23 year-old jazz violinist Nora Francesca Germain is the first ever violinist to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the renowned USC Thornton School of Music. An alumna of the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy High School in southern California, Germain was given the Inspirational Jazz Student Award at the age of 17 by her mentor and fellow collaborator Marshall Hawkins, former bassist for Miles Davis and Shirley Horn. She was also the first jazz violin graduate of Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her parents and grandmother were all strings players (two were violinists, one a cellist) in the Madison Symphony, her mother becoming a violin teacher and her father becoming a violin luthier. Introduced to the violin at age 2, Germain was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and studied classical violin. At age 10, she was already performing and improvising with bands and venturing outside of her classical training.
Now often called an irreplaceable talent, old soul, bright star or inspirational friend, Germain is one of the most diverse violinists on the scene, and has been playing violin for 20 years. She appeared live in the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards with Sam Smith performing Stay With Me with a string quartet as first violinist. She has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Seahawk Modern Jazz Orchestra and has also collaborated with The Manhattan Transfer, American Idol Season 10 finalist Casey Abrams and 222 Records (Adam Levine) artist Rozzi Crane, as well as virtuoso jazz artists Gilbert Castellanos, Evan Christopher, Mundell Lowe, Llew Matthews, and singer Barbara Morrison. She also toured in 2014 as a soloist with Indian pop musician DSP on his headlining United States and Canada tour.