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Nellie McKay / Nora Brown

Nellie McKay / Nora Brown

January 13, 2020

Sister Orchid is Nellie McKay’s seventh album, starting with Get Away From Me (“a tour de force” – The New York Times), including Normal As Blueberry Pie:  A Tribute to Doris Day (“among the killer overhauls of American standards” – The New York Times) and My Weekly Reader, music of the ‘60s (“…kicks serious butt. The results are beautiful.” – PopMatters), her second collaboration with famed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. On Obligatory Villagers (“a brisk nine-song set that plays like the breathless first act of a stage musical decrying American fascism” – SPIN), local Poconos hometown jazz greats Bob Dorough, Phil Woods, and David Liebman contributed their exceptional talents.

She has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera, performed onscreen in the films PS I Love You and Downtown Express, and her music was used in Rumor Has It, Monster-in-LawPS I Love YouGasland, Last Holiday, and Private Life. 

Nora Brown started learning ukelele at age 6 from the late Shlomo Pestcoe. With a focus on old time music, he laid a foundation of love of music and the community it creates. He instilled in her the lesson that music is meant to be shared. Now 14 years old, Nora plays banjo and sings ballads - She plays solo and also with many of her mentors including her friend, fiddler Stephanie Coleman, as a duet under name Little Leatherwood. Today Nora is being mentored by many of her favorite old time musicians including Alice Gerrard, Lee Sexton, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Sammy Lind, Mark Simos, KC Groves, Courtney Hartman, Mac Traynham, John Haywood, and Brett Ratliff.  One of her most important mentors is the late John Cohen.

Nora has played the Floyd Radio Show in Floyd, VA., the Washington Square Park Folk Festival, Brooklyn Folk Festival, Brooklyn Americana Festival, Oldtone Roots Music Festival, both Summer and Winter Hoots at the Ashokan Center, NYC Trad Fest, and has had multiple month long residencies at famed Barbès in Brooklyn. On Oct 25, Nora released her first record of 11 traditional songs and tunes called Cinnamon Tree  produced by Alice Gerrard. The Tribeca Film Festival funded a short documentary by Josh Weinstein about Nora called “Little Nora (the Banjo Prodigy).”

January 13, 2020

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