Nora McCarthy has thus far had a very productive and significant musical career. A poet and a songwriter in addition to being a highly original singer, she 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 (voice and saxophone duo), a 20-piece all original music orchestra ConceptualMotion, and the ACE (Afro-Caribbean-Experimental) Collective. Nora has performed with Trombonist Kuumba Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe, Conductor, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris’ A Chorus Of Poets, the Next Legacy Jazz Orchestra, Bassist, Dominic Duval, Vibraphonist, Multi-Instrumentalist Gunter Hampel, Pianist, James Weidman, John diMartino, James, Hurt, Eric Lewis, Guitarist, Dom Minasi, Marvin Sewell, Andrew Green, as well as the legendary Bluesman, Wilson Pickett among many, many other notables in addition to her own Qu’ART’et and has appeared in concerts, festivals and club dates in NYC and elsewhere in the world.
On December 6, 2010, Nora performed in concert at the illustrious Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria debuting her original poetry as well as new compositions and completed a new recording “Spirit Driven” at Sounddesign Studios for Alessa Records with Jorge Sylvester’s ACE Collective to be released Spring of 2011. She also has two new recordings as a sideman coming out soon, “Toward The Hill Of Joy” with trombonist, composer George Brandon's Septet, tentative release date January, 2010 and a live recording with legendary avant garde multi-instrumentalist and founder of Birth Records, Gunter Hampel and his European Trio captured on October 5, 2009 in NYC. Nora’s CD “Circle Completing”, 2009, is an exquisite duet CD with pianist John DiMartino that features several of her original compositions and poetry including her tribute to the great jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott.
In 2009 Nora was featured in Italy’s foremost jazz magazine, The Jazz Magazine, alongside luminaries Ahmad Jamal and Phil Woods and her composition My Dream from her CD, red&blue, was included on the accompanying CD, From 2009-2010, Nora hosted "New York Jazz Expressions" for UKJazzRadio, an online radio program presenting over 15 shows that featured a vast array of vocal and instrumental jazz recordings from early jazz to the avant-garde and free music art forms highlighting those artists currently on the cutting edge of the New York City jazz music scene.
Through her vast experience in the jazz and creative music field, Nora has developed a unique approach to teaching voice and improvisation and is founder of "The Zen Of Singing...The Spiritual Path To Finding Your Voice" ™ and currently teaches privately, conducts workshops world-wide and offers on-line instruction. (www.thezenofsinging.com)
Spirit Driven – 2011
Toward A Hill of Joy, 2011
Gunter Hampel’s European Trio, 2011
Circle Completing, 2009
A Small Dream In Red, 2005
•McCarthy has penned lyrics to a dozen jazz standards and countless others as well as for her own compositions.
•McCarthy's has written over 20 compositions some are tributes to: Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Grover Washington, and Jimmy Scott.
•In 2007 Nora performed a series of workshops and concerts in Panama and Podgorica, Montenegro and appeared on the television show Good Morning Montenegro.
•Nora was a featured member of "A Chorus of Poets" conducted by Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris (2005-2009) and performed at the Vision Festival XIV in NYC 2009.
•In April, 2008, Nora performed at Flushing Town Hall’s first Jazz & Poetry Marathon.
•In 2007 Nora performed a series of workshops and concerts in Podgorica, Montenegro and appeared on the television show Good Morning Montenegro.
•In June, 2005, The ConceptualMotion Orchestra (CMO) opened the highly acclaimed avant-garde Vision Festival X in NYC.
•Nora was the featured vocalist in trombonist Kuumba Frank Lacy's Vibe Tribe at the Jazz Gallery in New York and The Next Legacy Jazz Orchestra performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Albany Jazz Festival.
•In 2000, Nora toured with Wilson Pickett as a member of his band the Midnight Movers.
•Nora has curated and produced several creative series in NY that included musicians, poets, actors and artists from various disciplines presented in a multi-media format.
•Nora is a member of Poet's & Writers and The World Poet Society.