Nancy Gilliland uses her rich alto voice as a perfect instrument to deliver both the mood and the musical message of Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Ellington and other greats of the 20s, 30s and 40s.
Her vocal interpretations emerged
at the age of 28 after an amazing 22 years of performing professionally on piano
and organ. Classically trained by William Sweitzer of Atlanta, Georgia, she
always displayed an affinity for the tunes that filled her home when she was
Since moving to California in 1984, Nancy has become a "fixture" in the San Francisco Bay area music scene, performing at Palo Alto's Cafe Fino for 19 years and currently performing at La Tosca in San Carlos. Audiences have responded enthusiastically to her performances at the San Jose Jazz Festival, Birdland in New York City, and headlining a fundraising concert at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco.
Ruby Keeler, Alice Faye, Kitty Carlisle and Kathryn Grayson are among a long list of entertainers who have applauded Nancy's interpretations of music they made famous. Other notables who have journeyed to Palo Alto and enjoyed Nancy's performances include Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Gene Nelson, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Eddie Bracken, Princess Yasmin Khan, Evelyn Venable, Phil Harris, Peter Bogdonovich and Tippi Hedren.
Composer David Raksin was treated to Nancy's rendition of his classic, "Laura", complete with seldom heard verse and responded by joining in the performance.
Her vast repertoire is constantly expanding and she's able to surprise and delight the most avid music aficionados by singing rarely performed verses of well-known standards and playing obscure melodies of popular composers.