Lilian Terry in Nice, France

Born in Cairo, Egypt. British-Maltese father. Italian mother. International studies in Cairo, Egypt and Florence, Italy. Today resides between Italy and France.


From the early 1950s, has appeared at concerts, festivals, radio & TV productions in Europe (East & West), USA mainland and Hawaii. Has recorded, among others, with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Drew, Tommy Flanagan, Ed Thigpen, and Von Freeman.

January 2003, at the Midem in Cannes, France, presenting the CD recorded in Chicago "EMOTIONS" (TCB the Montreux Jazz Label).

March 2005, Godmother, Singer and Mistress of Ceremonies at the First "Jazz Ladies' Festival" in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. On that occasion announces her retirement from all musical activities. Download Lilian's jazz repertoire in pdf format.

Pictured above: Lilian Terry in Nice, France, 2015


Lyric writer in English and Italian for leading Italian film composers.

Producer for Jazz shows with RAI, national Italian radio and TV; chose the guest artists and conducted live interviews for her weekly radio programmes dedicated to various aspects of the history and development of jazz world wide. Download a full list of TV programmes.

Through the years she collected a large series of live conversations with historic jazz artists. Download a full list of historic interviews.

In October 1967, she represented Italy at the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree and attended the creation of the European Jazz Federation, where she was elected vice-president of the Division of Education.

During the 1970s-1980s, she represented RAI at the yearly EBU (European Broadcasting Union) International Jazz Quiz, broadcasted live by all member countries. She translated simultaneously from English or French into Italian.

During the 1980s-1990s, she produced and presented a series of successful International Jazz Concerts all over Italy.

She was requested by the educational authorities to hold high-school lectures on the history of Afro-American Music with live jazz music, all over Italy.

In 1983, she created, with Dizzy, the "Dizzy Gillespie Popular School of Music" in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. In 1987, celebrating Gillespie's 70th birthday, the school inaugurated a section dedicated to blind students. It closed its activities in 1996, 3 years after Dizzy passed away.

She has translated into Italian Gillespie's autobiography, To be or not to Bop, as well as various Duke Ellington writings.

In December 2017, the University of Illinois Press published her first book, Dizzy, Duke, Brother Ray and Friends.