After achieving commercial success and aesthetic respect as one of jazz’s towering figures, Duke Ellington often spoke about never speaking about “jazz” again: After 1947, he refused to use that musical-genre tag because, he said, it segregated him and anyone else who made America’s classical music from pure expression.

At a time when most female pop is Auto-Tuned, Nellie McKay — singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and comedian — is an unorthodox breath of fresh air. London-born but living much of her youth in Pennsylvania (she’s a veteran of the Pocono Youth Orchestra and Phil Woods’ orchestra of promising young players), McKay has explored Tin Pan Alley pop and uneasy-listening jazz. Her music could be self-penned or pulled from the songbooks of Kurt Weill, Peggy Lee and Cole Porter — all with witty lyrics rich in unsentimental, anti-romantic sarcasm or all-around silliness.

Find us on Facebook
Follow Us
Find Us on YouTube
Find Us on Instagram
Sign Up for Our Newsletter