Norah Jones, née Geetali Norah Jones-Shankar le 30 mars 1979 à New York (elle change officiellement son nom en Norah Jones à l’âge de 16 ans), est une chanteuse de jazz américaine. Elle est l’une des filles du célèbre joueur de sitar indien Ravi Shankar.
Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and occasional actress of American and Indian descent.
Norah Jones est la fille du célèbre joueur de sitar Ravi Shankar et de Sue Jones. Bien que née à New York, Norah Jones part passer son enfance avec sa mère à Dallas (Texas) dès l’âge de 4 ans. Dès son plus jeune âge, elle est bercée par les musiques qu’écoute sa mère, notamment le jazz et la soul, notamment des artistes comme Bill Evans et Billie Holiday.
Elle a deux frères et une sœur.
Norah Jones a étudié à la Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts et à l’université du Nord Texas. Elle se spécialise alors dans le piano jazz et remporte de nombreux prix.
En 1999, elle retourne à New York et s’installe à Manhattan. Elle intègre bientôt un groupe de funk : les Wax Poetic, mais rapidement, elle monte son propre groupe avec Jesse Harris, Lee Alexander et Dan Rieser.
En janvier 2001, elle signe un contrat avec la célèbre maison de disques Blue Note mais c’est seulement au printemps 2002 que sort son premier album Come Away with Me. Avec cet album, Norah Jones connaît le succès et rafle 8 Grammy Awards en 2003 (dont ceux du meilleur disque, meilleur album, meilleure chanson et révélation de l’année). En 2004, elle sort son deuxième album : Feels like Home qui, loin de reproduire le précédent se tourne plus vers la musique country. L’album se vend à plus d’un million d’exemplaires dans la semaine suivant sa sortie. En 2005, Norah Jones reçoit 3 Grammy Awards supplémentaires.
La même année, elle enregistre également un duo avec Ray Charles. La chanson, intitulée Here We Go Again, obtient 2 Grammy Awards, dont celui de meilleur duo de l’année et meilleure chanson de l’année. Le titre est disponible dans l’album The Genius Loves Company, de Ray Charles.
En 2005, elle participe avec Bob Dylan au concert anniversaire des 10 ans du géant de la vente en ligne Amazon. Elle chante en duo avec Dylan sur I Shall Be Released.
En 2006, elle sort l’album The Little Willies au sein du groupe du même nom, créé en 2003. Elle y assure la partie vocale et le piano, avec Richard Julian au chant, Jim Campilongo à la guitare, Lee Alexander à la basse et Dan Rieser à la batterie. Orienté country, cet album est composé pour la majeure partie, de reprises (de Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt and Kris Kristofferson notamment). C’est le premier album sous son propre label, Milking Bull Records. Elle fait aussi une apparition sur l’album de Mike Patton, Peeping Tom.
En février 2006, le magazine Screen International a rapporté que Norah Jones devrait faire ses premiers pas au cinéma dans un film de Wong Kar-wai nommé My Blueberry Nights où elle partage l’affiche avec Jude Law et Natalie Portman. C’est le film d’ouverture du festival de Cannes 2007 (sortie prévue en France le 28 novembre 2007).
En mars 2006, elle a chanté à l’enterrement de Dana Reeve, l’épouse de Christopher Reeve, décédée d’un cancer à l’âge de 44 ans.
En janvier 2007, elle sort son troisième album solo intitulé Not Too Late.
* 2001 : New York City (2001)
* 2002 : Come Away with Me (26 février 2002)
* 2004 : Feels like Home (10 février 2004)
* 2007 : Not Too Late (29 janvier 2007)
* 2003 : New York City, en collaboration avec The Peter Malick Group (8 juillet 2003)
* 2004 : New York City: The Remix Album, en collaboration avec The Peter Malick Group (10 août 2004)
* 2005 : New York City: The Chill Album, en collaboration avec The Peter Malick Group (18 octobre 2005)
* 2006 : The Little Willies, avec The Little Willies (7 mars 2006)
* 2006 : Peeping Tom, avec Peeping Tom (30 mai 2006)
* 2002 : Don’t Know Why
* 2002 : Feelin‘ the Same Way
* 2003 : Come Away With Me
* 2004 : Turn Me On / Crazy
* 2004 : Sunrise
* 2004 : What Am I to You?
