Norah Jones – A Life of Inspiration


Standing at the petite height of 5’1”, Norah Jones, is a jazz vocalist, musician, and songwriter who packs serious talent. Born as Geetali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30th, 1979, in Brooklyn New York, she is the daughter of the late Indian sitar musician, Ravi Shankar, and Sue Jones. Her original birth name of Geetali, is of Indian decent and translates into “song” or “melodious”. However, with her parents’ consent in 1995 and at the age of 16, she legally changed her name, shortening it to Norah Jones.

Despite being born in New York, Jones spent most of her childhood and adolescent years living in Dallas, Texas with her mother following her parents’ split. Jones’s relationship with her father was removed and wouldn’t truly develop until around age 18. Jones has a half-sister from her dad’s second marriage, Anoushka Shankar. Jones and Anoushka didn’t meet until the late 90′s, but the two girls had many similarities, including looks, musical talent, and even similar tattoos. Eventually, Jones would go on to rekindle the relationship with father and build a solid sisterly bond with her half sister. Sadly though, the girls would lose their father in 2012. He died at 92 in a California hospital following a heart surgery.

Norah Jones began demonstrating her musical ability pretty early on singing in church choirs and by taking piano lessons. Jones’s sound today consists of a multitude of genres including jazz, pop, blues, and country. Much of her blended jazz sound is thanks to the influences of the southern music scene while in Texas. Some of Jones’s influences and musical heroes include Elvis Presley, Billie Holiday, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams.

Knowing music was Jones’ passion, she went on to enroll in Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas,Texas. She went on to win multiple achievement awards including Best Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (back to back in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition in 1996. Jones went on to further her education enrolling in University of North Texas with hopes of studying jazz piano.

In 1999, after two years spent at the North Texas University, Jones went on to her next big adventure. She set off to her roots and moved back to NYC. While in NYC, Jones began performing at clubs and waiting table for financial means. She also played in the band Wax Poetic, a funk-fusion group. However, her talent wouldn’t go unnoticed very long. In 2001, Bruce Lundvall would sign her to Blue Note Records after getting tipped on this 21-year-old café singing talent.

It wasn’t long after being signed; Norah Jones would soon become an international name and face in the music industry. Her debut album “Come Away With me ”remarkably received five Grammy awards. Norah has continued her musical career and continues to show off her talents by independent works of her own and in conjunction with some top named artists of the industry. Jones has had great influence on up and coming musicians as well. Artist have covered some of Jones biggest hits and been greatly influenced by her sound. Her musical ability has also influenced other artists to collaborate with her including Billy Joe of Green Day, Bonnie Raitt, and Ray Charles. Jones has even tried her hand at acting, starring beside Jude Law and Natalie Portman in Kar Wai Wong’s film “My Blueberry Nights”.

Norah Jones is a young blood, firecracker of smooth jazz/ pop talent who through her sound continues to captivate audience worldwide.

A new up and coming artist that has been greatly influenced by Norah Jones’ music is Barbara Gracewood. I think that if you are a fan of Norah Jones, you might enjoy her new CD and her rendition of “Come Away with Me. You can get a free download, read reviews and buy CDs on her website at www.barbaragracewood.c

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