About Cecilia Kirtland
With the best singer-songwriters, there is always some element of those who have gone before, combined with elements so innovative, the result is clearly their own. Cecilia Kirtland’s latest release, “Heart Like a Buick”, proves her to be such an artist, (for those who didn’t already know!) Her previous solo release, “Small Comfort”, and a duo holiday album “Songs of the Season” with Robin Greenstein, garnered critical acclaim, as well as local and global airplay.
The musical odyssey begins in early childhood with the sounds of Mozart, and Bach that filled the family home, along with Latin American folk music, a few popular Broadway shows and a smattering of other things. It finds itself at maturity in music with a much more obvious connection to blues, soul and pop music, but owes something to everything that came before, including an adolescent interest in the traditional music of the Appalachians, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Mississippi John Hurt, all the folk singers and singer-songwriters of the day, British Invasion, classic blues and r & b, and the influences will probably never end. The result is music that is unique and personal, and comes first from the heart and personal experience, and secondarily from all the musical heroes.
Born in Manhattan, and raised on Long Island, Cecilia expressed an interest in playing music at the tender age of four. She started with piano lessons at five, but succumbed to the lure of the guitar at age ten. A Chilean friend of her mother's, (her Mom being also from Chile), first showed her a few chords on the guitar and taught her a couple of Hispanic songs. Left to her own devices, the repertoire expanded to include Baez, Beatles, etc. She eventually got formal training at The Guitar Workshop in Roslyn, NY, and studied with its founder, the late Kent Sidon, who taught her classical guitar technique and its application to other kinds of music. A decade or so later, she had the great good fortune to find Jim Carson, who helped her develop her vocal gifts.
While in high school, she appeared on CBS-TV's "Camera 3" with folk legend Jean Ritchie, later contributing background vocals to Ritchie's "None But One" (Sire Records), which was awarded "Best Folk Album of the Year" by Rolling Stone Magazine. She played at NYC's bicentennial celebrations at South Street Seaport, and opened shows for Buzzy Linhart, Dr. John, Kenny Rankin, and Tom Paxton among others. For upcoming shows, see CALENDAR page; for what the critics have to say, see REVIEWS.
Due to Tropical Storm Warnings,
show scheduled for 8/4 has been re-scheduled to:
Tuesday, August 18th, 7 - 10 pm
K J Farrell's Backyard Series
Hosted by: Mark Newman
Featured artists: Dave Diamond & friends, Matthew Ponsot,
and Cecilia Kirtland
@K J Farrell's, 242 Pettit Ave, Bellmore, NY 11710, (516) 804-9925
and Live Streaming on Facebook
Saturday, March 7th, 8 pm
opening set Cecilia Kirtland
My Father's Place at the Roslyn Hotel, Roslyn, NY
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Thursday, April 9th
Ray Lambiase & the Tin Kickers (w. CK on backing vox)
@The Metropolitan Bistro
39 Roslyn Ave, Sea Cliff, NY 11579
Reviews“. . .she approaches each song as if it were a precious jewel capable of yielding previously
unrecognized shades of meaning and color. . .
Singing in a voice of considerable range and varied texture, she manages to communicate the
lyrical essence of a song in a way that is rare even among today’s best-known performers.
. . . a sure-handed guitarist who brings crisp technique and a sophisticated ear to her stark,
Miss Kirtland seemed able to obliterate all previous renditions from the listeners mind, at least for
the duration of her personalized treatment. People appeared to be listening, not for any particular
song, but for the interpretation she brought to it.
Many were clearly moved.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“. . . soulful & sophisticated . . .music that is at once rich with rhythm and funk, yet soothing to the ears and soul . . . bending and coaxing notes to suit herself, and, of course, her delighted audience . . . she succeeds in such a diversity of selections because of a truly personal style.”
“Throughout Heart Like a Buick and Small Comfort, I am reminded that sometimes comparisons are not needed--- in fact, should not even be attempted. Some musicians stand on their own . . . I listen to Kirtland's music . . . with an ease and an immense amount of respect . . . the work is deserving of mention and at moments, mind-blowing.” Frank O. Gutch Jr, Rockandreprise.net
“. . .a solid singer, songwriter and soloist who obviously loves her craft. . .a true and honest
July 18, 2011, Eisenhower Park
Annual Benefit for Long Island Cares, an organization that fights hunger on Long Island, founded by Harry Chapin. Benefit organized & hosted by Stuart Markus. Photos by Bob Berkowitz. Group shots in left column: Frank Walker, Cecilia Kirtland, Janet Leto, Joanne Amante, Debra Lynne & Martha Trachtenberg. Right column, first and third pics: Dianne Garristo, Martha Ttrachtenberg, Joanne Amante, CK, Debra Lynne, Janet Leto and Ellen Dumlao. Second shot: Frank Walker.
November 29, 2010, "Songs of the Season"
Duo with Robin Greenstein, CD Release Show at Mirelle's, Westbury, NY. Photos by Howard Marks. Left column, first pic: RG, Lora Kendall, CK, second: Steve Finklenstein, RG, Mike Nugent, third: RG, Mike Nugent, CK, fourth: Sue Klied. right column, first: Rob Stein, second: RG & CK, third: Sue Klied, Steve Finkelstein, RG, Lora Kendall, Mike Nugent, Ken "the Rocket" Korb, CK, (last, stage after show).
August 9, 2010, Eisenhower Park
Benefit for Long Island Cares, Cecilia with Eric Udel on bass. Pics 1, 2 & 4 by Bob Berkowitz, 3 & 5 by John Aalto.
Collaborations & Friends
Left column, top to bottom, first: Maag Stanley, Lesley Zimei & CK, the trio that laid the groundwork for Cemaara. Second: Ramona Spooney. When Lesley left the trio to pursue other things, Ramona filled the vacancy & Cemaara was born. Third: Soul Twist. Tom Derenzo, Larry Ketchell, Pat Ambrosio, and Tommy Santoriello, with friends ("Soul Chicks") Anna Corona & CK. Right column, top to bottom: The Other Shoe, "Musicians for Haiti", benefit at Mirelle's, The Other Shoe at the Songbox.
Click on the images below to download them in high resolution.