Prelude to Romance-Live at the Little Fox
I am Nancy Gilliland, an alto singer and pianist. I interpret songs of the 1920s - 1940s with emotion and sensitivity. The music I loved in my youth is popular again with a new generation: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodgers and Hart, Schwartz and Dietz, etc. Songs made popular by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as well as classic Broadway show tunes are part of my 1,000+ tune repertoire. Older audiences are delighted when I am able to satisfy their requests for rarely performed hits from the past. And through my research, I am able to share anecdotal histories about these songs and their composers. Younger listeners in their 20s, 30s and 40s particularly like my medleys of the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, James Taylor, Patsy Cline, '50s hits and bossa nova favorites. For the really young at heart, I play Sesame Street tunes and Disney classics. I enjoy losing myself in the beauty of a ballad or torch song and can take control of a room with my voice and music. My classical training gives me a vehicle to deliver the full impact of these tunes. Comedy numbers include tunes by Dave Frishberg, Martin Mull, Tom Lehrer and even a tribute to Marlene Dietrich, ending with Mel Brooks' salute to Dietrich from 'Blazing Saddles', 'I'm Tired!' With my incredibly vast and diverse repertoire, I am able to please customers again and again with musical variety and sophistication. Here are some reviews: San Jose Mercury News '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.'