Sunday, January 15, 2023 - 7:00pm

Nancy King performs at the 1905


  • Nancy King, Vocals
  • Dan Gaynor, Piano
  • Ed Bennett, Bass
  • Todd Strait, Drums


Two Shows - 7:00p (Sold Out) and 9:00p

For most of her career, Nancy King has been considered the Pacific Northwest's pre-eminent jazz singer. By the end of the 1990s, King had become one of the leading jazz singers in the world. An improvising musician in the tradition of singers Sheila Jordan, Betty Carter, and Ella Fitzgerald, King is a master of the bebop-based scat singing style made famous by Louis Armstrong, as well as the vocalese approach developed by singer and lyricist Jon Hendrick. She’s been called everything from a “Cult figure” and an “uncompromising artist,” (Earshot Jazz) to “the greatest living jazz singer,” (Herb Ellis). Nancy is one of the few improvisers in vocal jazz to master the vocabulary. Saxophonist John Handy once said King “puts horn players to shame.” Nancy came to the San Francisco jazz scene of the early 1960’s from Springfield, Oregon. It was at the legendary Jazz Workshop that she met Sonny King, her future mate, and joined his band. They headlined Monday nights at the Workshop for two years. Others she worked with in San Francisco included Vince Guaraldi, John Handy, Sonny Donaldson, and Flip Nunez. Another major influence was meeting and studying with Jon Hendricks. In ‘66 and ‘67, Nancy did the Playboy Club circuit and was a production singer in Las Vegas, then joined C. Smalls and Company, led by Charlie Smalls, who later wrote the music for “The Wiz”. The first recording to feature Nancy King was “First Date”, an outing with saxophonist Steve Wolfe on the Inner City label. Joining them in the studio were Ray Brown, Jack Sheldon, Frank Strazzeri and Nick Ceroli. Nancy’s collaborations with Glen Moore (bassist for the internationally known ensemble “Oregon”) include performances at NYC’s Town Hall, the Montreal Jazz Festival and several European festivals. Together as “King and Moore” they have recorded three albums on the Justice label beginning with “Impending Bloom” in 1991. That cd and the following release, “Potato Radio”, earned five star reviews from Downbeat Magazine. “Cliff Dance” was released in 1994. In 1998 Nancy was reunited with Ray Brown on his cd “Some Of My Best Friends Are Singers” (Telarc) which also featured vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kevin Mahogany, Marlena Shaw, Etta Jones and Diana Krall. The recording peaked at #1 on the Gavin Jazz Chart in January 1999. Nancy has been performing locally and along the West Coast with pianist/composer Steve Christofferson since 1978. In 1993 they released a duo album “Perennial”, featuring guest appearances by Leroy Vinnegar, David Frishberg and Ralph Towner. During the mid-90’s Nancy and Steve were on the faculties of the Stanford University Jazz Workshop, Bud Shank’s Centrum Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West, and performed at festivals in France, the U.S., Israel and Canada. In 1997 Mons Records released “Straight Into Your Heart”, recorded in Holland and featuring Nancy and Steve with the fifty-one piece Metropole Orchestra. In early 2000 Stellar Records released “Dream Lands”, a compilation of duet recordings with Steve Christofferson commissioned by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. In 2001 she was named to the Jazz Society of Oregon's Hall of Fame and in 2008 the city of Portland designated Feb. 22 as Nancy King Day. In 2013 Nancy was awarded the Jazz Master Award by the Portland Jazz Festival. "A supple voice, a flawless ear and the instincts of a true jazz improviser." - The Oregonian "...her singing FLIES between our ears with a certainty of inevitable rightness that is at least... simply thrilling." - Mark Murphy, jazz vocalist "Gifted with the emotional depth of Carmen McRae, King holds standards up to the light and explores their nuances through the prism of her stunning technique. Moving and often challenging, she takes the lyrical ballad to new highs and lows." - Willamette Week

*Portland Music Month. $1 per guest will be added to each tab to support Portland Music Month (

Early Show - AJAM Session - 4:00p

Cover charge for participants is optional. Food/beverage purchase is required.

  • Jack Radsliff, Guitar
  • Kiran Raphael, Organ
  • Christopher Brown, Drums


January 15, 2023
7:00 pm
15-20 Each Show


(503) 460-3333
830 N Shaver St
Portland, OR 97227

Every day of the week in the evenings, and often multiple times per day on weekends, The 1905 plays host to the exquisite jazz community that Portland has to offer. In addition to keeping a finger on the pulse of the local scene, The 1905 has hosted internationally recognized musicians such as 5 time Grammy award-winner Antonio Sanchez, and Jazz greats like Ralph Peterson Jr.