An early exposure to swing jazz (via her father's record collection) gave Rebecca a deep respect and admiration for the vocalists of the 30s and 40s, and for the driving rhythm guitar behind Count Basie's band. She explored folk music as a teenager, but her love for swing music compelled her to join her first band in 1981: a popular swing combo called Wholly Cats (named after the Benny Goodman tune). This gave her the perfect opportunity to develop her guitar playing and singing skills.
Not being one to waste a perfect opportunity, Rebecca Kilgore's playing & singing skills have since landed her on both national and international concert and festival stages with the likes of Dave McKenna, Cal Collins, Ken Peplowski, Scott Hamilton, Hal Smith, and the late Bob Haggart, to name a few. The venues Rebecca plays can range from singing swing-era big-band standards with the Oregon Symphony to leading her own western band, Beck-a-roo, at the Cowboy Music Festival in Elko, NV. She has also shared radio broadcast venues with Garrison Keillor on "A Prairie Home Companion"; three times with Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air"; and on "Live at the Landing" from San Antonio, TX with the Jim Cullum big band.
In the recording studio, Rebecca has worked with Dave Frishberg, Dan Barrett, Bucky Pizzarelli, Hal Smith, Bobby Gordon, Michael Moore, Butch Thompson, and Dan Faehnle. She has also recorded with Bill Frisell on the soundtracks of 2 animated TV specials by "Far Side" cartoonist, Gary Larson.
Rebecca is also an educator and has taught jazz vocal repertoire and swing guitar at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Sound Acoustic Music Camp, and Sierra Swing Dance Camp.