Born: August 22 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Lauded for her fresh and original” approach to music (Cape Town Live), Nicky Schrire is a vocalist, composer and arranger whose adventurous spirit reflects her international upbringing.
London-born, South African-raised and now based in NYC, Schrire graduated from the Manhattan School of Music where she earned a Masters of Music Degree under the tutelage of Peter Eldridge, Theo Bleckmann and Dave Liebman. She has attended master classes with Kurt Elling and Sheila Jordan, and has received private tutelage from Dominique Eade, Gretchen Parlato, Kate McGarry, Jo Lawry, Norma Winstone and Ralph Alessi. Since moving to New York, she has performed with her quartet at the 92Y, 55Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Rockwood Music Hall and other venues around the city.
Schrire has performed with some of South Africa’s finest musicians, including Arno Carstens, Sibongile Khumalo, Judith Sephuma and Abdullah Ibrahim. She was selected as a semi-finalist in the Jazz Voices Competition held in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and as a finalist in the Voicingers International Vocal Jazz Competition, held in Zory, Poland. As a sideman, Schrire lent her voice to New York drummer, Brian Adler’s “Helium Project”, which featured artists such as Kate McGarry, Dave Eggar and Ben Monder, and Basak Yavuz’s debut album which also features Dave Liebman, Richie Barshay and Peter Eldridge.
An enthusiastic collaborator, Schrire performed at the 2012 Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival in South Africa with “The NY/SA Collective”; a “top-class international band whose collaborative credits range from Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Britney Spears and Dave Brubeck to the Modern Balkan Jazz Orchestra” (ArtSmart). She will be making her UK debut in October 2012 when she performs at The Forge with her quartet featuring pianist Nikki Iles (known for her work with Norma Winstone).
Her debut album, “Freedom Flight”, was released in 2012 on Circavision Productions to critical acclaim. Jason Crane (The Jazz Session) described the project as “an album by a talented, confident singer with a fresh approach and the voice to bring her ideas to life.” Crane also noted that Schrire is “a skilled arranger – clever without being precious, always serving the song…her debut recording [is filled] with moments that remind us of the power of the human voice and its ability to tell a story.”
“[Schrire] is quite self-assured, trusts her judgment so that each piece stands out…Recordings like Freedom Flight make me glad to be alive.” -Richard Kamins, Step Tempest (USA)
“Freedom Flight should have released under a major label's auspices, as Schrire's voice is…an instrument transcending laryngeal norms…” -Mark S. Tucker, FAME (USA)
“Freedom Flight” is vocalist Nicky Schrire’s debut album, but it sounds like the work of a seasoned veteran… Clever and understated… It is an exceptional debut.” -Steven Lewis, Hardbop Jazz Journal (USA)
If you have been hooked by the new vocalists like Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, check out Nicky Schrire – she’s on her way… -Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast (UK)
“It's not an easy voice to pigeon-hole which speaks volumes for her originality… Schrire seemingly effortlessly, and frequently wordlessly, gets to the heart of each number stripping it bare and re-shaping it into something new.” -Lance Liddle, BeBop Spoken Here (UK)
With a clear, clean, beautifully vibrato-less soprano and ample control of her pitch, Schrire brings together the essence of some of my favorites among modern creative vocalists—Kendra Shank’s global approach to song, Kate McGarry’s vocalese, and Norma Winstone’s inventive spirit, all with a vocal quality in the realm of Sara Gazarek. -Andrea Canter, Jazz Police (USA)
“This eleven track marvel (“Freedom Flight”) has Schrire proving she is one of those rare undeniable triple threats as vocalist, producer and arranger… An artist that moves effortlessly from singer to story teller with such ease and grace that the listener is almost taken by surprise.” -Brent Black, Critical Jazz (USA)
“Schrire is a skilled arranger – clever without being precious, always serving the song…”Freedom Flight” [is filled] with moments that remind us of the power of the human voice and its ability to tell a story.” -Jason Crane, The Jazz Session (USA)
“Nicky Schrire has a warm, honey-rich voice…a naturally engaging stage presence, a distinctive sound, assurance and focus - and besides all that, she is someone who will undoubtedly win you over with her charm, humour and empathy.” -Peter Eldridge, Founding member of The New York Voices (USA)
Freedom Flight (Circavision Productions, 2012)
Tracks: 1. Freedom Flight/Blackbird; 2. Journey; 3. Cosmic Love; 4. If Ever I Would Leave You; 5. Ode To A Folk Song; 6. Sleep Away; 7. The Swimming Song; 8. E Preciso Perdoar; 9. Me, The Mango Picker; 10. Shower The People; 11. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right .
Personnel: Nicky Schrire: Vocals; Nick Paul: piano; Sam Anning: bass; Jake Goldbas: drums; Paul Jones: tenor saxophone; Jay Rattman: clarinet; Brian Adler: percussion; Peter Eldridge: piano & vocals.
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Somatic Voice Work™, The LoVetri Method Level 1 Certified 2011 Manhattan School of Music Distance Learning Center South African Association for Jazz Education Outreach Teaching University of KwaZulu Natal Rustenburg Girls High School South African College of Music, UCT