jazz vocalist and guitarist
Photographer: Jose Soto
Nancy Goudinaki, the extraordinary up and coming jazz vocalist and guitarist, is ready to take center stage! Hailing from Greece, Nancy G., as she is referred to, in the Jazz world, now lives and performs in the greater New York City area. At the precocious age of 8, Nancy knew that she wanted to pursue music, and learned how to play classical guitar. Nine years later, she continued her studies with master classical guitarist, Costas Cotsiolis, and received her degree in Musicology and diploma with honors in classical guitar. Nancy’s career as a vocalist began when Lakis Tzimkas, an accomplished Greek bassist, discovered her tantalizingly, silky voice and chose her as a feature vocalist for his new band. While in Greece, Nancy G. performed as a vocalist in local jazz venues, restaurants, hotels and private functions, both in Athens and in her hometown, Thessaloniki.
After receiving her B.A. in Music/Fine Arts in 2007 from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, Nancy G. moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a professional jazz vocalist and composer. She has studied with a plethora of accomplished vocalists including jazz pioneer JD Walter, jazz composer and lyricist Miles Griffith, Cynthia Scott (member of the legendary Ray Charles vocal group, "The Raelettes"), and Barry Harris (recipient of the 1998 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award).
Her debut album titled, "I Wanna Be Your Star" (the English translation of Nancy's first original song written in Greek) with pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Dwayne Burno, saxophonist JD Allen, and drummer Rudy Royston, featuring special guests- vocalist Miles Griffith, bassist Richie Goods and percussionist Daniel Sadownick, was released on January 6, 2014 and has been met with unprecedented success. Since its release, the title track “I Wanna Be Your Star”, has earned a # 2 spot on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Top Jazz Adds Chart in the USA and in Canada. In 2014, Nancy G. was also privileged to have her music reviewed and featured in several critically acclaimed jazz magazines, both nationally and internationally. Mr. Constance Tucker, from All About Vocals, wrote: “Goudinaki soars on guitar, her eloquence and virtuosity is immediately evident. Goudinaki has an airy light voice, that commands wonderful control. Her voice exudes femininity, which is a very pleasing virtue and makes her singing that much more appealing.” And it is Nancy’s scintillating voice that has captured the Jazz World. Recently, on November 30 the Grammy-nominated vocalist, Mrs. Jane Monheit, invited Nancy G. to perform as a guest vocalist at the legendary Birdland in New York City. Citing the Birdland invitation as one of the highlights of her career, Nancy G. continually seeks out opportunities to hone her craft as a guitarist and vocalist.
Reminiscing on her arduous journey thus far, Nancy G. recalls her "ah-ha" moment. She was 15 years old when she first heard and fell in love with “The First Lady of Song”, Ella Fitzgerald. “I was mesmerized by the depth and range of her voice…her intonation and her phrasing were flawless. I wanted to develop a repertoire of music that would excite my audience”. To this day, Nancy G. remains dedicated to producing quality music. Nancy currently performs with her trio in the New York City and Philadelphia area. She has performed at the legendary Birdland and The Zinc Bar. She also teaches classical guitar and voice throughout NYC.