Long before she took on the name Nightbirde, Jane Marczewski dreamed of becoming a singer as a little girl growing up in Zanesville Ohio.
At the age of 11, she competed in “Y-City Star” at the Colony Square Mall and from that point, she knew she wanted to be a singer.
“After I performed in that competition, that’s when I started vocal lessons and learning guitar, and that was the catalyst for real,” she said.
Jane graduated from Licking County Christian Academy in 2009 and later that year began attending Liberty University as an advertising and public relations student.
It was during her time at Liberty that she was first encouraged to pursue music professionally.
“At Liberty, I was constantly challenged with the question, ‘If you could do anything for this world and you knew that you would succeed, what would you do?’”
For Jane, the answer to that question was always music, but she never felt it was a realistic path before coming to Liberty.
She explained, “Lynchburg and that area of Virginia, those beautiful mountains, it’s where I found myself really and where I found my voice and it was such a launching pad for me and I’ll be grateful for that forever. I don’t know where I’d be had I not started my music career in Lynchburg.”
Jane auditioned for Liberty’s traveling music teams but failed to secure a spot saying “I was almost good enough, and I would almost make the cut every time,”
Undeterred, Jane began writing her own music and in 2011 she recorded three original songs and played her first show at “The White Hart Café.”
In May of 2013, she released her debut EP “Ocean & Sky.
She began developing a following in the Lynchburg area and even landed on the cover of “Lynchburg Living” in 2014.
But offstage, Jane was struggling with the pressure of her success.
“Along with the successes came, I guess, the fear that I would be found out,” she said.
“Just the sense of, ‘Oh my gosh, everybody thinks I’m so amazing and I’m really not that amazing, so I need to keep everyone at a distance.’”
After a performance downtown on a Friday night towards the end of 2014, Jane made the decision to step away from music for a couple of months and return home to Ohio.
“All I ever wanted to do was play music and have people’s attention, cheering about what I sang,” she said. “I succeeded at that a little too much, because it was bad for me. I didn’t like the person I was internally. I was really focused on succeeding in my career and being likeable and newsworthy, but wasn’t taking care of my inner self.”
Once back in Ohio, two months turned into nearly a year after she met and fell in love with fellow musician Jeremy Claudio.
Eight months after meeting, Jane and Jeremy married and a few months later they moved to Nashville
Jane soon began thinking of restarting her career and decided to take on a new stage name, “Nightbirde.”
She explained the stage name was inspired by a recurring dream of birds singing outside her window at night.
“I woke up three nights in a row, the same dream, “These birds were singing so loud like it was dawn,” she explained.
“But I was hearing them sing like that in the middle of the night.”
“The third night, I woke up, went to the window, and saw there were birds. I just felt like it was really profound that these birds were singing so loudly and so joyfully in anticipation of the dawn, even though there were no signs of it yet.”
In the Fall of 2017, Jane was just beginning to get comfortable with the idea of performing again when doctors discovered a 4-centimeter tumor and she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.
In the months following her diagnosis, Jane underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy which resulted in 3 additional surgeries including a double mastectomy
In July of 2018, Jane shared in an Instagram post that scans revealed her cancer was in remission
By the Fall, Jane was once again ready to begin performing and making music when a follow-up exam that November yielded new symptoms
Scans revealed three sizable tumors in her lungs, 3 tumors in her spine, and innumerable tumors in her liver and throughout her ribs.
On New Year’s Eve 2019, Janet was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Just days after her diagnosis, Jane’s husband walked away from their marriage and the pair divorced a couple of weeks later.
Jane was given three to six months to live but she made it much farther with the help of a new treatment that prompted her to move to California to receive.
In a post to her Blog Jane said, “After the doctor told me I was dying, and after the man I married said he didn’t love me anymore, I chased a miracle in California and sixteen weeks later, I got it.”
By July of 2020, Jane’s Cancer was once again in remission and Jane posted a message to her followers saying, “This spring, I experienced a true miracle. Hundreds of tumors died in my body, after being given 3-6 months to live. It was a whirlwind of a year, and my friends, family, and fans gave tens of thousands of dollars for a treatment that saved my life.
Unfortunately, Jane’s battle with Cancer wasn’t quite over and follow-up exams later that year revealed her cancer had returned.
In a post on her blog she said, “I have had cancer three times now, and I have barely passed 30. There are times when I wonder what I must have done to deserve such a story.”
Throughout her battle with cancer, Jane has continued to music music and has released several singles to streaming platforms, including “Girl in a Bubble,” “IT’S OK,” and “New Year’s Eve.”
She recently released a live version of her single “It’s OK” which she also performed for her America’s Got Talent audition.
Before her audition, Jane told judges she was singing an original song called “It’s Ok,” which she wrote about her battle with cancer and her determination to remain positive.
Judge Simon Cowell then asked Jane how she is doing now and she responded “The last time I checked I had some cancer in my lungs and spine and my liver”
Judge Howie Mandel then asked, “So… you’re not OK?” to which Jane calmly answered, “Well, not in every way, no.”
Howie then told Jane “You’ve got a beautiful smile and a beautiful glow, and nobody would know,”, to which she replied, “Thank you. It’s important that everyone knows that I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me.
She then gave a moving performance of her original ballad, “It’s Ok”
The audition earned a standing ovation from the audience and AGT judges.
Howie Mandel described the performance as “the most authentic thing I’ve heard this season and Judge Sofia Vergara also praised the performance saying ““It was powerful, it was heartfelt, and I think you’re amazing.”
Simon Cowell told the singer, ““There was something about that song,”
“The way you almost casually told us what you’re going through.
“There have been some great singers this year and I’m not going to give you a yes… I’m going to give you something else.” Pressing the golden buzzer and sending Jane straight to the live shows.
After her performance, Jane told host Terry Crews “I have a 2 percent chance of survival, but 2 percent is not 0 percent,”
“Two percent is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is.”
Jane is feeling much stronger since her initial audition saying “Physically, I’m feeling really well. I just finished some treatments a week ago and the doctors are anticipating that it’s going to take care of everything that has been left over.
Fans can donate money to help pay for her treatments through a GoFundMe page that we will link in the description below.
Doctors are hopeful the same treatments will rid cancer from her body once more, and Jane said “It will be a few more months until we can go back and see what’s going on, but I’m expecting good news.”
Jane was scheduled to perform on the first quarterfinal but on August 2nd, Jane announced she would not be appearing on future episodes of America’s Got Talent. She explained in an Instagram post:
“Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention. I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on AGT.”
At the time of publishing, supporters have donated over $548,000 to the GoFundMe account listed below to help cover her medical expenses.
We wish Jane a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing more of her music.