Singer Becky Kilgore’s Husband Sets Up GoFundMe for Her Long-Term Care

Portland, Oregon Jazz Master Rebecca Kilgore is experiencing “cognitive decline” as her health has worsened over the past year, according to her husband, trumpeter Dick Titterington.

“I fear the point is quickly approaching where I will no longer be able to properly give her the care she needs and deserves while concurrently running our household affairs,” Titterington wrote as he announced the establishment of a GoFundMe online fundraiser at

Hot Jazz Jubile

Kilgore, 74, is experiencing “increased dementia,” Titterington reported.

Considered one of the most talented vocalists specializing in the Great American Songbook, Kilgore was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and to the Jazz Society of Oregon’s Hall of Fame. In 2020 she was named Portland Jazz Master by PDX Jazz, Oregon’s nonprofit promoter of jazz concerts.

Over the years, she has performed with jazz pianist and composer Dave Frishberg, trombonist Dan Barrett, bassist Nicki Parrott, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and many other contemporary jass luminaries. The Rebecca Kilgore Quartet (formerly known as BED) was a longtime favorite on the jazz festival circuit in the Eighties and Nineties, with Eddie Erickson (guitar/banjo/voice), Dan Barrett (trombone), and Joel Forbes (bass).

UpBeat Records

Kilgore is a decidedly prolific recording artist, making more than 50 albums including her most recent, The Rececca Kilgore Trio, Volume 1, also featuring pianist Randy Porter and bassist Tom Wakeling, released in 2021.

The enduring quality of her singing has earned Kilgore the applause of audiences and acclaim from critics. Carmet DeSoto, a reviewer for, praised Kilgore’s “smoky timber of her voice,” and also wrote “She is such a consummate jazz vocalist, her swing is effervescent, her tone of voice is timeless and she is an effortless technician.”

Becky Kilgore at the Cleveland Jazz Party in September 2016

Jazz photographer and collector John Herr observed that Kilgore’s vocal approach was “infectiously straightforward and buoyant, without the flashy technique some singers employ. She was an inheritor of Maxine Sullivan’s conversational, unpretentious style.”

While her repertoire leaned heavily on jazz and pop standards, Kilgore also embraced more unusual recording projects such as 2012’s Some Like It Hot, The Music of Marilyn Monroe with the Harry Allen Quartet. In 2010 she partnered with guitarist Bucky Pizzarellibilled as Buck Pizzarelli & the West Texas Tumbleweedsto record a country-themed album called Back in The Saddle Again.

As the 21st century dawned, Kilgore even fronted a 1960s-style country band she called Beck-a-Roo.


Kilgore frequently appeared on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and has performed on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and with pianist Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall.

Titterington hopes her fans will help him get her the much-needed long-term care and respect she deserves.

“I’ve been researching care options and believe I have come up with some good ones, however, the monthly costs (even for the most inexpensive care facilities) are quite daunting,” her husband wrote. “I have no doubt that there are very many Rebecca Kilgore fans out there willing to help in any way possible, and I want you to know how much we appreciate you all.”


Russ Tarby is based in Syracuse NY and has written about jazz for The Syncopated Times, The Syracuse New Times, The Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse (JASS) JazzFax Newsletter, and several other publications.

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