Ilona Knopfler made a strong impression with her 2005 recording for Mack Avenue, Live the Life. She was born in Paris to a mother who sang and a father who was a pianist. Knopfler began singing very early, performing at the age of six at the opening of a major hotel in Hong Kong. She traveled around the world with her parents. At 15 she was working as a backup singer for a rock band in Hong Kong when she discovered jazz. She spent three years singing with a trio and occasionally with two big bands at a Hong Kong jazz club. At 18, Knopfler moved to New York City for five years where she studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Since then, she has alternated between living in Atlanta and Paris. Her debut recording for Mack Avenue, Some Kind of Wonderful, features her interpreting rock and pop songs in jazz settings, while 2005's Live the Life has her joined by an all-star jazz group performing jazz standards.