Updated: May 26, 2023
Born: July 2
Monika Ryan is a Jazz vocalist known for her smooth and soulful sound. Her music is characterized by her rich and emotive voice, which she uses to express a range of emotions and themes, from love and heartbreak to empowerment and self-discovery.
One notable aspect of Monika Ryan's music is her skillful interpretation of classic jazz standards, as well as her ability to write and perform original material that is inspired by traditional jazz and blues styles. Her music often incorporates elements of swing, bebop, and balladry, and she is known for her improvisational skills and her ability to connect with audiences through her live performances.
Overall, Monika Ryan's music is a blend of classic jazz styles and contemporary influences, and her distinctive voice and emotive performances have earned her a reputation as a talented and captivating vocalist in the jazz community.
Born and raised in New York City, a Graduate from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (class of 1997) Monika was a professional singer on the New York Jazz Scene as a teenager. She has been a recording artist since 2000 when, at the age of 25, she wrote, produced, recorded, and released her first album "Love" under then name Monika Brand, on the heels of that she released another album with guitar player Satoshi Inoue, entitled "Duo," (also under the name Monika Brand, before switching to her married last name of Ryan in 2002), starting her tradition of single word album titles. In total, Monika has released 13 full length albums, 1 single, and 1 ep, not all of which are traditional jazz, but all of which have what Monika calls her "jazz accent" being that she considers jazz her "native musical language."
Monika continues to delight audiences around the world with her virtuosity, wit, sincerity, elegance, and charm. Whether in a small jazz club, a concert hall, or mainstage at a major festival, her audiences always feel as if she is talking directly to them, and she is.
Coming in the Summer of 2023 is Monika's 14th full-length album, featuring all new original material and an exciting New York-based top-notch jazz band.
2017 Silver Global Music Award: "Windmills" best vocal jazz album
2018 Bronze Global Music Award: "This Land" best protest song
2018 Silver Global Music Award: "Changes" best vocal jazz album
2018 Clouzine International Music Awards: "Changes" best vocal jazz album
2019 Silver Global Music Award: "Lullabies" best children's music jazz album
2019 Clouzine International Music Awards: "Lullabies" best children's album
2022 Silver Global Music Award: "Aakasha" best new age album
All About Jazz Articles
- Windmills by Edward Blanco
“[Monika Ryan's songwriting] ... is both impressive and memorable. Her voice, with its slight buzz, has the unique sound one hopes for in a jazz singer...the entire project radiates with the presence of a talent with a major future.”
- Don Heckman, LA Times
"Ryan is a versatile vocalist and works the material in that chic space where the frontiers of jazz, theater and cabaret converge."
-John McDonough, Downbeat
“...[Windmills is a tribute to the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman,“Cinnamon and Clove,”]... showcases not only the beauty, range, and power of Monika Ryan’s voice but also the extent of her emotional connection to the wonderful lyrics of the songs on this album.”
-Matt Micucci, JAZZIZ