Jazz Vocal Artist, Improviser, Composer, Lyricist, Poet

A unique and original singer and an important force in the advanced New York jazz scene, McCarthy’s musical roots run deep. Her burnished alto voice is rich with a distinctive style that cuts a broad swath from soul, rhythm & blues, jazz, Bebop, post-bop, and the free, avant-garde idioms but her sound is reminiscent of the great voices and horns in jazz.

"NORA McCARTHY! If I was a religious man, I would say "Yes indeed, the Lord has risen!" and "Amen To That"!!


There are a number of gifted Jazz singers on this planet, but few truly sing from the soul, as Ms. Nora McCarthy!


Talk about conviction! Talk about a beautiful, original vocal instrument!


Talk about fire in the belly, but a gentility of subtle nuance. This defines Nora. She's also not afraid to take a risk, explore human emotions that are real and not contrived."   Steve Getz, Music Director/Talent Buyer and record producer, son of legendary tenor saxophonist, Stan Getz.

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Page 4

A live clip of a performance at Joe's Pub w/Bernard Purdie and David Haney, Steve Swell, Adam Lane, Yael Archer - Jazz Stories - (Improv - the great ANNIE ROSS' story, in her interview for Cadence, reenacted by Nora McCarthy who then sang "Doodlin' in her honor.....and more improv with the band - good listen.

  • Jazz Stories-Joe's Pub Performance-Annie Ross' Story, "Doodlin" and Free Improv
  • -
  • Nora McCarthy w David Haney, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Adam Lane, Steve Swell, Yael Archer-Kat Modiano
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"What has impressed me about Nora McCarthy is that she
is much more than a jazz vocalist—or specifically, a female jazz vocalist. She is a singer, she plays piano, she composes music and write lyrics—comprehensive artistry in the grand tradition of someone like Carmen McRae or Betty Carter."  Eric Nemeyer, Publisher of Jazz Inside Magazine

          NORA McCARTHY













 By: Arnaldo DeSouteiro






“On Sylvester’s “Akara Moi Moi”, McCarthy

scats over pulsing changes and rhythm. McCarthy wrote four of the compositions and most of the lyrics, including for songs by some of the masters of the music. One of the pleasures of the album is hearing how McCarthy negotiates the lyrics she’s written and how she integrates them into the overall sound. She laughingly suggested at the release concert that Ornette Coleman is “not gone but rather looking lovingly at all of us.” She then performed his “The Blessing”, infused with loving lyrics and graceful wordless vocalizing, which led into passionate and harmonically apposite solos by Sylvester, Vergara and electric bassist Gene Torres, subbing for Nicks. And then came a ritualistic “Passion Dance”, a McCoy Tyner gem, with fiery burning rhythmic intros from piano, bass and drums and then horn-like, rapid-fire singing and joyous scatting.”  Donald Elfman/ SEPTEMBER 2016 |              THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

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