Out of My Dreams
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 a child. 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 since 1989 and at La Tosca in San Carlos since 1992. 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. Some past reviews: Sunset Magazine, ' Palo Alto - 100 Years of Rectitude' by Peter Fish - 'If you're in the mood tor a setting more sultry than you thought you'd find in Palo Alto, one of our favorite ways to spend a Saturday evening is listening to chanteuse Nancy Gilliland work her wiles on Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart at Maddalena's Cafe Fino (544 Emerson, 650-326-6082).' San Jose Mercury News - Peninsula Living, 'Carrying on the Torch' by Tom Scanlon - 'Gilliland is a torch singer in an era of disposable lighters, a martini with an olive in the age of light beer. She relates more to Garbo than to Oprah, to Ella more than Madonna. Give her Rodgers and Hart. And Cole Porter. And Duke Ellington. And George Gershwin.. The songs she sings go way, way back, to when movie stars dressed in tuxes and gowns.' Peninsula Times Tribune - 'Making Musical Memories' by Michelle Nolan - 'Nancy Gilliland has been called the best-kept secret on the Peninsula. Actually, she's the best-kept secret of the decade. The question is, which decade? What makes her act even more effective is that she doesn't try to pretend she's singing during the '40s. She can belt out all the old standards (and some you don't hear often), but along with each song, she provides a fitting little history lesson about the period or the composer, citing facts even those who were around then might have forgotten or never knew.' Palo Alto Weekly - 'Sophisticated Lady' by Susan Kallop - '...she's a modern chanteuse who is happiest when she's singing sad, heartfelt love songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s.. but it's the voice ---the breathy, sultry voice---that hearkens back to an era of speakeasies and a world war, a time when people wanted to know that other folks had problems too.'