Nancy Kelly

Class of 2020
Nancy Kelly (Photo: Provided)

Nancy Kelly was born in Rochester, N.Y. and grew up in the suburb of Scottsville. She embraced music beginning at the age of four and studied piano, clarinet, drama, and dance with private instructors and voice at the Eastman School of Music. Today she resides in Fair Haven, a village east of Rochester on the shores of Lake Ontario, and has music schools in Rochester and Syracuse, plus hosts video lessons worldwide for aspiring and fellow artists.

During her four-decade career she has honed her trademark swing/bop style in front of audiences across the United States and internationally, from Singapore to Switzerland, France to Turkey, and tours of Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Jakarta.

Kelly, who is known for her impeccable phrasing, performs regularly in New York City at The Blue Note, Birdland, The Rainbow Room, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club, as well as performances at Lincoln Center. She also works frequently in Los Angeles and Miami, taking the stage at jazz clubs and festivals and with symphony orchestras across the country.

She was twice named “Best Female Jazz Vocalist” in the Down Beat Readers’ Poll. Her six CDs have been critically acclaimed, including her debut CD, “Live Jazz,” which reached no. 11 on the Billboard charts. Her fifth CD held for several weeks in the Top 50 on the national JazzWeek charts and received rave reviews from critics worldwide.

Performance at the ceremony: Nancy Kelly will perform on the Kodak Hall stage with her band — Dino Losito (piano), Peter Chazik (bass) and Steve Curry (Drums).