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Jazz Singer Nancy Shallman

$10 Cover @ the Door / Start 7:30pm / Doors 7pm

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Nancy Shallman brings many years of performing experience to her singing of Jazz Standards and original compositions.   Born in Davenport Iowa she grew up across the Mississippi River in Rock Island Illinois where she performed in local Blues, Funk and Rock groups, though early on she was especially drawn to the improvisational quality of Jazz. She was influenced by Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Ursula Dudziak and Flora Purim in those days and used her voice in unison with Lewis Corelis’ keyboard in the Midwest progressive Rock Band she wrote and sang for called “River”.  When River broke up she continued singing with Coleman Harris’ “Something For the People” a local R&B band, and a Jazz  group called “The Hot Lunch Program”. All along the way Nancy was listening and learning from favorite records - Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughn and all the other stuff going on at the time. She was learning that way since up until that point she had not studied music formally.  

Nancy considered herself a visual artist and was pursuing that direction when the exciting fun of collaborating and performing with musicians changed her course.  She left home to go to the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock New York. CMS was inspired by Ornette Coleman’s Ideas about improvising and she heard sounds there that were completely different.  She had seen an ad for it in the back of a magazine she bought at a head shop in 1978.  It looked interesting, cool and she borrowed a friend’s 1967 Volvo and drove east. CMS introduced her to musicians and friends that would last a lifetime and it brought her to Boston a few years later.  She met saxophonist Allan Chase who had also attended CMS that same summer and they became friends and played gigs together in her first few years in Boston.  

“Living in Boston in the late 70’s and being a singer and working minimum wage jobs was difficult, especially in a town where most of the young people from out of town were students.  It was odd being a “Townie” and not being from Boston. 
So what to do? Go to music school.  How’s that for an idea? I had a dream that I would go to The New England Conservatory so a few days later, I auditioned and believe it or not, I got in, it was just as sudden as that, I didn’t read music and I was going to New England Conservatory this serious classical music school.”   

While at NEC Nancy won a Down Beat Magazine Student Music Award for Outstanding Performance - Jazz Voice, played gigs and recitals with Allan Chase and with Bruce Barth, Randy Porter and Joel Weisskopf on piano, David Rumpler Mark Michaels and Rick Schilling, on guitar and many others.  

In the years that followed came a move to New York City to continue singing and studying Jazz. She has for many years taught voice and coached singers in Staten Island where she lives and where she and husband Peter Yourke raised their two sons.  Peter Yourke is a pianist and composer and they have collaborated on many projects including: “Peanut Butter and Jelly Fish” a CD with Matt Wilson on Drums, Ben Sher on Guitar, Peter Yourke on Piano and Hans Glawischnig on Bass. 


Allan Chase - saxophones

David Rumpler- piano

Mark Michaels - guitar

Dave Clark - acoustic bass

Bob Christman - drums

Earlier Event: January 29
The Fringe
Later Event: January 31
Madeleine & Salomon