Jeri’s music has roots in many art forms. Though she studied piano, marimba and voice from a young age through college, her song writing and singing career only took off after a first career as sculptor and a second with her 60’s involvement in anti-war, collective theater groups. She then became active in the Women’s Music Network of the 70s performing extensively and recording (A Few Loving Women and Jeritree’s House of Many Colors) on her own Seawave Recordings label, enjoying world-wide exposure.
After teaching music and writing in New York City public schools and colleges for 20 years, she continues to compose and sing solo as well as with small ensembles that work out of her Manhattan recording studio. Her colorful and textural compositions and mixes, showing that early sculptor’s hand, also have a dramatic drive; a novel, poetry, plays and analytical writings have been published in (among many others) Chicago Review and Peoples’ Theater in America and by New Victoria, Mari, 1990.
Holly Near: in “Art & Activism: Women’s Music”
“Hundreds of women have participated in creating music that tells a rich and diverse story about what it means to be a woman. It is impossible for me to make a complete list. I simply want to name as many as I can so that we do not forget the huge effort made in the ’70s and ’80s to strengthen the role of women in music, whether we worked in the mainstream or alternative music industry.” Jeri is listed along with Beverly Grant, Kay Gardner, Alix Dobkin, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Indigo Girls and Isis ( Lauren Draper, featured trumpet player in Talking Truth,, was part of the original Isis women’s band). See the full list
About Jeri’s sculpture: “…When you enter it is clear there is someone come, no longer a woman, not wiry warm quick flesh but a makeshift holy artifact moving on the blank face of the dark as on a river…” – Marge Piercy, poet “Jeriann’s Hands,” Hard Loving, Wesleyan University Press, l969
“Jeri Hilderley is Woman-Stirred!” – Woman-Stirred Radio
“To hear Jeri sing is like being re-born in music. She reminds us of things forgotten, and things still to yield shape … a true and living artist, soaring and disciplined, angry and healing, new and age-old. To label what she does is to confine it.” – Padma Hejmadi, author
About Jeritree’s House of Many Colours: “The music is avant-garde, improvisational as well as compositional…One might call it “classical,” another “jazz.” It could be either or both, but I think it defies classification…” – Kay Gardner, composer, in Paid My Dues
“To hear the songs of Jeri is to be carried out of oneself into some wholly new and remarkable time and place. There is no one like her, and no one now writing songs whose work stays with me the way hers does.” – Nancy Willard, author
“Her songs are playful yet fierce and unflinching, dark yet idealistic…” – Jerome Badanes, author
About 12 Meditations on Love: “The 12 Meditations are beautiful! We loved the songs and instrumentation and fell under their spell.” – E. and N. Lindbloom, writer and photographer
About 12 Meditations on Love: “Perhaps the most original and unique instrumental and vocal sounds you will ever hear. The songs are captivating and so creative. We highly recommend this CD and guarantee that you don’t have anything else like it in your CD collection.” – Cris and Beth Bengis.
About 12 Meditations on Love: “The mixing really is an accomplishment….What wonderful instrumental ensembles you work with; the flute, clarinet and sax sound so well together with your voice, as well as the really clever marimba and vibes touches.” – Sorrel Hayes, opera composer
About 12 Meditations on Love: “The cd is very much an ode to love….One of the nicest aspects: women and love for women.…The painfulness of love lost is a commonality. I will listen to the cd often.” – Kathy Durkin, journalist and political analyst/activist
About Talking Truth: “I am so impressed with your cd. I understand a (small) bit of what it takes to put that all together and it is really unbelievable.” – Jodi Miller, graphic designer