Caecilie Norby biography
Cæcilie Norby (born September 9, 1964 in Frederiksberg, Denmark) is a celebrated Danish jazz singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of composer Erik Norby and opera singer Solveig Lumholt, and her younger sister, Louise Norby, is a pop singer. Cæcilie received her music education at Sankt Annæ Gymnasium (the Copenhagen Municipal Choir School), followed by a year at a "folkehøjskole" (folk high school) with theatre and music as her main subjects.
In 1982, she co-founded the band Street Beat, and was its vocalist for the next two years. From 1983, she was part of the jazz/funk group Frontline, which released two very successful albums Frontline (1985) and Frontlife (1986), and was awarded the prestigious Ben Webster prize. A readers' poll conducted by Danish music magazine MM bestowed prizes on the group for "Jazz Act of the Year", "Live Act of the Year", "Most Promising Act", and "Album of the Year", and Cæcilie was voted "Soloist of the Year".
In 1985, she began a long musical partnership with singer Nina Forsberg in the highly popular pop/rock group One Two. The group formally existed right up to 1993 (although the two still tour together to this day) and recorded three albums: OneTwo (1986), Hvide Løgne (1990), and Getting Better (1993), which sold approximately 250,000 copies in Denmark alone. In 1986, Cæcilie represented Denmark as part of an international jazz orchestra at the Knokke Festival in Belgium.
In 1990, Cæcilie's father wrote the work "Concerto for two sopranos" for the Zealand Symphonic Orchestra. The two sopranos were Cæcilie herself and her mother, and the work contained both classical and rhythmic and improvisational elements. Cæcilie had also performed with her mother and Thomas Clausen with a mix of opera, musical and jazz titled "Ballads, Blues & Lieder".
During these years, Cæcilie had collaborated with many renowned artists and musicians from both the U.S. and Europe, including Dianne Reeves, Curtis Stigers, John Scofield, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, and Randy and Michael Brecker, as well as:
Ray Brown, Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Lars Danielsson, Heyn van der Geyn, and Mads Vinding.
Billy Hart, Al Foster, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Alex Riel.
Bobo Steenson, Lars Jansson, Carsten Dahl, Joey Calderazzo, Dave Kikoski, and many more.
Big Bands & Orchestras:
Tolvan Big Band, The Danish Radio Big Band, Klüvers BB, Bohuslen BB, and The Umo Big Band.
Cæcilie's self-titled debut solo album Cæcilie Norby was released in the spring of 1995 through renowned jazz label Blue Note, with contributions by several composers and soloists like Randy Brecker, Chick Corea, Don Grolnick, Rick Margitza, Billy Hart, and Lars Jansson. The CD was mixed and partly recorded in New York.
Danish music magazine JazzSpecial.dk voted Cæcilie Norby one of the five best records, and the five-digit sales figure (approximately 53,000 copies) achieved so far both in Japan and Denmark were exceptional for a jazz album.
Her second release My Corner Of The Sky (1996) featured drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist Lars Danielsson, and the Brecker Brothers. After achieving the sales figure of 70,000 copies, Cæcilie was voted one of the ten most popular jazz singers of the world in 1996.
Cæcilie toured for three weeks in Japan with her Scandinavian quartet in December 1996, a further three weeks in the U.S., and four months in Europe during the summer of 1997.
Her third album Queen Of Bad Excuses was released September 1999. This time, she wrote almost all of the music and lyrics herself; "self-biographical fiction", as she calls it. All arrangements, programming and producing were done in cooperation with Lars Danielsson. The album was released in Europe, Australia, Japan and South Africa. It received overwhelming reviews, from hardcore jazz reviewers to the broader pop-jazz audience. Once again, sales figures were over 40,000 copies.
First Conversation (2002), Cæcilie's fourth album, was a fast-selling record. It was again created in cooperation with producer Danielsson - who wrote special arrangements for the orchestra, tailored for the improvised sessions recorded in the famous ECM Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway. The album featured legendary drummer Jon Christensen and pianist Carsten Dahl, among other artists. To date, First Conversation has exceeded 40,000 copies sold and received very positive reviews.
The live album London/Paris (2004) came into being during the Europe tour of 2003. Two intimate jazz clubs became the backdrop for a successful documentation of the hectic touring schedule of Cæcilie Norby and her band. The album gives a dusty atmospheric sound with Ulf Wakenius (Sweden) on guitar and Xavier Desandre Navarre (France) on percussion. London/Paris is a bouquet of the best jazz standards and pop classics transformed to new versions in experimental and playful ways.
A month after London/Paris was released, American jazz diva Dianne Reeves invited Cæcilie to make a guest appearance on five songs in a TV concert recorded at the Baltica Jazz Festival in Germany. The duet collaboration was repeated at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival the same summer. London/Paris has also received a Gold Award for 25,000 copies sold in Denmark.
The fifth studio album from Cæcilie, Slow Fruit, was released in September 2005. For this album, she had written and composed all the material herself, while Lars Danielsson had co-composed three of the songs and appeared as both primary pianist and bassist.
A significant note about the album was the high degree of intensity derived from collaborations set in a home environment. Prominent musicians, who have over the years influenced Cæcilie's sound both live and on recordings, added to the personal and warm atmosphere heard on this album. Not surprisingly, just as her previous releases had done, Slow Fruit was well-received and drew high praises from reviewers. It also introduced a new collaboration opportunity by the American saxophone player and singer Curtis Stigers, who joined Cæcilie in a duet on the track "Big Time".
Cæcilie's most recent album I Had a Ball was released in Denmark on November 12, 2007 through Copenhagen Records. Labeled as a "greatest and more" offering, the compilation, recorded live with Klüvers Big Band, contains a mix of new material as well as favorites from her earlier releases. The album also includes the track "Comes Love" where Cæcilie and Kurt Elling join in a duet. That same autumn, she also released a special edition of Slow Fruit in Italy, Poland, and Germany, which included a bonus track and a duet with Curtis Stigers on the track "Big Time".
Cæcilie received the prestigious Ben Webster prize in 1986. Ten years later, in 1996, she received a prize for Best Album Recording in Japan. In 1997 Cæcilie received the Simon Spies soloist prize, and in 2000 she received the Wilhelm Hansen music prize. In addition, she has received a total of 10 Grammy nominations throughout her career.
Cæcilie Norby has scored tremendous success and overwhelming reviews with her numerous projects. Critics have compared her to Swedish singer-actress Monica Zetterlund and to American singers Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, and Aretha Franklin. Her voice is lyrical and subtle; her improvisations and scats are done with elegance; her phrasing can be both down-to-earth and romantic; and she can radiate anything from sweet and vulnerable, to the crude and powerful.
Now in her early forties, Cæcilie has done it all: fusion, rock, and jazz. Through her illustrious career, she has contributed to breaking down the divisions between genres. And in doing so, she has awakened an interest in jazz among the younger, traditionally pop- or rock-oriented generation.
Cæcilie Norby's official website: www.caecilienorby.com
Cæcilie Norby's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/CaecilieNorby