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Nicky Schrire

Nicky Schrire is a multitalented and inventive British-South African vocalist and composer based in Toronto, Canada. Her work has seen her likened to vocalists Joni Mitchell, Norma Winstone, and Esperanza Spalding with The Boston Globe’s Jon Garelick noting that “though her approach has earned her comparisons to Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, the similarities are superficial…she’s got her own thing, and it’s very much worth listening to.”

A graduate of the South African College of Music and New York’s Manhattan School of Music, she studied with Anthea Haupt, Peter Eldridge, Theo Bleckmann, and Dave Liebman. Schrire has performed in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Dublin and South Africa, with musicians including Ben Wendel, Gerald Clayton, Fabian Almazan, Nir Felder, and Taylor Eigsti. She released three critically acclaimed jazz albums-2012's "Freedom Flight", 2013's "Space and Time", and the 2014 EP "To The Spring"-which earned her comparisons to songwriters like Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Her duo album “Space & Time” featured Grammy-nominated pianists Gerald Clayton, Gil Goldstein and Fabian Almazan. The Ottawa Citizen’s Peter Hum described the recording as “fifty minutes of emotionally eventful, richly crafted music”.

Performance highlights include headlining the 2018 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Centre for Carnegie Hall’s Ubuntu Festival, performances in the UK at Royal Festival Hall and the Vortex, and having her composition ESCAPE: The Ingrid Jonker Suite programmed for the 2022 String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam (sadly cancelled due to COVID).

Schrire was delighted to be awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant to record her new album "Nowhere Girl", to be released on 9 June 2023 on Anzic Records. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Oded Lev-Ari, the album features a rhythm section comprising Canadian trio Myriad3 (Ernesto Cervini, Dan Fortin, Chris Donnelly), saxophonist Tara Davidson, guest vocalist Laila Biali, and Mozambican guitarist Julio Sigauque (Freshlyground).

As a journalist and broadcaster, Schrire was a contributing host and producer for Toronto’s JazzFM.91 station, creating and presenting the weekly segment "This Bright North" from 2021 to 2022. She has been a contributing journalist for LondonJazz News for over a decade, covering the 2014 Berlin Jazz Festival and starting the "Mothers In Jazz" series. 

As a podcaster, she produced and hosted the 14th season of the original jazz interview podcast “The Jazz Session, interviewing guests like Maria Schneider, Terence Blanchard, Artemis and Gretchen Parlato. She recently completed a contract as Associate Producer at CBC Music/CBC Radio.

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“… Schrire becomes part of the fabric of her music. Her voice is a warm and supple instrument that serves as a dispensary of emotional power.” -Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz (USA) “[Schrire] is quite self-assured, trusts her judgment so that each piece stands out…Recordings like "Freedom Flight" make me glad to be alive.” -Richard Kamins, Step Tempest (USA) “Freedom Flight should have released under a major label's auspices, as Schrire's voice is…an instrument transcending laryngeal norms…” -Mark S. Tucker, FAME (USA) “Freedom Flight” is vocalist Nicky Schrire’s debut album, but it sounds like the work of a seasoned veteran… Clever and understated… It is an exceptional debut.” -Steven Lewis, Hardbop Jazz Journal (USA) "If you have been hooked by the new vocalists like Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, check out Nicky Schrire – she’s on her way…" -Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast (UK) “It's not an easy voice to pigeon-hole which speaks volumes for her originality… Schrire seemingly effortlessly, and frequently wordlessly, gets to the heart of each number stripping it bare and re-shaping it into something new.” -Lance Liddle, BeBop Spoken Here (UK) "With a clear, clean, beautifully vibrato-less soprano and ample control of her pitch, Schrire brings together the essence of some of my favorites among modern creative vocalists—Kendra Shank’s global approach to song, Kate McGarry’s vocalese, and Norma Winstone’s inventive spirit, all with a vocal quality in the realm of Sara Gazarek." -Andrea Canter, Jazz Police (USA) “This eleven track marvel (“Freedom Flight”) has Schrire proving she is one of those rare undeniable triple threats as vocalist, producer and arranger… An artist that moves effortlessly from singer to story teller with such ease and grace that the listener is almost taken by surprise.” -Brent Black, Critical Jazz (USA) “Schrire is a skilled arranger – clever without being precious, always serving the song…”Freedom Flight” [is filled] with moments that remind us of the power of the human voice and its ability to tell a story.” -Jason Crane, The Jazz Session (USA) “Nicky Schrire has a warm, honey-rich voice…a naturally engaging stage presence, a distinctive sound, assurance and focus - and besides all that, she is someone who will undoubtedly win you over with her charm, humour and empathy.” -Peter Eldridge, Founding member of The New York Voices (USA)

Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Somatic Voice Work™, The LoVetri Method Level 1 Certified 2011 Manhattan School of Music Distance Learning Center South African Association for Jazz Education Outreach Teaching University of KwaZulu Natal Rustenburg Girls High School South African College of Music, UCT



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Nowhere Girl

Anzic Records


To The Spring

Self Produced


Space And Time

Magenta Label Group


Freedom Flight

Circavision Productions


Feel Good Song...

Self Produced



From: Nowhere Girl
By Nicky Schrire

Love Is For The Birds

From: Nowhere Girl
By Nicky Schrire

Here Comes The Sun

From: Space And Time
By Nicky Schrire

Feel Good Song

From: Feel Good Song (Single)
By Nicky Schrire

Freedom Flight / Blackbird

From: Freedom Flight
By Nicky Schrire


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