Some original compositions on juke box by Nora McCarthy: "The Light of Truth's High Noon Is Not For Tender Leaves," "Life Is A Song To Sing," "Billie," "My Dream,"and, "Bedroom Eyes." - Poetry on "Masouk"
Modern Jazz Voice, Improviser, Composer, Lyricist, Poet
From Classic Jazz Standards to Avant-Garde, Free Improvisation, Soundscapes, Poetry and Beyond
Nora McCarthy has been a steady fixture on the New York music scene since 1996 when she recorded her first CD red&blue. An adept and exhilarating improviser, she performs in every situation from duo to a twenty piece large ensemble from straight ahead jazz to the free and avant-garde idioms. Nora’s vocal identity, aside from a basic jazz orientation, defies classification, and makes spare use of reflexive stylistic mannerisms. Her shaping of pitch often foregoes the fluid note-bending of the jazz singer in favor of the full press of a sculptor’s touch against viscous clay.
Recently listed in the "Best Jazz of 2012 for Female Singer and Top Vocal Jazz Album" categories by Arnoldo DeSouteiro, Founder and CEO of JSR (Jazz Station Records) for her CD In the Language of Dreams. From 2005-2010 she was a member of Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris’ Chorus of Poets. Currently she leads, co-leads and/or is a member of the following groups: The Nora McCarthy Trio with guitarist Marvin Sewell and bassist Donald Nicks; A Small Dream In Red, an innovative expressionist voice and saxophone duo; ConceptualMotion Orchestra, a 20-piece all original music ensemble; the Jorge Sylvester ACE (Afro-Caribbean-Experimental) Collective; Trombonist Kuumba Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe; Trombonist George Brandon and the Blue Unity Ensemble; Manna For Thought - a free form improvisational trio with Dom Minasi and Ras Moshe; Back To The One – conceptualized improvisation group - saxophone, piano, drums and pedals with original compositions and poetry; The Modern Voice Ensemble – an experimental collaboration between, Nora McCarthy, Yasha Bilan, and Mark Gerring; the HeartStrings Project that honors the poetic singer/songwriters of the past 50 years; The Nora McCarthyQu’ART’et; Let’s Talk About NOW Duo with renowned flutist, lyricist, composer, Cheryl Pyle; and, Jay Clayton’s “Different Voices.”
Through her vast experience in the jazz and creative music field, Nora has developed a unique approach to teaching voice and improvisation. She is founder of, The Modern Voice Studio © and The Zen Of Singing...The Spiritual Path To Finding Your Voice, ™ and currently teaches privately, conducts workshops, master classes world-wide.
Nora and her various groups have appeared in concerts, festivals and club dates in NYC and elsewhere in the world.
- Other Pages of Interest, EPK, Duo, Teaching
“...Her shaping of pitch often foregoes the fluid note-bending of the jazz singer in favor of the full press of a sculptor’s touch against viscous clay." Ramsey Ameen, Gathering of the Tribes Magazine
“…Nora McCarthy sings with an emphatic delivery. She interprets lyrics with fits of passion and relaxes casually with wordless sprees.” Jim Santella for Jazz Improv, NYC
“...It’s delightful to hear music that plays so freely with the known and the unknown elements of jazz." Florence Wetzel, All About Jazz Magazine, NY
“…McCarthy, who works in every setting from a bass and vocal duo to a twenty-piece orchestra, demonstrates that she is not one to simply serenade with the usual mix of standards.” Dan Bilawsky for Jazz Improv, NYC
“…McCarthy is a fearless singer who deftly refuses to be categorized as she explores personalized means for expressing ideas; she travels infrequently heard avenues for exploring thought and adapts vocal technique to fit the circumstances of her message." Bill Donaldson for Jazz Improv NY
"…A good poet can tell a story with a minimum of text. So when Nora McCarthy tells the story of lies that have been "swept under the carpet / all scramble like roaches in the early morning light," she extends the idea in a couple of directions at once – with a kind of vocalese, aided by skittery piano bits. The presentation says far more than a couple of paragraphs could, that's for sure." Mark Saleski/Jazz.com
"...A striking woman of unusually elastic voice, McCarthy infuses her music with poetry and theatricality that’s both stark and sensual." Carlo Wolff, Cleveland Scene
“...A non-generic and exciting vocalist to be aware of." Alex Henderson, All About Jazz And L.A. Jazz Scene
“…She uses her fluid delivery to jump effortlessly to the highest and lowest regions of her vocal range. McCarthy’s ‘Miles Mind’ carries a significant impression, as her voice recalls the frailty found in Davis’ horn through the years.” Jim Santella, Jazz Improv, NYC
“…She plays her tender voice like a musician trying to get the best out of some favored, old horn.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Peace, Love, and Health to you and may you keep a song in your heart burning brightly.
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