An important force in the advanced New York jazz vocal scene since 1996, Nora McCarthy is a highly original and organic jazz singer, lyricist, composer, and poet whose repertoire includes original music, classic, contemporary and modern jazz, blues and free music art forms with on-the-spot improvisation and poetry hypnotically woven together and interpreted in a very personal and compelling style.
In addition, Nora is an important force in the advanced New York jazz vocal scene since 1996 when she recorded her first CD, red&blue. Her collaboration with alto-saxophonist Jorge Sylvester began in 2001 and the synergy of their near telepathic level of communication has produced several unique and groundbreaking projects: A Small Dream In Red, an innovative expressionist voice and saxophone duo; ConceptualMotion Orchestra, a 20-piece all original music ensemble; and the Jorge Sylvester ACE (Afro-Caribbean-Experimental) Collective, a sextet of improvising musicians consisting of: alto saxophone, voice, trumpet, piano electric bass, and drums. The ACE Collective performs original, new and experimental compositions that draw from the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora, jazz and the free music art forms. Additionally, Nora leads the following creative emsembles: Manna For Thought - a free form improvisational trio with Dom Minasi and Ras Moshe; Back To The One – conceptualized improvisation group - saxophone, piano, drums and pedals with original compositions and poetry, Jorge Sylvester, Pablo Vergara and Jay Rosen; and the HeartStrings Project that honors the poetic singer/songwriters of the past 50 years featuring: guitarist, composer, educator, Andrew Green, electric bassist, composer, Donald Nicks and renowned percussionist, Kenny Grohowski. Most recently Nora has been asked to join the Dissident Arts Orchestra, led by percussionist/vibraphonist John Pietaro. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dissident-Arts-Orchestra.
From 2005 – 2010, Nora was a featured member of Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris’ A Chorus Of Poets.
McCarthy and her various groups have appeared in concerts, festivals and club dates in NYC and elsewhere in the world.
Through her vast experience in the jazz and creative music field, Nora has developed a unique approach to teaching voice and improvisation. She is founder of, The Zen Of Singing...The Spiritual Path To Finding Your Voice, ™ and currently teaches privately, conducts workshops, master classes world-wide and will soon offer on-line instruction.
*McCarthy has penned lyrics to a dozen jazz standards and countless others.
*McCarthy's has written over 20 compositions some are tributes to: Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Grover Washington, and Jimmy Scott.
in the language of dreams (RedZen Records) – 2012
Spirit Driven (RedZen Records) – 2012
Toward A Hill of Joy, 2011
Circle Completing, 2009
A Small Dream In Red, 2005