ilona knopfler

ilona knopfler

 Stratford, Connecticut, USA
BandJazzAdult Contemporary

"She eloquently alternates the harmonic rhythm, supportive and interactive comping and soloist's viewpoint in French and English with seamless ease and professionalism." AllMusic "Elegant and stylish delivery of passionate lyrics.Jazzy sounds complemented by a sultry and melodic voice."CelebrityCafé


Born in France and raised in a musical family (her mother was a singer, her father a pianist and her mother’s accompanist), Ilona had traveled the world by the time she was in pre-school. That early exposure to the world’s cultures finds its expression on “Live the Life,” on which Ilona sings in both English and French (she’s equally fluent in both) and which was recorded in both Paris and New York. Among the more than 30 musical artists who contributed their talents to “Live the Life” are Alain Mallet on piano, James Genus and Rufus Reed on bass, Marty Ashby on guitar, Paquito D’Rivera on clarinet, and Mack Avenue label-mate Sean Jones on trumpet, as well as a string section and Simon Shaheen on oud .

“Live the Life” highlights the purity of Ilona’s voice, emphasizes her eclectic stylistic abilities and pairs her with a world panoply of supporting players. The result is a lush, atmospheric collection that, in Ilona’s own words, “is a tribute to my unconditional love of music.”
Although she was born in Paris, Ilona’s parents’ gigs took them and their young daughter all over the world, eventually bringing them to Hong Kong, where a six-year-old Ilona took the stage for the first time. By the time she was 15, she was singing professionally as a back-up singer for a rock band in Hong Kong. Her affinity for jazz led her to perform with small groups and big bands at the famous Jazz Club in Hong Kong, quickly becoming a house favorite. When she turned 18, Knopfler set off for New York City, where she lived for five years, and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

She signed with Mack Avenue in 2003, releasing her debut, “Some Kind of Wonderful” that same year. The CD, on which Ilona interpreted pop tunes of the 60’s and 70’s with a jazz flavor, was lauded as “a courageous journey through the heart of pop music,” and “a promising debut,” and critics noted that Ilona had “the instincts of a fine jazz vocalist” and was “someone to watch in the years to come.”


Some Kind Of Wonderful
Live The Life

Past Live Performances include:
The Blue Note(NY), The Jazz Standard(NY), The Green Mill(IL), Sculler's(MA), The Firefly(MI), Baker's Keyboard Lounge(MI), Nightown(OH), The Friar's Club(NY), The Cutting Room(NY),

Festivals: The Detroit Jazz Fest, The Syracuse Jazz Fest, The Harrisburg Jazz Fest, The Scranton Jazz Fest, The Indianapolis Jazz Fest,

Set List

A 45min set would look something like this:

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Alone Together
Les Moulins de mon Coeur
One Note Samba
Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Round Midnight