* 2004 : Sleepless Nights / Those Sweet Words
* 2006 : Thinking About You
* 2007 : Sinkin’ Soon
* 2007 : Until The End
* 2007 : My Blueberry Nights de Wong Kar-Wai
Jones’s career was launched with her 2002 debut album Come Away with Me, a contemporary pop album with a sensual, plaintive soul/folk/country tinge, that sold over twenty million copies worldwide and received five Grammy Awards, with Jones winning « Best New Artist ».
Her second album, Feels like Home, was released in 2004, clocking more than a million sales in the first week of U.S. release. In 2007, she released her third album, Not Too Late, which debuted at number one on the world charts. She has become one of the most successful recording artists of the decade, racking up sales of more than 16 million records in the US and 39 million records worldwide.
Born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar in Brooklyn, New York, she changed her name officially to Norah Jones at the age of 16. The daughter of the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones, she spent her childhood with her mother, who moved to the Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine, Texas, when Jones was four. She attended Colleyville Middle School, followed by a short period at Grapevine High School before transferring to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She admitted that her only formal singing training was at Colleyville Middle School (where she took choir) and at Booker T. Washington (where she took a choir class also).While at Colleyville, she was in band as well and played the alto saxophone. She has always liked the music of Bill Evans and Billie Holiday among others from the ‘oldies’ section and considers Willie Nelson her idol. She has been quoted as saying, « My mom had this eight-album Billie Holiday set, I picked out one disc that I liked and played that over and over again. »
Jones began singing in church choirs, taking piano lessons, and even briefly trying out the alto saxophone. She attended Interlochen Arts Camp, Grapevine High School, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. While at high school, she won the DownBeat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996). She then attended the University of North Texas, where she majored in jazz piano. Classmates included American Idol finalist Brandon Rogers and singer-songwriter David Angerstein. In 1999, two years into the program, Jones left for New York City. Since about that time she has been romantically involved with bassist Lee Alexander.
Jones was a lounge singer before becoming a recording artist. Jones played with numerous artists and bands including Wax Poetic and the Peter Malick Group. Jones performed quite frequently with guitarist Charlie Hunter in 2001 and appeared on Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album in a duet with André 3000 in 2003. While Jones is best-known for her sultry-yet-powerful vocal style, often compared to that of Billie Holiday or Nina Simone, her abilities as a jazz pianist have likewise been celebrated. On January 19, 2003 Jones appeared as a guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR, performing jazz standards such as « September in the Rain » and « I Can’t Get Started, » and later that year she appeared again with McPartland at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, performing more standards such as « Lover Man » and « Walking My Baby Back Home ». She has performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in both 2004 and 2005.
Her debut album, Come Away with Me, debuted in February 2002 and was instantly celebrated for its blending of mellow, acoustic pop with soul and country. It hit number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, with the single « Don’t Know Why » hitting number one on the Top 40 Adult Recurrents in 2003. It won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. She made a cameo appearance in the 2002 movie Two Weeks Notice playing the piano and singing « Nearness of You » at the fundraiser. « Come Away With Me » has sold over 20 million copies and is the second-best selling album of the decade so far, behind The Beatles’ 1.
Her second album, Feels like Home, was released on February 9, 2004. Rather than repeat the softer, jazz mood of Come Away with Me, her second album was influenced by country music. Within a week of its release, Feels like Home had sold over a million copies, making it the highest-selling album in the history of Blue Note Records. Jones toured globally again, to promote the album with the Handsome Band, and the addition of backing singer Daru Oda. Time magazine included Jones on the Time 100, a list of the most influential people of 2004. « Feels Like Home » has sold over 14 million copies.
