Nancy Celeste Walker has impressed thousands with her captivating vocals from the White House to audiences of musical theater to film scores to the Los Angeles and Orange County music scene.
Constantly exposed to jazz at home where she heard her parents play the likes of Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy’s musical training began at an early age. Early musical inspiration led her to study the clarinet and piano, but it was obvious to all that her charismatic singing voice was the faculty that would turn the most heads in her lifetime. She later earned her living as a torch singer in local clubs and restaurants in Orange County, California where she was born and raised.
Nancy began performing in the South Bay with jazz trios, big bands, and piano accompaniment at numerous restaurants and hotels in the Los Angeles area, including the celebrity hot spot “W” Hotel, Barnabey’s Hotel, Manhattan Bar & Grill, and Pointe 705. Nancy’s theatre credits include performing the part of “Dolly” in the Torrance production of “Annie Get Your Gun”, and “Clarisse” in “When You Comin’ Back Red Rider” for Beach City Productions. In Big Bear Lake she played the part of “Marie” in the CATS production of Saul Ilson’s original musical revue “Senior Class”, and the role of Mrs. Bedwin in “Oliver”, and most recently played the part of Patsy Cline in the musical play, "Always, Patsy Cline" at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center.
As a recording artist, Ms. Walker first recording is this CD of Christmas music, “Love at Christmas” which was released in October of 1994, with tasty jazz arrangements by guitarist Michael O'Neil. The album was recorded with renowned jazz musicians Michael O’Neil, Tony Dumas, David Witham, and Ralph Penland, all of whom play for George Benson in his road band.
Countless musicians, whom have tried to get a gig at a prestigious location, know the difficulty in getting their wishes to come true. But for Nancy, obtaining her dream of singing at the White House was surprisingly easy. Believing in her daughter’s talent for years, Nancy’s mother sent her CD to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Soon after, Nancy was asked to perform for a private holiday tour of the White House. The performance solidified a proud spot on her singing résumé.
As if bringing her music to the club scene, the theater, and the White House was not a wide enough array, Nancy has also recorded a musical score for the film, “I Made It Through the Rain,” a PBS film which was aired on KOCE Television. Her creativity does not stop there. After attending a Cabaret Workshop in Tuscany in the summer of 1998, Nancy wrote a show called “From Paris With Love” which celebrated her love of Paris, a city that captivated her at the tender age of 17 on a summer trip after her high school graduation. Nancy has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in French, and has a passion for singing in this romantic language. She has written and performed six other cabaret shows.
In Big Bear Lake, Nancy has performed six tribute shows, the first to Joni Mitchell in 2001, a tribute to Nat King Cole in 2002, a tribute to Rosemary Clooney in 2003, and in 2004, Nancy did a musical tribute to Patsy Cline with a fabulous four-piece country band. (www.cdbaby.com/nancywalker2) Five of the concerts were recorded live, and are available for purchase. The fifth tribute show took place in August of 2005, and was a tribute to the songs of the World War II era. The concert was repeated to an audience of 4500 at the beautiful Redlands Bowl in August of 2005, for the Summer Music Festival. In December of 2005, Nancy was asked to sing two songs for the U.N. Ambassadors’ Ball for their 60th anniversary celebration in New York City.
Nancy just completed two shows for the Big Bear Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering in Big Bear Lake last July, as well as her annual “Concert on the Green”, in which she performed a tribute to Bonnie Raitt. Last Labor Day weekend, Nancy played the role of Patsy Cline in the two woman musical, “Always, Patsy Cline”, at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center. With growing publicity, and the bustle surrounding her upcoming performances, Nancy Walker’s vocals are enchanting fans near and far. Despite such a spotlight, Nancy maintains a humble attitude. She, in fact, puts on her annual Concert on the Green for a good cause, donating 100% of the proceeds to the Friends of the Moonridge Zoo.
Nancy resides in Fawnskin, California with her husband Bill Hazewinkel, their cat Abigail, and their dog, Heidi.