Most jazz vocalists sing standards. Allegra Levy writes her own. From the plaintive title track of her boldly autobiographical debut album, LONELY CITY, to her critically acclaimed 2017 follow-up release, CITIES BETWEEN US, the 30-year-old jazz singer-songwriter has penned a lyrical collection of harmonically adventurous-yet-familiar originals steeped in the Great American Songbook. Levy, a native of Connecticut now based in New York, has been dubbed a "double-barreled talent" and “unquestionably one to watch” by JazzTimes magazine.
Her third album on the SteepleChase label, 2018’s LOOKING AT THE MOON, was named an Editor’s Pick in both Downbeat Magazine and JazzTimes. She recently released a fourth album on SteepleChase, LOSE MY NUMBER: ALLEGRA LEVY SINGS JOHN MCNEIL, featuring her own lyrics set to the tunes of renowned jazz trumpeter John McNeil. The New Yorker Magazine called it “a showcase for Levy’s… agile vocalizing and her gift for sculpting words, and for McNeil’s far too neglected abilities as a melodic architect.”
She recently won the John Lennon Songwriting Competition’s Stuck at Home Edition for her children’s song “Wash My Hands,” which encouraged all to stay safe during the pandemic.
This year she won first place in the Great American Song Contest’s Adult Contemporary Category for her female empowerment anthem “Waste My Time.”
In 2019, her composition “Man in the Moon,” from the short film ASTRONAUT HOUR — for which she wrote the entire score — won Best Original Song in the International Independent Film Awards competition.
From 2014 to 2015, Levy served as artist in residence at the world-famous Blue Bar in the Hong Kong Four Seasons Hotel. She has also appeared at most of the top clubs in New York City, including The Jazz Standard, Birdland Theater, Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, and the Cornelia Street Café. Educated at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Levy is known for her richly sweet yet swinging alto voice, as well as for writing catchy, emotive songs grounded in tradition with a nod to the progressive. "Fresh... exotic... and far beyond the ordinary," said The New York Times of her first CD, from SteepleChase Lookout.
Her latest recording features an all-female powerhouse trio including Carmen Staaf on piano, Carmen Rothwell on bass, and Colleen Clark on drums, with guest artist John McNeil on trumpet. Levy is also proud of her work with the Women in Jazz Organization (WIJO), for which she serves on the leadership team with Roxy Coss and Tahira Clayton.