Nancy King

Nancy was originally from Springfield, Oregon and came to San Francisco’s jazz scene in the early 1960’s. Sonny King was her future partner and she met him at the Jazz Workshop. For two years, they headlined Monday night at the Workshop. She also worked in San Francisco with John Handy, Vince Guaraldi and Flip Nunez. Jon Hendricks was another major influence. Nancy was part of the Playboy Club circuit in ’66 and 1967. She also performed as a Las Vegas production singer. In C. Smalls and Company led by Charlie Smalls (who later wrote the music for “The Wiz”), she joined. She took a break in the 1970’s from touring and settled in Eugene, Oregon, to raise her sons. She sang weekends in the Benson Hotel lounge in Portland, with future jazz stars Ralph Towner and David Friesen. Nancy King’s first recording was “First Date”, which featured Steve Wolfe, a saxophonist on Inner City. Ray Brown, Jack Sheldon and Frank Strazzeri joined them in the studio. The release of the record was celebrated at Michael’s Pub, New York City. Bill Evans, a great pianist, stopped by to play a few songs. Nancy has performed at the Town Hall in NYC, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and many European festivals with Glen Moore (bassist of the internationally-respected ensemble “Oregon”). They have released three albums together as King and Moore, beginning with “Impending Bloom” 1991. Downbeat Magazine gave the cd five stars and “Potato radio”, the next release, five stars. “Cliff Dance”, a 1994 release, was released. Nancy and Steve ChristoffersonMeanwhile, Nancy had been performing locally and along the West Coast with pianist/composer Steve Christofferson since 1978. They released “Perennial”, a duo album, in 1993. It featured guest appearances from Ralph Towner, David Frishberg, and Leroy Vinnegar. Nancy and Steve performed at festivals across France, Israel, the U.S. and Canada in the mid-90s. Mons Records released “Straight Into Your Heart” in 1997, recorded in Holland. It featured Nancy and Steve along with the fifty-one-piece Metropole Orchestra. Nancy was reunited in 1998 with Ray Brown, who released “Some Of My Best Friends Are Singers”, (Telarc), which featured vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater and Kevin Mahogany as well as Diana Krall, Marlena Shaw and Etta Jones. In January 1999, the recording reached #1 on Gavin Jazz Charts. Nancy toured Italy in February 1999 with John Stowell, and then toured Europe in March 1999 with the Ray Brown Trio. Nancy and Steve Christofferson performed at the Telluride Festival, Colorado in 1999 with Tom Wakeling. They then flew to Bulgaria for the Bansko International Jazz Festival. A recording of Portland-based pianist Randy Porter entitled Modern Reflections featured her. In 2000 Stellar Records released Dream Lands, a compilation featuring duet recordings with Steve Christofferson. This was a Canadian Broadcast Corporation commission. In 2000, performances included a concert in Chicago with Karrin Alyson and a gig with the Oregon Symphony that featured the orchestral arrangements of “Straight Into Your Heart”. A collaboration with Elvis Costello in London’s Royal Albert Hall (“The Fire At Keaton’s bar”)

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