Counterstream Radio
New Music Streaming 24/7
New Music Playlists
Browse Music, Video, Interviews and more.
profile image

I'm Listening To

Nora McCarthy

Newark, NJ            

Nora McCarthy

Jazz Vocal Artist, Composer, Poet, Lyricist, Educator, producer

Nora McCarthy has thus far had a very productive and significant musical career. A unique and original singer, poet, songwriter and innovative improviser, she is an important force in the advanced New York jazz scene since 1996 when she recorded her first of thus far eight CD’s, red&blue with John diMartino, Essiet Okon Essiet, Alvester Garnett, Mike Lee and Sato Takeishi.

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, modal jazz and the free, avant-garde idioms but her sound is reminiscent of the great voices and horns in jazz.

Nora currently leads the following creative ensembles: The People of Peace Quintet; The Nora McCarthy Organic Trio; Nora McCarthy Qu’ART’et; A Small Dream In Red Innovative Voice and Saxophone Duo with Jorge Sylvester, Nora McCarthy Manna For Thought Improvising Trio;and, The Modern Voice Ensemble. McCarthy is co-founder with alto saxophonist Jorge Sylvester of ConceptualMotion Orchestra, 20-piece large ensemble.

Nora is a member of Jorge Sylvester ACE (Afro-Caribbean-Experimental) Collective and the Extended Edition with Strings; The Blue Unity; and, David Haney and Bernard Purdie’s Sextet, “Jazz Stories.” 

Nora worked closely with the late Conductor, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris’ as a member of the Chorus of Poets from 2005-2010.

  • Nora graced the highly coveted cover of the 2016 February/March issue of Jazz Inside Magazine as the featured artist
  • Winner of the 38th Annual Jazz Station Awards in two categories: Jazz Singer and Best Jazz Vocal CD blesSINGS by Arnaldo DeSouteiro—Los Angeles-based Jazz Historian, Educator and Record Producer. Founder & Ceo Of Jazz Station Records (JSR)
  • Nora currently presents a jazz radio show for Cadence Jazz World (http://www.cadencejazzworld.com) called, “Nora’s Jazz Show” featuring jazz and avant-jazz, world jazz by established and emerging artists 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.
  • Nora has developed a comprehensive 13-pronged approach to teaching voice, improvisation and career development and is the founder of The Zen Of Singing…The Spiritual Path To Finding Your Voice ™ and currently teaches privately, conducts workshops, and master classes.
  • McCarthy has penned lyrics to dozens of jazz standards and countless other compositions by other artists including her own original music.
  • McCarthy’s has been writing prose, poetry and word art for several decades.
  • McCarthy’ has written over 30 compositions and graphic compositions, soundscapes and poetic architectures that she has been designing since 2001 for her advanced music groups.



Manna For Thought  (RedZen Records™)-2018

blesSINGS (RedZen Records™)-2016

A Time For Love (RedZen Records™)-2013

Spirit Driven (RedZen Records™)-2013

In The Language Of Dreams (RedZen Records™)-2013

Toward A Hill of Joy (Blue Unity Music) – 2011

Circle Completing (RedZen Records™)-2009

A Small Dream In Red (Sundown Jazz) (RedZen Records™)-2005

red&blue (RedZen Records™)-1998


Restless Mind

Original composition by Nora McCarthy from her CD blesSINGS (2016) RedZen Records with Nora McCarthy People of Peace Quintet: Nora McCarthy-voice, Pablo Vergara-piano, Donald Nicks-bass, Kenny Grohowski-drums and Jorge Sylvester-alto saxophone-not on this track.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

The Light Of Truth’s High Noon

Composed by: Nora McCarthy
Spirit Driven CD 2013 – RedZen Records
Jorge Sylvester ACE Collective: Jorge Sylvester-alto saxophone, Nora McCarthy-voice, Waldron Mahdi Ricks-trumpet, Donald Nicks-electric bass, Kenny Grohowski-drums
A song about the fool’s spiritual journey through life.

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Performance at Roulette for the ISIM Cross-Cultural Summer Workshop & Performance

An improvisational piece created and led by Jane Ira Bloom as part of the International Society for Improvising Musicians Cross-Cultural Summer Workshop. The performance took place at Roulette Performance Space in Brooklyn, NY in 2013.

Jane Ira Bloom, Gamin the Artist, Tom Zlabinger, Matthew Endahl, Anton Kotikov, Jeffrey Roberts, Maja Radovanliga, Nora McCarthy

Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.