Born in Minneapolis MN, Jill spent her childhood and teen years in Canada. She is a graduate of Humber College in Toronto, having majored in jazz performance and arranging under the tutelage of Ron Collier, who himself had served as arranger to Duke Ellington in the 70s. While in Toronto she performed regularly with her ensembles in the city's top venues, including George's Spaghetti House and the Montreal Bistro.
Upon being awarded a Canada Council Grant, she made the move to New York City where she attended the New School, and as part of their jazz program studied with Richie Beirach, Jim Hall, Kenny Werner and Hal Galper.
Shortly after completing her studies at the New School, the Jill McCarron Quintet won first place in the Cognac Hennessy Jazz Competition, which led to a spot in the national finals in Los Angeles. In 1993 she was a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. In 1995 she secured first place in the 13th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition, in Jacksonville, FL, whose judges included Horace Silver and Renee Rosnes. She was noted in a subsequent article for her "deeply rooted jazz sensibility".
Jill has worked and toured with such notable artists as the great trumpeter Randy Brecker, alto saxist Vincent Herring, tenor saxist Don Braden, guitarist Russel Malone, bassists Harvie S. and Jay Leonhart, among many others.
Venues have included Dizzy's Jazz Club at Lincoln Center, Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel, Smalls Jazz Club, Mezzrow, The Blue Note, Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, and the Iridium. She was resident pianist at the prestigious Harvard Club of NYC for many years, playing American Songbook, classical piano and performing with her jazz trio. She was also featured twice on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, once as a solo guest in November of 1993, and again in November of 2009 with Randy Brecker's quintet.
Jill continues to be in demand in the NYC area as a jazz artist, as well as for solo piano and vocals in clubs and for private engagements.