Her third album, Not Too Late, was released by Blue Note Records on January 30, 2007. The album is Jones’s first for which she wrote or co-wrote every song, and according to her, some of them are much darker than those on her previous albums. Not Too Late was mostly recorded at Jones’s home studio and is the first album Jones recorded without producer Arif Mardin, who died in the summer of 2006. Jones described the sessions as « fun, relaxed and easy » and without a deadline; executives at Blue Note Records reportedly did not know they were recording an album. The song « My Dear Country » is a political satire; she wrote it before the United States Presidential election day in 2004.
Not Too Late reached the #1 position in twenty countries and reached #1 on the United World Chart with sales over 720,000 in its first week. It is the third best first week album sales of 2007 after Avril Lavigne’s third album The Best Damn Thing and Linkin Park’s third album Minutes to Midnight. The album became the 800th album to reach the top spot on the UK chart. It also reached #1 in the U.S. with 405,000 copies sold. According to a press release from EMI, Not Too Late is certified gold or platinum in twenty-one countries as of February 2007. The album has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, according to media traffic. But with shipment it sold 4 million copies. The first single, « Thinking About You« , became Jones’s first single to chart on the U.S. Hot 100 since « Don’t Know Why« .
Throughout 2002 and 2003 Jones appeared on stages, globally, for her first tour with the Handsome Band, travelling throughout Asia, America, Europe and Oceania. The tour was received with numerous sell-out concerts and positive critical acclaim.
Jones began a United States concert tour to promote her third album, Not Too Late, on April 13, 2007, and ending with a free concert in New York City on July 6, 2007. Pre-sales of tickets to the shows were made available to her fan club members, and many sold out well before the performance date. She begins her European tour on July 9, 2007 in Paris, and finishing with a concert in London on August 27, 2007, in Sopot on August 31 and in Reykjavík, Iceland on September 2, 2007.
While playing with the Handsome Band, Jones & co. are known to play several known hits from her albums, modified for stage performance with guitar solos and additional percussion. Additionally, shows may also feature several covers of country, jazz, blues, or folk songs, ranging from the ubiquitous to the obscure. Artists covered have included, among others, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Randy Newman, and Tom Waits.
Jones is working with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2007 summer tour. The Singer also performed at Bryant Park on July 6 as part of Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series.
Come Away with Me was heavily nominated for the Grammy Awards of 2003. Of the eight awards for Come Away with Me, Jones personally received five. « Don’t Know Why » was also performed on an episode of Sesame Street, in which Jones changed the lyrics to « Don’t know why Y didn’t come, » and thereby introduced the letter Y to the young audience.
Jones received three awards at the Grammy Awards of 2005, including « Record of the Year » and « Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals » for her collaboration with Ray Charles on the song « Here We Go Again ». She personally earned her eighth Grammy (and eleventh overall) for « Best Female Pop Vocal Performance » for her song « Sunrise ». That year, Jones appeared on the self-titled record by Amos Lee.
Jones also collaborated with the Foo Fighters on their 2005 record In Your Honor, singing vocals with Dave Grohl on « Virginia Moon« . The song was nominated for a « Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal » in 2006.
* First Sessions (2001) (demo EP)
* Come Away with Me (February 26, 2002) – Diamond (10x Platinum) (U.S.); 20 million (worldwide)
* Feels like Home (February 10, 2004) – 4x platinum (U.S.); 13 million (worldwide)
* Not Too Late (January 30, 2007) – 2x Platinum (U.S.); 4 million (worldwide)
* Two Weeks Notice (as Herself, 2002)
* My Blueberry Nights (directed by Wong Kar Wai)
Jones has won multiple awards, most notably her Grammy Awards.
* 2003 « Best Pop Vocal Album » — Come Away with Me
* 2003 « Album of the Year » — Come Away with Me
* 2003 « Record of the Year » — « Don’t Know Why »
* 2003 « Best Female Pop Vocal Performance » — « Don’t Know Why »
* 2003 « Best New Artist »
* 2005 « Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals » — « Here We Go Again » (with Ray Charles)
* 2005 « Best Female Pop Vocal Performance » — « Sunrise »
* 2005 « Record of the Year » — « Here We Go Again » (with Ray Charles)