Gillian Kohn is a jazz vocalist based out of Charleston, South Carolina.
Gillian was nominated for “Best Female Vocalist" in the Charleston City Paper’s “Best of 2020" competition.
With a varied repertoire spanning the decades, from early Jazz standards to Classic Chanson to Swing Era and Bossa Nova hits, Gillian will take you on a musical journey back in time. Should it be a 1950s cocktail hour, a roarin’ Gatsby-themed bash, or just an intimate dinner party with friends, she is well-suited and versatile.
Gillian grew up in Hartsville, South Carolina, where she happily spent her childhood in the wings of her local theater – dreaming of Broadway’s bright lights. At an early age, Gillian was determined to study the classics.
Devouring black and white films by night, she committed to memory each and every nuance of the greats: Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Katharine Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Judy Garland, to name a few. This passion for the days of yore, and a helping of natural talent too, garnered Gillian an invitation at the age of 17 to study in New York City at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, where under the watchful eye of her acting teacher, Geoffrey Horne (The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Bonjour Tristesse), the methodology and true art of storytelling came to light.
From there, Gillian graduated high school and went on to study classical voice with soprano, Margaret Kelly-Cook, at The College of Charleston. Realizing in her sophomore year though, that classical voice wasn't the right fit, Gillian traveled back to New York City and was accepted to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Unable to fund the endeavor, and in efforts to raise scholarship money, Gillian competed in The Miss South Carolina Competition where she was a Top 10 finalist. Still unsuccessful though in meeting her financial goal, Gillian journeyed to both London, England and Sydney, Australia where she lived, worked, and on her days off, performed. It was a time of personal growth and confidence-building.
The responsibilities of life and motherhood, kept Gillian off the stage for nearly 10 years. Self-described in that time, as a “lonely bathroom singer," her desire to still perform and to tell stories never faded. In 2018, her chance came when hardworking jazz guitarist, Chris Dodson, moved in next door. The pair formed Neighbors Jazz Duo, and one could say it's been a whirlwind of opportunity since.
Gillian Kohn is a now a student of acclaimed vocalist, Jane Monheit, and is honored to have worked with: Lexus Charleston Fashion Week, Montage Palmetto Bluff, HGTV, The Vendue Hotel, Victor Social Club, 82 Queen, Halls Chophouse, Hotel Bennett, Dockery’s, 39 Rue de Jean, Forte Jazz Lounge, High Cotton Charleston, Basic Kitchen, La Patisserie Charleston, OtherBrother Entertainment, Ear for Music, Stratus Entertainment, Lowcountry Music Service, Stellar Wine Co., JMC Charleston, Ooh Events!.
When she is not singing, Gillian is most happy treasure-hunting and antiquing with her husband. She also works as the Co-Director for Charleston Walk for Autism. Above all, she's so excited that, despite setback and failings, her two boys get to witness their mother living her dreams.
Honored to have worked with:
Lexus Charleston Fashion Week, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Montage Palmetto Bluff, The Vendue Hotel, Victor Social Club, 82 Queen, Halls Chophouse, Hotel Bennett, Rockabillaque Charleston, Venue 1223, ColaJazz Foundation, Daniel Island Club, Dockery’s, 39 Rue de Jean, Forte Jazz Lounge, High Cotton Charleston, Eli’s Table, Basic Kitchen, SC Public Radio, OtherBrother Entertainment, Ear for Music, Stratus Entertainment, Lowcountry Music Service, JMC Charleston, Ooh Events!, Lee Barbour
Follow on Facebook & Instagram: @gilliankohnjazz