Nora McCarthy has thus far had a very productive and significant musical career. A poet and a songwriter in addition to being a highly original singer, she is an important force in the advanced New York jazz vocal scene since 1996 when she recorded her first CD, red&blue.

Her collaboration with alto-saxophonist Jorge Sylvester began in 2001 and the synergy of their near telepathic level of communication has produced several unique and groundbreaking projects:   A Small Dream In Red, an innovative voice and saxophone duo; ConceptualMotion Orchestra, a 20-piece all original music ensemble; and the ACE (Afro-Caribbean-Experimental) Collective, a sextet of improvising musicians consisting of:  alto saxophone, voice, trumpet, piano electric bass, and drums. The ACE Collective performs original, new and experimental compositions that draw from the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora, jazz and the free music art forms. Nora and her various groups have appeared in concerts, festivals and club dates in NYC and elsewhere in the world.

Nora has performed with:  Trombonist Kuumba Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe; Trombonist George Brandon and the Blue Unity Ensemble; Conductor, Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris’ A Chorus Of Poets; the Next Legacy Jazz Orchestra; Bassists:  Dominic Duval, Santi Debriano, Juini Booth, Andy McCloud, Calvin Hill, Reggie Washington, Ken Filiano, Essiet Okon Essiet, Donald Nicks; Vibraphonist, Multi-Instrumentalist  Gunter Hampel; Pianists:  James Weidman, John diMartino, James Hurt, Eric Lewis, Guitarists:  Barry Wedgle, Dom Minasi, Marvin Sewell, Andrew Green; Drummers:  Gene Jackson, Derrik Phillips, Dafnis Prieto, Michael Wimberly, Jay Rosen as well as the legendary Bluesman, Wilson Pickett among many, many other notables in addition to her own Qu’ART’et with John diMartino; Jeffrey Carney-Bass and Tony Jefferson-Drums. Nora and her various groups have appeared in concerts, festivals and club dates in NYC and elsewhere in the world.

On December 6, 2010, Nora performed in concert at the illustrious Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria debuting her original poetry as well as new compositions and completed a new recording, Spirit Driven, with Jorge Sylvester’s ACE Collective to be released June, 2012 on her label Red Zen Records ™. Nora is the featured vocalist on trombonist, composer George Brandon's new CD, Toward The Hill Of Joy (May, 2011) with the Blue Unity Ensemble. in the language of dreams, (Red Zen Records). her newest offering with, A Small Dream In Red, a tribute to Ornette Coleman and Wassily Kandinsky, is also due for release June, 2012. Nora’s CD Circle Completing (2009), is an exquisite duet CD with pianist John diMartino that features several of her original compositions and poetry including her tribute to the great jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott and includes her original composition, “Faith in Time – Jimmy’s Song,” her homage to Scott.

In 2009 Nora was featured in Italy’s foremost jazz magazine, The Jazz Magazine, alongside luminaries Ahmad Jamal and Phil Woods and her composition “My Dream” from her CD, red&blue, was included on the accompanying compilation CD. From 2009-2010, Nora hosted, New York Jazz Expressions, for UKJazz Radio, an online radio program presenting over 15 shows that featured a vast array of vocal and instrumental jazz recordings from early jazz to the avant-garde and free music art forms highlighting those artists currently on the cutting edge of the New York City jazz music scene.