Born in Cape Cod, MA, Raised in a large Irish Catholic family in Massachusetts, Kate and her nine siblings were surrounded by diverse musical influences and spent many nights singing together.
McGarry earned a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American Music and jazz at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she also studied improvisation with the innovative saxophonist Archie Shepp.
Singing was in her blood, and she began a professional career as soon as she graduated college, working local venues around Boston.
Moving to California in 1988, she appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival, backed by an AII-Star Band led by Hank Jones and Clark Terry. With a lot of encouragement from singer and vocal coach Sue Raney, McGarry gradually began showing up at some of the top Los Angeles nightspots.
She also landed a singing spot in the Wesley Snipes movie “Money Men” and can be heard on the soundtrack.
She spent a decade in Los Angeles practicing her craft before moving to NYC.
With 5 critically acclaimed albums and a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal CD to her credit, Kate McGarry is recognized as an international jazz artist who brings authenticity and vitality to every song she sings.
The Wall St. Journal has called her music, “…austere and elegant…an exceptionally appealing blend of folk and jazz.”
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