Maria Gillard


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, fiddle 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 musical outfits like the The Cadleys, Rebecca and the Chore Lads, Bobbie Henrie and Aaron Lipp, which help fuse a magical energy in the Maria Gillard Trio. Their new recording ALWAYS LOVE, is getting rave reviews. 

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Maria Gillard Trio

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Press / Reviews

"Maria Gillard comes in peace. The songs she carefully writes reach across boundaries and realms, holding the light up to dark truths and finding beauty in the stories we tell. How Gillard manger to capture life's pain and sorrow, yet stay so delightfully high-spirited is something to behold."

 -Katie Preston, Rochester CITY NEWS 



“Maria Gillard has graced our stage on many occasions, never failing to please audiences with her combination of fine-tailored original songs, impeccable musicianship, and relaxed, welcoming stage presence.  In recent years. She has put together a crackerjack trio, featuring Mandolin God Perry Cleaveland on mando, fiddle and harmony vocals, and Doug Henrie, heir to family musical tradition, on bass fiddle.” 

-Allen Hopkins, Tunes by the Tracks, Clifton Springs, NY

"Maria is tuned to introspective vibes. If a group of women, say a bridal party getting together before a wedding, relaxed in a Finger Lakes location and played Gillard’s music for hours, they’d find that she hits every note on love, separation, loss of parents, struggling to be the woman they want to be, family relationships, parenting, personal tragedy, hope and fulfillment. There is such gentle urge and understanding in her voice, such joy and empathy in the lyrics, it’s not hard for someone to think, ‘This is my sister singing about something we both feel.’”

-John Addyman, "Folk Music with a Flair", 55 PLUS Magazine, Rochester, NY




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