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Photo by Kyle Pompey

Jazzy Greek Vocalist Nancy Goudinaki

What’s the difference between a singer and a vocalist?

“If you listen you will understand,” Nancy Goudinaki explains.

In fact, if you listen to the title track of Nancy Goudinaki’s  debut CD, “I Wanna Be Your Star,” you will quickly understand.  From the first siren-like swoons, you will know you are experiencing a true jazz vocalist. Not bad for a Greek girl from Thessaloniki with a knack for jazz guitar.  Goudinaki is proof that Greek girls can sing jazz, even in Greek!

Goudinaki started out playing classical guitar at age 8.  She continued her musical education with master classical guitarist Costas Cotsiolis. She eventually attained a classical guitar diploma from her mentor and advanced to attain a BA in music and fine arts with honors in classical guitar from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She discovered her voice when Lakis Tzimkas, an accomplished Greek bassist discovered her silky voice and chose her to front his band. Like many aspiring artists and musicians, she made the move to NYC eight years ago to pursue her dreams of singing on the global stage as a professional jazz vocalist and composer. Since her debut album, “I Wanna Be Your Star,” in January 2014 it seems her dreams are coming true.

Nancy Goudinaki wants to be your star! Listen to her debut album "I Wanna Be Your Star" and you will discover she is already one.

Nancy Goudinaki wants to be your star! Listen to her debut album “I Wanna Be Your Star” and you will discover she is already a rising one.

In NYC, she has studied with jazz greats such as JD Walter, Miles Griffith, Cynthia Scott (member of the legendary Ray Charles vocal group, “The Raelettes”) and Barry Harris, the 1998 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner.  She has performed with her trio in the tri-State area at such legendary venues as Birdland and the Zinc Bar.

The title track of her debut album is actually an English translation of her original Greek song. The album features pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Dwayne Burno, saxophonist JD Allen, and drummer Rudy Royston. Vocalist Miles Griffith, bassist Richie Goods and percussionist Daniel Sadownick also take part as special guests on the compilation. Since its release in January of 2014, the album has met with unprecedented success:

  • The title track rocketed to the # 2 spot on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Top Jazz Adds Chart in the USA and Canada
  • The album has been reviewed both nationally and internationally by acclaimed jazz magazines. 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 feminity, which is a very pleasing virtue and makes her singing much more appealing.
  • it has received a 4-Star review from Tokyo Jazz Review based in Japan by  Takaaki Kondo
  • “This is some of the most personable, yet high-end/uptown, female jazz vocals you’ll hear on the scene today!” says by Rotcod Zzaj from Improvijazzation Nation.
  • By far the greatest accomplishment yet was the invitation by Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit for Goudinaki to perform as a guest vocalist at the Birdland

What makes Nancy unique is that few Greek women choose the jazz path. While there is some jazz clubs in Greece

“It’s not typical for Greek women to go into jazz, right?” Her answer, “Why not?”

Besides one colleague she can name, she is the only one. She cites her inspiration from jazz divas such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and Benny Carter. What’s the connection between Greece and jazz? She cites that Greeks have always expressed themselves through music. She also notes the pain, and the bittersweetness that unites jazz with the Greek soul.

“I want to be able to perform around the world,” Nancy says. “But it will take time. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.”

Nancy Goudinaki wants to be your star, but in fact she has already proved she is a rising one.


To hear Nancy Goudinaki’s sultry voice visit, www.jazzynancyg.com

To purchase her CD log onto www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/nancygoudinaki