Web site: http://www.norawhittaker.com/
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Funky and fresh, the Philadelphia-based Nora Whittaker Band fuses soul, blues, pop, and r&b to create their own blend of “blue-eyed soul”. Led by Nora's brassy vocals and solid keyboards, complimented by Ben Cleal's resonant bass and Dan Quill's innovative drums, The band's material ranges from thoughtful, wailing ballads to cosmic, driving tunes.
Since 2002, Nora and the band have performed throughout the country – including NYC, Boston, Chicago, Austin and LA. Venues include edgy hotspots like The Bitter End (NYC), The Grape Street (PA), The Tin Angel (PA), and EP Koberl at Blue (CA). Nora has also frequented “all-ages” listening rooms like Steel City Coffeehouse (PA), The Point (PA), and Club Passim (MA), as well as outdoor venues like Avila Beach Fish & Farmer’s Market (CA) and Peddler’s Village (PA). Nora’s music infiltrates college radio stations, AAA stations like 88.5 WXPN in Philadelphia, 93.7 STW in Delaware, 88.1 in Bethlehem, PA’s “The Blend”, and NPR’s “Car Talk”.
At an outdoor festival, Drummer Dan Quill and Bassist Ben Cleal were playing with their band, “Jones Crusher”, and saw Nora perform solo earlier in the evening. On a whim, they approached Nora and suggested a jam session. Nora, Dan and Ben played together for the first time during Fall 2003 and, as a result of their chemistry, decided to form The Nora Whittaker band.
NORA WHITTAKER (vocals, keys, songwriting)
Nora has shared the stage with such talents as: Amos Lee (Blue Note Records), Mutlu, and McGowan (on-tour with Ben Lee 2003-2004). Her vocals are featured on the 2005 Burndown Allstars album and will be featured on Kuf KnotZ’s (www.myspace.com/kufie) upcoming solo album. Nora recently sang backup on the Coke Zero commercial featuring G-Love of G-Love and Special Sauce.
Nora’s writing endeavors also include plays and children’s rock musicals which have been performed publicly since 1997. One of her plays, “The Library…,” was written and workshopped at Muhlenberg College and has been performed internationally.
DAN QUILL (drums)
Dan was weaned on the classic rock records of his older brother and sister. He began playing drums in the 7th grade with the “Thrash Victims”, the best punk band his basement had ever seen. He played through high school in several arrangements. While spending 10 years in Boulder, Colorado enjoying the music scene, Dan met his mentor, Joe Morton. After moving to the East coast Dan met Ben where together they played in 3 rock fusion bands. While living in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Dan reconnected with Nora with whom he grew up. Dan continues to enjoy creating music with Nora and Ben as well as producing music in his home studio.
BEN CLEAL (bass)
Ben started playing bass when he was 14 because some of his friends needed a bass player for their band. He ended up selling most of his record collection and baseball cards so that he could buy a bass. After a few months of attempting to learn the instrument on his own, he talked his parents into getting him bass lessons.
Over the next few years Ben stuck with the bass and turned it into more than just a hobby – studying music in college with his mentor, bass teacher Ron Velosky. After college, Ben met his rhythm section counterpart, Dan Quill. They played in three bands together before they met up with Nora.
KATE BRENNAN (back up vocals)
A vocalist, theatre professional, and writer, Philadelphia-native Kate Brennan hails from UVA where she is pursuing an MFA in Acting. She has worked throughout the Philadelphia music scene and beyond as a private voice instructor, wedding cantor, jazz singer, and rock band headliner.
She also maintains strong involvement in the theatre world, working as an actor, musical director, and University Theatre professor. In addition to the arts world, Kate has worked as a freelance writer and publicist and is pleased to work with the band in various capacities.