Norah Jones
TO Code Hot Home Page
Click to see bigger picture  


Norah Jones was born March 30, 1979 in New York City. When she was four years old, Norah and her mother Sue moved to the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, Texas. Norah's earliest musical influences came from her mother's extensive LP collection and from 'oldies' radio. She began singing in church choirs at age five, commenced piano lessons two years later, and briefly played alto saxophone in junior high.

"My mom had this eight-album Billie Holiday set. I picked out one disc that I liked and played that over and over again. You Go To My Head, that was my favorite."

When Norah 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.


Norah Jones Links
Click to see bigger picture  
Click to see bigger picture  
Click to see bigger picture  

Norah played her first gig on her 16th birthday, an open-mic 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 in high school, Norah 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. After graduation, she entered the University of North Texas, renowned for its music programs, where she majored in jazz piano. She also sang with a band called Laszlo, playing what she describes as "dark, jazzy rock."

In the summer of 1999, Norah 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, Norah appeared regularly with the funk-fusion band Wax Poetic. 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, Jones was signed to Blue Note in January 2001. Norah 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.

Norah began recording the songs of Come Away With Me in May 2001, doing preliminary work with producer Craig Street at Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, New York. 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."

"I never thought I'd have a record like this. I thought it would be at least five years before I'd reach that point. This is really the record I wanted to make."

Feels Like Home released 9th Feb 2004 <back>

Click to see bigger picture  
Click to see bigger picture  
Buy the sheet music from Sheet Music Plus
Buy The Albums
"Come Away with Me"

Back to The MAIN Norah Jones feature