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|Birth name||Mandy Harvey|
January 2, 1988 |
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
|Years active||2009 - present|
Mandy Harvey (born January 2, 1988) is a deaf American jazz singer and songwriter. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen and left. She pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. Smile (2009) is a self-produced album and has received acclaim from Jazz critics. She plans two more before December 2010.
Mandy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to Florida at age two. Daughter to a minister and to an educator, Mandy showed an early talent for singing, but also suffered infrequent periods of deafness. At age ten, her family moved to Colorado. Her vocal talent blossomed and she won numerous school awards, notably Top Female Vocalist of 2006 as a high school senior.
After graduating, Mandy applied and was accepted to Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado.. Mandy was one of fifteen students that year that were accepted to be vocal majors. During her first semester, Mandy noticed she had to move closer to hear recordings. Hearing aids helped at first. Six months later, she had no hearing left. Discouraged, Mandy left school and returned home to take American Sign Language classes and pursue Elementary Education at a local community college. Once she returned home Mandy decided that she would take a year off of singing, but she did continue to play the guitar with her father. One day while searching the internet Mandy and her father discovered a song titled "Come Home" by OneRepublic. Mandy's father suggested that she learn the lyrics. Mandy thought this would be impossible but she gave it her best effort, and to her surprise she was able to learn the lyrics, and this is what made her suddenly realize that she didn't have to give up on singing.
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A 2008 chance encounter with her former high school teacher, Cynthia Vaughn, led Mandy to revive her music passion. Vaughn offered music lessons and Mandy drove an hour each way twice a week. Impressed by the quality of Mandy's vocal talent after deafness, Vaughn introduced Mandy to renowned Jazz Pianist Mark Sloniker at Jay's Bistro in Fort Collins. Sloniker invited Mandy to play on Thursdays. She is now a fixture at the bistro and continues to perform weekly.
Until January 2009, Mandy had not considered recording an album until meeting Bob and Donna Visocky while performing on her birthday. The Visockys were taken aback by Mandy's performance of "Smile" and commented their daughter who died in a car crash used to sing the same song. Bob and Donna encouraged Mandy to produce a CD. Smile became the feature song of the album.
Mandy recruited Mark Sloniker, Erik Applegate for bass, Mark Raynes for drums, and Andrew Vogt for saxophone. Together, they recorded all sixteen songs in two eight-hour sessions. The CD was released October, 2009 at Jay's Bistro.
Later career influences
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- Smile (2009)
- After You're Gone (2010)