One of today’s youngest and most talented jazz musicians is Norah Jones. Born in New York City on March 30, 1979, Norah attributes her musical influences to her mother’s extensive album collection.
Jones began playing piano at the age of seven and discovered singing while attending high school. She did not branch out to jazz piano until she was a student at the University of North Texas.
er first gig on her 16th birthday—an open mic night at a local coffeehouse, where she performed a version of Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You”.
After graduation, Jones entered the University of North Texas. The University is renowned for its music program, and Jones chose to major in jazz piano.
In the summer of 1999, a summer visit to New York turned into a permanent move. Inspired by the city’s large music scene, Jones began to wait tables and sing in jazz clubs.
For about a year in 1999, she appeared regularly with the funk-fusion band Wax Poetic. But she soon left the group to assemble her own band with musicians Jesse Harris, Lee Alexander, and Dan Rieser. In October 2000, this lineup recorded a selection of demos for Blue Note Records. Jones was then signed to Blue Note as a solo artist in January 2001.
She began recording the 2002 Grammy-winning album Come Away With Me in May 2001. Her first solo album won five Grammy awards for album of the year, song of the year, best new artist, best pop vocal album, and best female pop vocal performance.