Maria Gillard is the REAL DEAL. A natural and talented singer, songwriter, and educator from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, she is best known as a folk musician. Of late, she has grown to embrace a wider style range including jazz, swing, and blues. Maria’s songs offer wise, humorous, and sometimes painful observations on life and relationships. Her compelling voice draws you into her lyrics which, when combined with memorable melodies, head straight for the heart. Her performances are soul stirring, evocative, contagious, lively and energizing. She has a warm, inviting, natural flair, which leaves audiences wanting more and coming back!
Currently, she leads the Maria Gillard Trio, accompanied by Perry Cleaveland on mandolin and vocals, and Doug Henrie on Upright Bass. The bass and mandolin add both an intimate and driving musical background to her heartfelt original songs. Perry and Doug bring their experiences performing together in bluegrass outfits like the Finger Lakes All Stars and Rebecca and the Chore Lads which help fuse a magical energy in the Maria Gillard Trio. Their new recording ALWAYS LOVE, is getting rave reviews. Check it out on the Music page!
As an educator, Maria received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. She is a voice instructor and directs a vocal jazz ensemble at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York. She is the recipient of the 2020 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. She has worked for the Aesthetic Education Institute as a teaching artist, given concerts and held songwriting workshops in schools and nursing homes for many years. She teaches private voice, piano and guitar lessons in her home and has toured as a folk musician throughout the Northeast. CHECK OUT THE LESSONS PAGE FOR MORE INFO!