Rebecca Martin and Kate McGarry: Two Appealing Blends of Jazz and Folk


Sign in to view read count
Both Rebecca Martin and Kate McGarry are native New Englanders in their 40s, and both create exceptionally appealing blends of folk and jazz in their new albums. Yet thanks to their contrasting voices and arrangements, Ms. McGarry's “If Less Is More . . . Nothing Is Everything" (Palmetto) and Ms. Martin's “The Growing Season" (Sunnyside) take their listeners on divergent sonic paths. Ms. McGarry sings in a broad, bluesy soprano that dominates her sound. Ms. Martin sings in a slightly lower register with a touch of world weariness to her timbres; her arrangements locate her voice more within the context of her backing instrumentalists.

Ms. McGarry is from Cape Cod, where she was one of 10 children. She received her degree in African-American music from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and sang on the Boston jazz scene in the late '80s before moving west. In Los Angeles she was guest vocalist with jazz luminaries like trumpeter Clark Terry and pianist Hank Jones, and she performed on several film soundtracks. She moved back east in the mid-1990s to study and teach at an ashram in the Catskills before settling in New York City in 1999. She now teaches at the Manhattan School of Music and records regularly for Palmetto.

She traces the development of her style to a range of influences. She studied great pianists such as Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett and the legendary singers Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. Then after college she fell under the sway of a variety of Brazilian and Indian singers. And along the way she continued to listen to the rock and folk she first heard as a youth.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

For interview requests or more information contact .

Post a comment


Jazz News


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.