Norah Jones life and biography

Norah Jones picture, image, poster

Norah Jones biography

Date of birth : 1979-03-30
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City, New York, US
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-02-15
Credited as : Country music singer, Come Away with Me, Chasing Pirates

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Norah Jones, born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, and actress.

When she was 4 years old, she and her mother Sue moved to the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, Texas. Jones' earliest musical influences came from her mother's extensive LP collection and from "oldies" radio. She began singing in church choirs at age 5, commenced piano lessons two years later and briefly played alto saxophone in junior high.

When Jones was 15, she and her mother moved from Grapevine to Dallas' central city, where she enrolled in Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. (Soul singer Erykah Badu and trumpeter Roy Hargrove are also Washington alumni.)

She played her first gig on her 16th birthday, an open mike night at a local coffeehouse, where she performed a version of "I'll Be Seeing You" that she'd learned from Etta James' treatment of this Billie Holiday favorite. While still in high school, she won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for best jazz vocalist and best original composition in 1996 and earned a second SMA for best jazz vocalist in 1997. She also sang with a band called Laszlo, playing what she describes as "dark, jazzy rock." After graduation, she entered the University of North Texas -- nationally renowned for its music programs -- where she majored in jazz piano.

In the summer of 1999, she accepted a friend's offer of a summer sublet in Greenwich Village. She came to Manhattan ... and never returned to North Texas State.

"The music kept me here. The music scene is so huge -- I found it very exciting. I especially enjoyed hearing amazing songwriters at little places like The Living Room. Everything opened up for me."

For about a year beginning in December 1999, she appeared regularly with the funk-fusion band Wax Poetic (now signed to Atlantic). But she soon assembled her own group with Jesse Harris, Lee Alexander and Dan Rieser. In October 2000, this lineup recorded a selection of demos for Blue Note Records. On the strength of these recordings and a live showcase, she was signed to Blue Note in January 2001. She sang two songs (Roxy Music's "More Than This" and "Day Is Done" by Nick Drake) on guitarist Charlie Hunter's Blue Note album Songs From the Analog Playground and has frequently performed live with Hunter's group.

She began recording the songs on Come Away With Me in May 2001, doing preliminary work with producer Craig Street at Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, N.Y. In August 2001, the singer and her musicians went back to work -- this time with Arif Mardin at Sorcerer Sound in Manhattan.

"I was nervous at first. I didn't want some amazing producer who'd done all these famous records to come in and have me be scared to tell him what I thought. But Arif is the nicest guy in the world, very easygoing. He was there to keep my act together and make sure I got a good record. ... Arif had great ideas."

The music industry rewarded her with five Grammy awards in 2003, including album of the year, record of the year and best new artist. The album went on to sell more than 8 million copies in the U.S.

Though she's often considered a jazz artist, Jones flirted with country music by landing a Grammy nomination for her Willie Nelson duet, "Wurlitzer Prize." A solo version appears on a Waylon Jennings tribute album. She also surfaced on recent musical tributes to Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. Jones and Parton performed together on the 2003 CMA Awards telecast, and Parton appears on Jones' 2004 album Feels Like Home.

Watch the music video of Norah Jones "Chasing Pirates" :



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