Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Marano, Nancy (Faith)

Marano, Nancy (Faith), voice, piano, educator; b. Weehawken, NJ, 24 January 1945. She grew up in Bergen County, NJ. Her mother, Anna Malatak (b. Feb. 1917 Allentown, PA) was an amateur singer. Her father, Nicholas Marano (b. Sept. 1914 Hoboken, NJ) was a professional pianist. He was comfortable in all styles of music from opera to jazz. He was a charismatic man who made learning an exciting adventure. Nancy has wonderful memories of his endless enthusiasm and joy - all of which he passed on to his two musical daughters. Her sister, June Marano (b. Sept. 1948 Weehawken, NJ) is a professional opera coach. Nancy's grandmother was a mandolin player in Naples. 

Nancy had private piano lessons with her father from age 6-13, from Yehuda Guttman of Julliard from 13-18, with Robert Goldsand at the Manhattan School of Music (where she was a classical piano major, 1963-1967) and with Constance Keene (1973-1975). She had musicianship and ear-training from Helen Hobbs Jordan in NYC (1961-1963). She married trumpeter Leo Ball in 1972. They have a daughter, Joanna Michelle Ball, (b. 1975), Prep Dept. MSM, and who played piano with Dalmo Carra for 9 years. While she was studying classical music formally, her jazz record collection grew quite suddenly when a family friend lost his job as a DJ and his radio station converted to a talk radio format. The next thing she knew, piles of records were being stacked in her room - mostly singers, but also jazz piano trios. These recordings became her after school musical wonderland adventure. She played them and sang with the great singers in her bedroom mirror and pretended that their musical lives were hers. She sang with the best: Ella and Riddle and the Songbook Albums, Nat Cole's Trio, Sarah and Lena, especially loving the 'live' albums where her fantasies could really fly! She listened to Peggy Lee's pitch and time and marveled at her understated style. She sang along with Mel and Marty Paich's wonderful arrangements. She knew every lick and note in all the Sinatra recordings and she longed to be a 'Hi-Lo!' Carmen McRae and early Nancy Wilson recordings focused her goal to nightclubs, as did the cool stylings of June, Chris and Anita, and the sound of Doris Day, which was not unlike her early sound. And she loved Dinah and Joe Williams and Ray Charles. June and Nancy both attended Manhattan School of Music as classical piano majors and studied with the famed concert artist, Robert Goldsand. There she studied very seriously and felt that every subject was made for her. She studied arranging with Ray Wright together with my father - and those lessons began her interest in writing arrangements for herself, her duo, and various groups she works with today. After her graduation, she spent some time singing "jingles" and demos in the studios, and although she liked the perfection of recording, she didn't find it terribly creative and began looking elsewhere for musical satisfaction and growth. Soon after, she signed a contract with Columbia Records.
After she married and gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Joanna, she formed Marano & Monteiro [voice and synthesized accordion] and recorded my first CD. She began to be noticed by some of her musical heroes: Gerry Mulligan, Johnny Mandel, Benny Carter, Michel Legrand and others. Whitney Balliett, who profiled the duo in The New Yorker helped considerably and her duo began working.
She composed her first song, "Easier To Say Goodbye" and co-wrote a lyric for another with Duncan Lamont, "Very Close To Love," in which they have created a lyric for the marvelous melody of Tom Harrell, Sail Away.

She has loved teaching since she was 16 years old and has been very active in Jazz Education, conducting clinics and master classes internationally. She has also created her own course for Jazz Vocalists, called Not Just Another Singer! - Complete Musicianship For The Jazz Vocalist. This course combines the disciplines of vocal, piano, ear-training and musicianship in 90-minute private sessions. She is presently working on a book about this unique method, which should be completed in the fall of 2002. "Sessions in Song & Swing" are Nancy's Bi-Weekly Vocal Jazz Performance Workshops in NYC and she conducts "Musicianship for The Jazz Vocalist" at her studio. She's taught master classes at Amsterdam & Rotterdam Conservatories, Univ. of Miami, Univ. of Maine. She was an Artist in Residence at "City Stages Jazz Camp" (Birmingham - 4 years), and Montgomery Arts High School, with Harold Danko, Montclair & Elizabeth Hig h School, NJ. She was a conductor of the All State Jazz Honors Chorus, New Hampshire. She taught at Summer Jazz: Conservatory of Amsterdam (Summer, 2001, 2002 & 2003). She is currently on the faculty at Manhattan School Of Music (since '88), William Paterson University (since '96), Long Island University, SUNY Purchase, NY, City College.  She also does some teaching for The New School in NYC.

The Real Thing (1988); A Perfect Match (1991); Double Standards (1994); Sure Thing  (2001); Carousel (2003)
As sideperson:
Benny Carter: Benny Carter Songbooks; Dick Hyman: Swing Is Here; Manny Album: If You Could See Us Now (1999); Slovenia Radio Big Band (2002)
Film soundtracks:
"Two Week's Notice" "Plenty of Money & You" (Nancy's Vocal w/Dick Hyman)

Editor:  Vocal Editor: Bill Evans Fakebooks, Volumes 1 (1996) & 2 (2003); Published:  (TRO)

CBS Sunday Morning (Dr. Billy Taylor)   1994
The New Yorker (Whitney Balliett),  April 5, 1993
The Wall Street Journal (Terry Teachout)   1993
Jazz Impro Magazine   [November, 2000 - profile, review]
NPR Radio, WRTI-FM "Crossover" Two one-hour profiles
NPR Radio Stations in all US Major Cities (1989-2003)

North Sea (3 years), JVC, Italy (3 years), Helsinki, Port Townsend, Lake George w/ Barry Harris, Charlie Parker Festival with Benny Carter. "Floating Jazz Cruise" on The Norway

Named one of the "Top 4 Jazz Vocalists Of The Year" by Dr. Herb Wong, IAJE Journal

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Contact information:
201/ 944-6159

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