I'm passionate about depth. What that means to me is the pleasure of the learning, exploring, developing & expanding is my most vital motivation in life. The prospect of arriving at a perceived mastery is less of a focus than the intent of the mastering, which is an equation that keeps me felling purposeful & in integrity; however, this sometimes appears confusing to my friends... sorry friends!


But I am here (on the internet) to show you that I also care about connection, and am doing my best to be available. That being said, this website is my effort to show up as intimately, authentically and yet as concisely as possible.

 I sincerely hope I have provided you the information that you have come here to find!


ENTER TOUCH EP 2015 (self-published)


"inherently cosmic and playful...seriousness and heaviness in the harmony and lyric... It is pop— melody. It is cosmic— harmony."

- Jeff Ratner

"A personal story; About decisions made, dreams had and wanted to become reality."

- Ab Bars 

"Ila's songs sound like no one else's; they unfold curiously and beautifully, following their own inner logic. It's accessible, imaginative, kinetic, slightly twisted, and always evocative music, a little left of "reality."

- Aaron Parks

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GREY 2014 (self-published)


"Cantor’s trademark melodies grace every tune. They seem simple enough... but they take unusual, bracingly beautiful turns, opening up unexpected emotional vistas. Underpinning these melodic gems are prismatic harmonies, built on sonic layers of synth and guitar and wordless vocalizings, capable of subdividing the subtlest emotions... The entire album is a conscious work of art that gives voice to artless intuitions."

-Mel Minter, Musically Speaking

MOTHER NEBULA 2008 (Fresh Sound New talent)

"Careening through an all-original program of chunky sci-fi anthems, squealing high-speed collisions and delicately crafted downtempo numbers, Cantor sets up catchy rhythmic patterns and launches lines skyward, flaring like Roman candles. Saxophonist Frederick Carlquist parries with quick honking bursts or joins in soft-edged reveries, as Cantor carves out a uniquely personal and engaging niche somewhere between slashing aggression and brooding melancholy."

- Forest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times

CREATURE 2010 (Najulda Records)

"Although grounded in jazz, Ila’s music and playing challenges our contemporary categories of music. Her guitar speaks for itself. At a moment of great ferment and interplay among all kinds of music – highbrow and pop, West and East, rock and jazz, alternative and mainstream, straight and out-there – her work stands out for its compelling originality and musical integrity." 

- David Weisberg, Co-founder of Najulda Records 


Newest Release


2017 (self-published)

available on Bandcamp


most desirably on Patreon



ila cantor


Ila has performed and toured extensively within the jazz and contemporary improviser’s scene worldwide. She has recorded multiple albums and has been awarded grants from the Van Leir Fellowships and the Open Arts Foundation for merit in composition. She has been commissioned to write original chamber music, as well as produce soundtracks for documentaries and feature films.


As a lively teacher, Ila has led multiple workshops, masterclasses, ensembles, and private lessons on jazz, improvising, guitar, and composition in institutions such as Stanford Jazz, Frank Sinatra High School, as well as private establishments internationally.


Ila has been known to make music that challenges genres as she skillfully brings playfulness into sophisticated settings.