In a world hungry for emotional and spiritual depth, Pilar is a rare artist capable of touching the hearts and souls of all who hear her sing. She is nothing short of extraordinary.
- Gary Remal Malkin, Emmy-award winning composer & recording artist
With courageous sensuality, Pilar explores the interior of each song like she's brushing her lips against the nape of your neck. It's something you cannot pull yourself away from -- and why would you want to? Experiencing Pilar is to be transported inward, as if to the very furnaces of passion. And count yourself lucky that she is willing to take you there.
- Gordon Whiting, songwriter & recording artist
What hits me most about Pilar is that her great strength is in her interpretation. Along with the great artists like Billie Holliday, Lena Horne, or Ella Fitzgerald, Pilar delivers this quality in spades. Pilar is one of the best singers we have today.
- Fred Catero, legendary recording engineer for Barbra Streisand, Count Basie Band, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, and numerous others
Hearing Pilar perform is a profound and passionate experience to be savored!
- Shakti Gawain, best-selling author of Creative Visualization
Pilar is The High Priestess of Love.
- Matt Stafford, Pacific Sun newspaper
With a strong Latin influence and easy, lusty grooves, this CD (FIERCE JOY) of primarily love songs is sure to be strong in the smooth jazz market as well as a great gift idea for a romantic partner.
- Michael Handler, JazzWest.com
Singer/Songwriter Pilar performs an evening of sultry rhythm and blues with jazz / latin overtones and spiritual wisdom. This is the kind of music that sits deep in your core and provokes your senses. Pilar's music and lyrics are sexy, intelligent and penetrating. Pilar has "it" and her clear tone will take your breath away.
- Mary Beth Kedzior
If you like sexy, if you like power, if you like drama, if you like real, then Pilar is for you.
Her singing and music (songs) heal the body and evolve the soul. Attending a concert feeds you something you've always been looking for but didn't know.
Her music penetrates to the core and impacts your cellular structure.
- Acrisa Laughing Wolf, Owner / Creator of Laughing Wolf Productions
Tonight I saw Pilar for the first time at the CD release party for Lavender, her album of standards (well, some of them are treasures that should be standards). I’ve heard about her. I’ve noticed the reverent tone people use when they speak of her. What’s that about, I wondered? She’s a good singer, very good, but really…?
Okay, so I’m a believer now. Here’s my take on it.
Pilar was given some gifts. Born in Mexico City, she was delivered with the gift of words, a great voice, and a smile that could totally deal with California’s energy crisis. The girl’s gorgeous and has talent coming out of her ears – no way around it.
So, on the eve of her shot at the Johnny Carson show, on April 12, 1980, she retired from show business because she wasn’t the person she thought she could be. I have no idea what that was all about. That doesn’t really matter now. But it actually was a gift too. Hopefully, everyone will hit the bottom like that and have the courage to “let’s stop for a damn minute and refocus here.”
So, the thing that comes after the gifts is – work.
Pilar spent years honing her relationship to words and became an incredible songwriter. She also developed the ability to take other people’s words and make them more than her own, but universal in a new way. When she sings, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” it has nothing to do with Ava Peron or Argentina. It’s an access to humility and allowing yourself to be loved. When she sings, “It Was A Very Good Year,” it’s not about the wizening of a boy-into-man as told through his relationships with women at different ages. It’s a plea to savor life and be aware of its joys. When she sings “Alfie,” it’s an anthem (as she said it had been for her as a kid) to live a life on integrity and generosity. Someday, I’ll write about her original songs. They’re huge.
Pilar also worked on that great gift of voice. Her chops as a singer are incredible. She can do anything. She has become quite a figure in the Bay Area’s vocal world, with students lining up around the block for her coaching and workshops. She teaches technique (of course) but more importantly, the ability to be free as you sing and as you live.
Ah, but now let’s look at the work Pilar did on that amazing smile. With her gifts, there was a path of inevitability before her. Thousands of young singers, equally gifted, work both themselves and their support groups to the bone to achieve some taste of fame and wealth that successful musical career can offer. A few make it. Some of them are wonderful. But that’s what Pilar retired form in 1980. That smile of hers is not one coached on to her lovely face by a manager with dollar signs tattooed on his eyelids. She has earned it – paid dearly for it – and now it’s the gift she gives to all around her. And it’s the thing that makes her music so valuable to her devoted fans.
I don’t know how she has paid; and again, it isn’t important. She has paid and did whatever it took to become the person she decided she should be. Then she had the courage to actually BE that person! Look around you. How many people do you know that have done that? Really? What that smile represents is an intense, absolutely huge integrity. In her years of retirement, she created a new Pilar. And with her re-emergence in the last few years, she has successfully committed herself to actually BEING that Pilar. She means it. She’s fierce. That’s what the title song of her CD “Fierce Joy” is all about.
I am in the music business. I hear hundreds of great singers every year. I saw Ella, for Pete’s sake! But very rarely do any of us ever really get to witness someone actually BEING themselves so magnificently, and with so much integrity. Some people with that level of integrity write books or lead movements. What distinguishes Pilar from David Brower or Grace Paley or John Cage or Fyodor Dostoyevshi or Nelson Mandella is her songs. As a singer, she’s in the same hall of fame as Bobby McFerrin, Bruce Springsteen, Rhiannon, Bob Dylan and Billie Holiday in my book.
This concert was more than a CD release party. It was a birthday party for Pilar. Twenty one years ago to the day, she called a halt to the life that she had been developing on automatic pilot. Here, she was in a room of people who loved her as her created self.
At the end – the very end (after the encore) – Pilar did something extraordinary. She said, “I just want to stand here and be with all of you and your love so I won’t go home tonight and hurt myself for the (technical) mistakes I made. It’s so terrifying to be so open. When I do it, it’s so incredible, so I do it. But it’s terrifying. I just want to stand here and feel your love…” And just at the moment it was becoming maybe just a teensy bit sappy, she broke into laughter and said, “My God, this sounds like Sally Field!!” But there was that integrity again. She shared something with her audience that almost nobody ever does. And all performers feel it. Her humor diffused it for us and unleashed a waterfall of affirmations from her devoted fans. Wonderful for her, but also a powerful metaphor for all of us.
We heard some great music tonight. We all were touched. Our lives were enriched. But the best thing of the whole night was that we got to watch Pilar be Pilar.
That’s what it’s all about, Alfie.
- Russ Jennings, Russ Jennings Productions
Wow! That has to be the coolest website ever! And those photos in 7s, I just love them. I love the colors, the interaction, the song choice, the blog(!), it's all incredible, tidy, clear and gorgeous. Best I've ever seen. You should be thrilled, worth the wait for sure.
It was so profoundly moving and powerful to hear you sing again, and to sit so close to you and feel the intensity and immensity of your offering. You are such a sign of empowerment and openness! I love how open and free and passionate you are. Your voice is more exquisite than ever. Your new songs became immediately engraved in my memory as favorites, and my mirror neurons just love to watch you. It feels so healing to see you perform. I'm very grateful I had this precious opportunity.
Your presence, your musical and emotional courage and risk taking - have always been a lodestar for me. Thank you for this continuance.
Pilar has one of the most amazing presences and vocal flair of incandescence that I have ever heard. To hear her, to be guided by her as a teacher . . . heaven. She transforms the world with music and is a Priestess of Song. If you are called to develop as a singer, or songwriter, I highly recommend her.
- Francesca Gentille