How Norah Jones Got Started in Music

Norah Jones

Norah Jones achieved both of those dreams and more. She became an international phenomenon and won multiple Grammy awards.

Son of Ravi Shankar, she first made waves with her 2002 smooth jazz/acoustic pop album Come Away With Me which earned eight Grammy awards. Subsequently, in 2004 she released Feels Like Home with similar results.

She was born in New York City

Norah Jones released her debut album to critical and commercial acclaim and, following its success, recorded several additional albums that garnered critical and commercial acclaim. Her second release, Feels like Home, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and became a multi-platinum best seller. Subsequent releases from Norah explored various musical styles; she even contributed soundtracks for films and television shows.

Jones has performed with bands like Little Willies and El Madmo, while she often can be found performing solo in Lower East Side karaoke bars. Her signature willowy jazz-influenced sound can vary significantly between releases; her voice can range from intimately quiet to weeping with emotion at any given time.

Jones released her 2009 album The Fall as an exploration of her emotional state due to a failed relationship, featuring moody electric instrumentation with rock and soul influences and subtler touches of melody. More recently she worked with producer Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) to record Little Broken Hearts; moreover in 2019 Begin Again EP was released containing songs written and recorded since she completed her last tour.

She moved to Dallas when she was four

Norah Jones was raised in Grapevine, Dallas as the daughter of Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar and concert promoter Sue Jones. Her early musical influences came from her mother’s LP collection as well as oldies radio. At five, Norah started singing church choirs before taking piano lessons two years later and later taking up playing alto saxophone in junior high.

At 15, Norah moved to Dallas’ central city and attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts – home of soul singer Erykah Badu and jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove as alumni. Norah quickly earned a reputation in Dallas through her performances, and on her 16th birthday she made her first performance debut at an open-mike night at a coffee shop!

Norah Jones made her musical debut with Come Away With Me in 2002 after working with friends such as bassist Jerome Covington and backing vocalist Daru Oda to co-write most of its songs on her debut album Come Away With Me. 2004 brought Feels Like Home where most songs she co-wrote or wrote alone were featured.

She studied jazz piano at the University of North Texas

Jones has earned praise from critics across a broad spectrum, yet she remains unclassifiable musically. She’s created an expansive career that defies genre labels; working alongside artists such as Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, Dolly Parton, Outkast Q-Tip M Ward among many more.

She majored in jazz piano at the University of North Texas, singing with the UNT Jazz Singers and receiving DownBeat Student Music Awards in 1996 and 1997 for her singing talent. However, in 1999 she put academic pursuits on hold to pursue singing full time as her career focus.

Norah has become a favorite on concert stages across North America with sold-out arena shows and Grammy nominations to her credit. She tours with her own band as well as working with top songwriters Jesse Harris, Lee Alexander and Dan Rieser to write new material. Norah’s new album Day Breaks returns to jazz-influenced sounds of Come Away With Me but also ventures into new terrain with moody electric instruments that hint at rock and soul influences.

She moved to New York City in 1999

Norah Jones moved to New York City during the summer of 1999 after accepting an offer of subleasing in Greenwich Village from a friend. Soon thereafter, she began performing at local clubs and restaurants.

Norah’s debut album Come Away With Me was both commercial and critical acclaim; selling over four million copies in the US alone and earning two Grammy awards.

After the release of her second album, Feels Like Home, Norah began touring globally and appeared in several films like Kar Wai Wong’s My Blueberry Nights.

In 2004, Norah recorded demos with musicians Jesse Harris, Lee Alexander and Dan Rieser to secure a contract with Blue Note Records. Her album Not Too Late marked her first album for which she wrote or co-wrote every track; additionally it marked the first time that she played both piano and guitar on it; it became a double platinum seller.