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Nora McCarthy

Modern Jazz Voice, Composer, Poet, Lyricist, Writer, Actor

About Me

Nora McCarthy has thus far had a very productive and significant musical career. Winner of the 38th Annual Jazz Station Awards in two categories, Best Jazz Vocal 2016 and Best Jazz Vocal CD 2016 for her CD blesSINGS by Los Angeles based, jazz historian, record producer and educator Arnaldo DeSoutiero, Nora is 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 in jazz. Nora currently leads the following creative ensembles: The People of Peace Quintet; The Nora McCarthy Trio; A Small Dream In Red Innovative Voice and Saxophone Duo, Manna For Thought Improvising Trio; and, The Modern Voice Ensemble – An experimental vocal group that implements McCarthy’s concepts for composition and improvisation. McCarthy is a member and co-founder of: ConceptualMotion Orchestra, a 20-piece all original music big band; and a member of the following ensembles: the Jorge Sylvester ACE (Afro- Caribbean-Experimental) Collective and its Extended Edition w. Strings; Composer/Conductor/Trombonist, George Brandon’s Blue Unity Ensemble; and, former member of the late Conductor, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris’ A Chorus of Poets (2005-2010). Nora performs regularly around New York City with her various groups. Since 2012 she and her trio have been featured regularly at the Bar Next Door. Nora has 8 CD’s out 7 as a leader. She has performed with many great jazz artists including most recently, legendary Drummer, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie at Joe’s Pub in NYC; Double Bassist, Reggie Workman, recognized for his work with both John Coltrane and Art Blakey at the Middle Collegiate Church, NYC; Vibraphonist Warren Smith with her big band at the Bahai Center John Birks Gillespie Auditorium; and, also renowned Tubist Jose Davilla, a longstanding member of Henry Threadgill's group Zooid at the Baha’i Center, NYC with the ACE Collective and its extended edition, and Dolphy Re-Imagined. Nora presents a jazz radio show for Cadence Jazz World ( called, “Nora’s Jazz Show” featuring the music of creative jazz and avant-jazz, world jazz and both new and old works, established and emerging artists, musicians from around the world. Nora (MIC~ART Productions) produced Take It OUT!! Tuesday, a creative music series presenting the finest established and emerging artists, instrumentalists, vocal artists, visual and movement artists, and poets at the legendary Medicine Show Theatre on 52nd Street in NYC. Through her vast experience in the jazz and creative music field, Nora has developed a comprehensive 13-pronged approach to teaching voice, improvisation and career development. She is founder of The Zen Of Singing...The Spiritual Path To Finding Your Voice ™ and currently teaches privately, conducts workshops, and master classes. McCarthy's book, "The Spiritual Path to Finding Your Voice" is due for release in 2018. • McCarthy has penned lyrics to dozens of jazz standards and countless other compositions by other artists including her own original music. • McCarthy' has written over 30 compositions some are tributes to: Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Grover Washington, and Jimmy Scott. • McCarthy has been writing poetry for over 30 years and has plans to publish of book of select poems in the near future. DISCOGRAPHY: Manna For Thought - 2018 blesSINGS - 2016 w/The People of Peace Quintet A Time For Love – Release Date Fall, 2013 Spirit Driven – 2013 In The Language Of Dreams – 2012 Toward A Hill of Joy, w/George Brandon's Blue Unity Ensemble - 2011 Circle Completing, 2009 A Small Dream In Red, 2005 red&blue, 1996 (re-release 1998)

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it is everything that is. The highest and most heartfelt of all musical art forms of the 20th century. All encompassing.

My Favorites

  1. Jorge Sylvester - Spirit Driven
  2. Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz To Come
  3. Albert Ayler - My Name is Albert Ayler
  4. Sonny rollins - Saxophone Collosus
  5. Eric Dolphy - Berlin Concerts
  6. Eric Dolphy - Iron Man
  7. Sonny Rollins - A Night at the Village Vanguard
  8. Ornette Coleman - Something Else, the Music of Ornette Coleman
  9. Sam Rivers - Aurora
  10. John Coltrane - Ballads
  11. John Coltrane - Village Vanguard