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Ila Cantor


lla Cantor (b. 1984) is a young dynamic award-winning guitarist and composer currently living in Oakland.

Her training – in composition, and jazz and classical guitar – is wide and impressive: the New School University in New York; the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada; in Spain with renowned Argentine composer and pianist Guillermo Klein; and with mentors such as John Scofield, John Abercrombie and Ben Monder.

Ila has toured and played internationally, as both a sideman – with Aaron Parks, Steve Cardenas, Reid Anderson, Les Paul, and others — and leader, throughout the U.S. and Spain. Her first cd, Mother Nebula (Fresh Sound Records), was released in 2006.

A prolific composer, Ila’s music has been featured in the award-winning films “Horizons” and “Blast.” In 2009 she received the prestigious Van Lier Fellowship Award, honoring young composers from New York City, and in 2010 she was awarded a grant from the Open Arts Foundation.

Although grounded in jazz, Ila’s music and playing challenges our contemporary categories of music. Her guitar speaks for itself. At a moment of great ferment and interplay among all kinds of music – highbrow and pop, West and East, rock and jazz, alternative and mainstream, straight and out-there – her work stands out for its compelling originality and musical integrity.