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Stephanie Nilles

Shows at the Purple Fiddle

Visit Stephanie Nilles on the web!

“Ella Fitzgerald beating the shit out of Regina Spektor” – Rolling Stone

“She is a poet without being pretentious about it; she is bluesy, jazzy, soulful (in her way), and lets her music pour out in such an organic way. Her songs can be analyzed word for word, or they can be taken impressionistically, fixating instead on the overall mood. Whenever she plays, the room falls dead silent. Whether everyone will be able to absorb all of the complexity and nuances of her music is unimportant. What is important is that everyone will try.”

Chicago-born jazz/punk/barrelhouse musician Stephanie Nilles has been doin’ Kesey proud one bar at a time since 2008, hustling around the United States, Europe, and Canada (except from 2009-2010 for legal reasons), averaging 150 gigs a year, and captivating unsuspecting listeners with a voice that would make Jelly Roll Morton look orthodox and Ma Rainey look sober.

Having studied piano and cello since the age of six, she was a finalist at the Young Concert Artists’ International Competition, a gold medalist at the Fischoff Competition, and had performed on NPR on three separate occasions by the age of seventeen. At twenty-two, she had graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a degree in classical piano performance and temporarily relocated to New York City, where she began writing songs and performed regularly on the east village anti-folk scene.

She has since sung with Bobby McFerrin in Carnegie Hall, directed the musical program of a Brooklyn burlesque series, covered Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck” in the skeletal remains of a bombed-out cathedral in Nuremberg, been invited to perform official showcases at SXSW and International Folk Alliance, and self-released 4 full-length albums, two of which were picked up for European release by German roots/blues label Tradition und Moderne (Taj Mahal, John Fahey).

When Stephanie’s not sleeping in her car, she lives in New Orleans, which might not be the best idea.