@ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club
15 November 2015
Click an image to enlarge.
Jo Lawry’s debut album “I Want to Be Happy” was
released in 2008 to rave reviews and named among the “Best
CDs of the Decade” in Downbeat Magazine. In addition to working
with her own quintet, Lawry is the vocalist for the Fred Hersch
Pocket Orchestra, a quartet whose album, “Live at Jazz Standard”
was released on Sunnyside Records. Lawry was also a founding member
of the Irish/Brazilian/Jazz quartet, James Shipp’s Nos Novo,
providing lead vocals, fiddle, mandolin and melodica. This group’s
debut CD “Strange Sweethearts in America,” was described
by the New York Times as “a striking new album...” which
advances a jazz-based take on traditional Celtic music.” Lawry
has been featured as a guest on numerous modern jazz recordings;
stand-outs include Dr. Lonnie Smith’s album “Rise Up!”
and Kate McGarry’s Grammy-nominated “If Less is More...
Nothing is Everything.”
Jo Lawry has also become well known to audiences beyond the jazz
genre through her work with Sting, and more recently, Paul Simon.
She first joined Sting in 2009 as a backing vocalist for the filming
of his live concert DVD “A Winter’s Night... Live From
Durham Cathedral.” Following this project, Lawry was invited
to join Sting as sole female vocalist on his international orchestral
tour, Symphonicities, (2010-2011). This tour was followed in 2011
by the Back to Bass tour on which Lawry also played violin (2011-2013).
During these two world tours, Lawry has performed at venues ranging
from The Met (New York), Royal Albert Hall (London), The Hollywood
Bowl (Los Angeles) and Sydney Opera house to The Kremlin (Moscow)
and Piazza San Marco (Venice). Lawry has featured prominently on
all Sting albums and DVDs released since she joined his band, including
the 2011 Grammy- nominated box set, 25 Years, and the Live in Berlin
DVD. Most recently, Lawry was featured on The Last Ship, Sting’s
first release of new original material in over a decade, several
songs of which Lawry had a hand in writing. Currently she is touring
with Sting and Paul Simon on their North-American double-bill tour.
Jo Lawry grew up on an almond farm in South Australia and, after
a brief affair with operatic study, began her instruction in the
Jazz Department at Adelaide University’s Elder Conservatorium.
Lawry has received many honours including the prestigious Fulbright
Scholarship for study in the United States to complete her Masters
degree in Jazz Performance (2003). She was a semi-finalist in the
2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and she won
second place in Australia’s National Jazz Awards in 2005.
In 2006 Lawry commenced her studies at New England Conservatory
for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance. In 2008 she was
selected by Carnegie Hall to participate in a week-long collaboration
with emerging vocalists from all over the world, led by Bobby McFerrin.
Her relationship with Carnegie Hall continued in 2010 to 2012 as
a featured artist in their Musical Connections pilot program. From
2003 to 2010, Jo was also Artist-in-Residence at the United States
Embassy of Australia.
Lawry currently lives in New York, where she leads her own band,
with whom she plays her own songs, along with a selection of covers
and jazz standards. She appears regularly at NYC clubs from Birdland
to Joe’s Pub, as well as internationally.