Elena Gilliam

For over 20 years, Elena Gilliam has been delighting audiences in Southern California. Her jazz sound is distinctive and smooth. Elena is a gifted singer who has become a top performer. Her voice is clear and elegant with subtle nuances from her favorite singers (Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald to name a few). This professional singer has been praised by Music magazine and the LA Times. Elena’s voice is sure to captivate and amaze you, no matter if she sings “timeless classics” of current pop music. Her new CD, Moments In Time, is a showcase of her sound talent. It was recorded with George J. Gilliam, her husband as jazz guitarist. George was the musical director and producer of the CD. He brought together some of Elena’s favourite tunes over the years with a group of renowned musicians. She is one of the most respected jazz Divas today. Elena delights all audiences and has performed at many venues, including the Hyatt Newporter Jazz festival, Spaghettini’s Grill and Jazz Club, Seal Beach, Twin Palms Jazz Series, Newport Beach and Pasadena and Top of Laguna and Genkai Jazz Series’s in Laguna Beach, Hermosa Beach Lighthouse and many others! Elena will entertain you whether she is performing with George’s amazing Quartet, a duo or with a big band. Elena was born in New Jersey and moved to Southern California when she was in her 20s, looking for new challenges. She went to college in Pennsylvania, which gave her the opportunity to experience independence. She stayed in Pennsylvania, where she worked as a social worker in an underserved area. Elena decided she wanted more so she moved west to pursue her true passion, music. Elena was offered a job at the University of California Irvine, where she continues to work today. She also became a voice student and joined the Charles Rutherford Big Band. Her most memorable performing moment was her first. Elena says, “That was when I realized what I was meant for!” She met the guitarist of the band after her first concert performance. He had just arrived from New Orleans. He loved her music and was starting a band. Since then, they have been in love and music together. George J. Gilliam knew Elena had a talent that “no one could touch.” He and Elena have performed together since then, helping Elena grow to be a top vocalist. George and Elena didn’t just value music. They wanted to start their own family. Elena developed complications that delayed their dream. They finally had a baby after many years of treatment and surgery. Elena was 37 when she had her beautiful daughter thanks to a skilled surgeon. Elena had to put music down when Alesha was born. Elena says, “I have a lot of respect for singers who manage to raise children and maintain their careers. It’s quite a challenge. Alesha is now a teenager and I am looking forward to recommitting more time to my first love ……singing. My debut CD is my first. I was always a late bloomer. God has truly blessed us and I look forward to performing for many years to come.” from http://www.gilliammusic.net

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