Chris McNulty Biography
Increasingly acknowledged by musicians, peers and critics alike as a jazz vocalist-composer with a unique vision and a strong individual style, Chris McNulty is truly breaking new ground in re-defining the boundaries for jazz singing in the new millennium - a consummate musician who can also touch an emotional core with an audience in a way that only the voice can. Chris' compositions have been hailed as rich both harmonically, melodically and lyrically and well worthy of the company they keep along side the great standards she continues to interpret and explore.
McNulty first visited New York City in 1985 and settled there in 1988 after being awarded an International Study Grant from the Australia Council. Since then Chris has garnered further accolades from critics, jazz musicians and fans alike. She has collaborated and performed with some of the finest musicians on the jazz scene today including: Gary Bartz, Paul Bollenback, Gary Thomas, Mulgrew Miller, Peter Leitch, Joe Locke, Ugonna Okegwo, John Hicks, Igor Butman, Tom Lellis, Billy Hart, Ed Howard, Dave Pietro, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Tim Garland. George Mraz, Kenny Washington and Steve Wilson. Chris’s debut recording in the States, Waltz For Debby (Discovery 1990), received outstanding reviews in several publications and features the official published lyric by Chris of the great Miles Davis classic, “Blue in Green.” In 1994 Chris was also honored to be selected as one of the six exceptional new jazz singers on the New York scene to be featured on the Venus recording, “Big Apple Voices”. Chris has gone on to record several CD’s since then, A Time for Love (Amosaya 1996), I Remember You (Mop Top 2004), Dance Delicioso (Elefant Dreams 2005), during this time crossing over from lyricist to full fledged composer. In 2001 Chris & her quintet were invited to appear at BAM’s presentation of the first Australian Arts Festival held at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts. In 2002 Chris traveled to Russia with Paul Bollenback and returned again in 2003 and 2004 for the very first St Petersburg Jazz Festival. Following the release of her highly acclaimed Dance Delicioso, Chris returned from successful festival appearances in both the UK and Ireland including the Brecon Festival in Wales and the Killarney Festival in Ireland. Along with national radio features throughout the States, UK, Ireland and Europe, her music has also been a major feature in Australia on ABC’s nationally broadcast program, “The Nightly Planet.” Dance Delicioso was also featured in Italy’s Musica Jazz Magazine and recommend as a top pick in their October issue. On Paul Bollenback’s 6th release Brightness of Being set for release February 2006, Chris’ vocalese work is featured amongst a stellar cast of jazz luminaries including David “Fathead” Newman, Tim Garland, Gary Thomas, Terri-Lyne Carrington, James Genus and Ari Honig.
Chris was born in Melbourne, Australia and spent her early career touring Australia and SE Asia, cutting her teeth on music ranging from pop to funk and R&B. In 1976 after returning from a long stint on the road Chris discovered the great American jazz singers. By 1978 Chris had co-formed her first jazz ensemble with the noted pianist/composer Paul Grabowsky, who now heads the Australian Art Orchestra. At the same time Chris continued to work in the studio for top Australian songwriters on film, jingle and recording dates. Chris continued to expand as a jazz vocalist throughout this period. She led various ensembles performing at major jazz venues and festivals, including regular television appearances on national late night and morning variety and political programs. The highlights included: Bert Newton’s tonight show, Steve Vizard’s tonight show, Mike Walsh Daily Show and the Sunday Program.
Chris McNulty has lived in NYC since 1988. She maintains an active touring schedule with dates in the U.S., Europe, Russia, Central America and Australia.