, jazz, funk, rock and French chansons. Gillet recently performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Hindsgavl Festival in Denmark, Mirano Oltre Festival in Italy and at the Kennedy Center Center in Washington D.C.
Gillet has two self-released albums out: “Newton Circus” (2009) by her French chansons all string band Wazozo, and “Running of the Bells” (2011), an instrumental album by the “Helen Gillet Trio” with Tim Green (saxophone) and Doug Garrison (drums). Running of the Bells received a four-star review in the October 2011 issue of Downbeat magazine. Her new solo record is scheduled for release in June of 2012.