With 7 critically acclaimed CDs and 3 Grammy nominations (2009, 2019, 2021) Kate McGarry has become recognized as a jazz artist who brings authenticity and vitality to every song regardless of genre. The Wall St. Journal calls her music, “austere and elegant,” while The New York Times pronounced her voice, “astute and sensitive”.
ABOUT Kate McGarry
She currently performs in jazz clubs, performing arts centers and festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has served on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music and California Jazz Conservatory. Downbeat’s 2016 Critics Poll named McGarry the #1 Rising Star Female Vocalist. She has been interviewed on All Things Considered, has performed on NPR’s Jazz Set w/DeeDee Bridgewater, Piano Jazz w/Marion McPartland, and a host of nationally syndicated radio shows.
Singer Kate McGarry grew up in Hyannis, Mass., one of 10 children in a musical family that spent many nights singing together. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst she earned a degree in Afro-American Music and Jazz where her professors included Dr. Horace Boyer, Archie Shepp, Max Roach, Dr. Billy Taylor, as well as author and civil rights icon James Baldwin.
Her experiences living at a meditation ashram, and time spent exploring Celtic, Brazilian and Indian music contributed to her widescreen vision as a vocalist and composer. After honing her craft in Los Angeles, McGarry moved to New York where her debut album, Show Me, was picked up by Palmetto Records. Jazziz Magazine declared, “With this near-flawless album, she has arrived.”
In 2005 McGarry’s album Mercy Streets– which ranged from the Peter Gabriel title track to songs by Björk, Joni Mitchell and Irving Berlin – was called “one of the most important vocal albums of the year” by All About Jazz. Featuring originals alongside tunes by Sting and Bill Evans/Miles Davis, her album The Target was named one of the best jazz vocal albums of 2007 by Downbeat. The Downbeat reviewer called the recording “a milestone of maturity,” adding: “McGarry has the pure untrammeled voice of an ingénue who finds wonder in the simplest of things.”
Her 2008 album, If Less Is More Nothing Is Everything, was nominated for a Grammy™ Award, with The Wall Street Journal calling it “an exceptionally appealing blend of folk and jazz” for its mix of originals, standards, Brazilian tunes and songs by the likes of Bob Dylan. National Public Radio said: “McGarry’s vocals are supple and finely nuanced – prone to blues inflections and breezy daring improvisations.”
McGarry has performed on some of the world’s most beloved stages, from Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Birdland, and her NYC home for 20 years, Jazz Standard; to the Newport Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Fest, San Sebastian, and Jazz Baltica Festivals. She has performed, recorded or toured with such jazz luminaries as Hank Jones, Clark Terry, Archie Shepp, Fred Hersch, Kurt Elling, Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck and Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown. Kate represented the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center for 3 years as a Jazz Ambassador in the American Music Abroad program, touring Romania, Albania, Brazil, Chile, China and Mongolia.
McGarry’s 2012 CD for Palmetto Records Girl Talk was a tribute to her favorite visionary jazz women vocalists. It garnered 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine and showed up on over 20 Best of 2012 jazz critic’s lists. Her 2013 and 2020 collaborations with John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Songs I Like A Lot, and Songs You Like A Lot were lauded as milestones in contemporary vocal jazz, receiving Grammy™ nominations for Best Arrangement for a Vocalist and Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album. Collaborations with Ryan Truesdell, Jeremy Fox have resulted in additional Grammy™ nominations, awards and accolades.
Kate currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with guitarist/producer/husband Keith Ganz and their dog Juno. The couple celebrated a 10 year anniversary of musical and life partnership with their first live duo recording, Genevieve and Ferdinand on Sunnyside Records. The tunes, as is typical of their live sets, moved freely between jazz, folk, Brazilian and singer-songwriter genres.
Their last CD The Subject Tonight Is Love, recorded in Durham with longtime friend and collaborator Gary Versace, marked the beginning of a new era of cinematic storytelling. The trio’s many fans funded the recording on PledgeMusic. The Subject Tonight Is Love was lauded by critics and public alike and received a 2019 Grammy™ nomination for Best Jazz Vocal CD.
McGarry and her husband Keith Ganz’s latest album, 10 years in the making, is entitled What to Wear in the Dark. It features vibrant, jazz-fueled rearrangements of songs by iconic songwriters of the 70’s that address the journey of darkness to light we’ve been traveling as a country and as individuals in recent years, with performances by jazz greats Ron Miles, Gary Versace, Obed Calvaire, Sean Smith, Clarence Penn, Becca Stevens, Erin Bentlage, Michelle Willis, Christian Euman, and James Shipp. What to Wear in the Dark comes out on the Resilience Music Alliance label September of 2021.
Kate’s vision for the future includes recording, touring, composing and collaborating as well as teaching and continuing to pass on the many gifts that the jazz music tradition has given to her. As The Nashville Scene noted, “McGarry embraces jazz’s freedom and points the genre toward a future that’s as fresh and thrilling as its past.”
For more information visit www.katemcgarry.com
About Keith Ganz
Guitarist/arranger/producer Keith Ganz is a 2019 Grammy™ nominee known for his uniquely melodic voice on both electric and acoustic guitars. Lauded as a “sublime master of subtlety” by JazzTimes, Keith has performed extensively with major jazz artists including Harry Connick, Jr., Tierney Sutton, Luciana Souza, Kurt Elling, Gretchen Parlato, Gary Versace, and Jo Lawry.
TV appearances include Oprah, Ellen, The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, and Australian Idol.