Frederick C.Tillis was born in Galveston, Texas on January 5, 1930.
His catalog includes more than 150 compositions and commissions, spanning both jazz and classical European traditions in various media - symphony orchestra, jazz, instrumental, choral, chamber music, and vocal works. Melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic textures reflect elements of various musics of the world, including Asian and Western cultural backgrounds.
Dr.Tillis has written thirteen books of poetry. Among his honors and
awards are several commissions,as well as grants from the Rockefeller
Foundation, the National endowment for the Arts,the United Negro College Fund, the Commonwealth Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and The Distinguished Faculty Lecturer's Award at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
As a jazz saxophonist, he has traveled with the Tillis-Holmes Jazz
Duo and the Tradewinds jazz Ensemble to Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,Poland, the former Soviet Union, Switzerland, and Turkey. In addition, he was artist in residence in South Africa, Japan, and Thailand.
Song For Sister Hokkaido (2008) is a piece written for Brass Quintet and Latin Percussion that combines western European harmonic and melodic vocabulary, Jazz rhythmic figures and Latin American pulse and cultural nuances. A cultural mixture and brew of American, Asian, Latin and western European flavors. (World premiere)