TOM VAITSAS—ACOUSTIC PIANO AND FENDER RHODES
DAVID HILLIKER BIO
Born into a musical family in upstate New York and having two older brothers who toured and recorded with Brother Jack McDuff, drummer David Hilliker had music all around him. Early studies with David Chitambar back in New York led to studies later in life with the legendary Ed Thigpen and John Von Ohlen. Having performed all around the Midwest, he has also had opportunity to play with jazz artists such as Melvin Rhyne, Joey DeFrancesco, Bill Heid, Pat Bianchi, Dave Stryker, John Clayton, Benny Green, Joe Beck, Ali Ryerson, and legendary tenor saxophonists George Coleman and Von Freeman. His attitude toward the music and the role of the drum chair is to “lay down the groove, swing hard, stay out of the way and make the rest of the band sound better”.
TOM VAITSAS BIO
The Chicago Reader refers to pianist Tom Vaitsas as a “local great” who is “massively resourceful.” Tom is one of the most – if not the most – in-demand pianists and keyboardists in Chicago, performing every night and most days. He is a frequent collaborator and arranger, being an essential part of many projects.
He has performed with an extensive amount of notable musicians, a small sampling including: Von Freeman, Victor Goines, Buddy Guy, Chuck Webb Band, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hubert Sumlin, Paul Marinaro, Frank D’Rone, The New Standard Quintet, Abigail Riccards, Bobbi Wilsyn, Tammy McCann, Duke Payne, Jimmy Owens, Willie Kent, Pinetop Perkins, Red Holt, Richie Cole, Doc Severinsen and toured Europe multiple times with the great blues artists Carrie and Lurie Bell. Tom also plays extensively in Chicago’s Greek music scene.