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The Merlin Factor
Winnipeg Show

Although Jim Hillman was already well-known in Canadian jazz circles for his work as a drummer (his performance credits include Sonny Greenwich, Oliver Jones, and Ranee Lee), his work as a bandleader/lyricist began to surface when he formed The Merlin Factor.

With the release of their first CD, the group shot into the spotlight by winning The Jazz Report magazine’s"Electric Jazz Group of the Year" (’94), as well as the ’95 JUNO Award for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album". Their second CD, "Frontier Tunes", saw the group receive the nomination for the ’96 JUNO in the same category, and they continued to win the Jazz Report Award (‘95-’96). "Relationships", the group's third CD, was released in 1998, and their fourth offering, "Choose", is now available.

This group has been carefully nurtured to become a unique voice in contemporary jazz that consistently draws attention and critical respect. The range of styles in their music embraces much more than the traditional jazz format: contemporary drum grooves, acoustic piano and occasional synthesizers combining with electric bass and percussion, and the superb vocals of Tuku. The result is eclectic yet accessible, hybrid, and rich in imagination and expression, and audiences are quick to recognize and respond to the group’s humanity and musicality.

Jim Hillman


 Tuku - Vocals

Dave Restivo - Piano, Keyboards

Rich Brown - E-bass

Alan Hetherington - Percussion

Jim Hillman - Drums