Norah Jones, who first emerged on the world stage with the February 2002 release of Come Away With Me, lands in Montana for two shows, July 23 in Bozeman and July 24 near Missoula, and appears in Spokane July 26. Tickets to all three shows go on sale Feb. 1.
Jones, the daughter of famed Indian sitar-player Ravi Shankar and concert promoter Sue Jones, was born in New York City and raised by her mother in Texas. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, and then majored in jazz piano at the University of North Texas.
She returned to New York City in 1999 and recorded her self-described “moody little record” in 2002, which went on to win five Grammy Awards in 2003, including the top honors for best new artist, album of the year and song of the year for the hit “Don’t Know Why.”
That album introduced a singular new voice and signaled a paradigm shift away from the prevailing pop music of the time. Since then, Jones has sold 50 million albums worldwide and added four more Grammy Awards to her collection.
“I want to sing a great song,” she told The Star. “If I can write one, terrific, but if I can’t, I’ll sing one that somebody else wrote. I love the craft of songwriting and I get into it, but if nothing comes, that’s OK with me, too.”
She has released a series of critically acclaimed and commercially successful solo albums – Feels Like Home (2004), Not Too Late (2007), The Fall (2009), Little Broken Hearts (2012), and Day Breaks (2016)—as well as albums with her collective bands The Little Willies and Puss N Boots.
The 2010 compilation, …Featuring Norah Jones, collected her collaborations with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Outkast, Herbie Hancock, and Foo Fighters. Little Broken Hearts (2012), produced by Danger Mouse, was a step in the artistic evolution of one of the music world’s most consistently intriguing singer-songwriters.
She teamed with Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day for the 2013 album Foreverly, which featured the duo’s takes on the songs of the legendary Everly Brothers. Jones joined with Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper to form the country trio Puss N Boots, whose first record, No Fools, No Fun, was released in 2014.
With her sixth solo album, Day Breaks, Jones returned to her jazz roots while also proving her to be this era’s quintessential American artist – the purveyor of an unmistakably unique sound that weaves together the threads of several bedrock styles of American music: country, folk, rock, soul, jazz. The album features jazz luminaries including her Blue Note label mates saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents nine new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young.
Jones has recently released a series of eclectic singles including collaborations with Jeff Tweedy – “Wintertime” and “A Song With No Name” – as well as the organ-and-horn drenched soul song “It Was You” featuring drummer Brian Blade, bassist Christopher Thomas, organist Pete Remm, trumpeter Dave Guy, and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels, and the riveting song “My Heart Is Full,” a collaboration with Thomas Bartlett. She’s taking a break from album-making, she told Entertainment Weekly. “This is me finally figuring out who I want to play with,” and relishing the largely improvised process.
Norah Jones: Montana & Spokane
Bozeman: 8 p.m. July 23 at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse; 406-994-2287 or online
Missoula: July 24 at KettleHouse Amphitheater in Bonner; logjampresents.com or 877-987-6487
Spoikane: July 26 at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox; 509-624-1200 or online