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When singer Lillian Boutté was named "New Orleans Musical Ambassador" in 1986, she was the second jazz legend in the city's history to be accorded this honor - the first having been none other than Louis Armstrong.

It has always been Lillian's driving desire to bring the musical heartbeat of her home town nearer to the ears of the world. Over a period of 15 years and with the help of 17 albums featuring jazz, pop, blues, soul and gospel, she has succeeded in conveying the city's unique atmosphere to an international audience.
During the last 13 years, she has been touring almost nonstop, doing concerts, club dates and festivals all over the world.
Music was Lillian's life right from the start. At the tender age of 11, she won her first singing contest. During her musical studies at New Orleans' Xavier University, she sang in the gospel choir, before being discovered by Allen Toussaint, who used her as a background singer when producing the likes of James Booker, Patti Labelle, the Neville Brothers, the Pointer Sisters and Dr. John.
Then she went on a five-year world tour as an actor, singer and dancer in the musical "One Mo' Time". At the same time, she made her first solo recordings, and could be seen in two movies: alongside Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and Tuts Washington in the critically-acclaimed Stevenson-Pallifi documentary "Piano Players Barely Play Together", and in a bit part in Alan Parker's "Angel Heart". Together with blues legend Brownie McGee, she can also be heard on the soundtrack of that movie. Lillian also sang at the Tennessee Williams memorial service in St. Louis cathedral in her native New Orleans, and America's high and mighty were treated to her interpretation of the national anthem in the Superdome.
Lillian Boutté is proud to be friends and to have worked with musical giants like James Booker, Henry Butler, Denny Barker, Allen Toussaint and of course Dr. John, with whom she produced the CDs The Jazz Book in 1993, and But...Beautiful in 1995.
Together with Munich pianist and singer Christian Willisohn, Lillian Boutté recorded the CDs Lipstick Traces , Come Together and her new album You´ve Gotta Love Pops, which will be presented in January 2000.
Critics have compared Lillian Boutté with Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. In Europe, she and her husband Thomas L'Etienne and her band "Music Friends" have already aquired a large following.


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(c) 1998  ART BY HEART  Christian Willisohn  - Last updated on 09.08.06