Chris McNulty

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Chris McNulty (born 1953) is Australian-born jazz vocalist[1] who is resident in the United States in the New York area.

McNulty has collaborated and performed with many jazz greats, including (USA): Paul Bollenback, Mulgrew Miller, Gary Bartz, Gary Thomas, John Hicks, Billy Hart, Ugonna Okegwo, Matt Wilson, Marcus Gilmore, Montez Coleman, Gary Versace, David Budway, Peter Leitch, Ed Howard, John Di Martino, Rob Bargad, Tim Garland, Ingrid Jensen, Andrei Kondakov, Igor Butman, Tony Reedus and Anita Wardell to name a few. In Australia, Paul Grabowsky, Frank Di Sario, Mike Jordan, Graham Wood, Carl Mackey, Ben Vanderwaal, Andrew Dickeson, Steve Barry, Cameron Undy, Mat McMahon. As an educator, Chris has been invited to present clinics and workshops at Monash University (Melb), Griffith University (Bris), West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA- Perth), Australian Institute of Music (AIM-Syd) and University of SA (Adelaide). McNulty's repertoire includes the great jazz standards, modern jazz classics and original compositions. She is noted for remaining faithful to the lyrical message of a jazz composition, while giving full vent to her own imaginative phrasings in jazz idiom. Chris McNulty's recordings include, notably, her 1990 Waltz for Debby album of song.[2] Chris McNulty is the 2013 recipient of the Australian Bell Award for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album for "The Song That Sings You Here" (Challenge Records).[3] Chris McNulty’s seventh release, Eternal (Palmetto Records), finds her in collaboration with gifted orchestrator, Stephen Newcomb and pianist-arranger, John Di Martino. The result is an exquisite melding of chamber ensemble and jazz quintet. The carefully crafted repertoire put together as an homage to Chris’ late son, Sam, features unique treatments of classics such as Where Is Love, What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life, Nature Boy and On A Clear Day. These tunes are re-imagined in new light by McNulty’s deft touch to connect powerfully with the core of each lyric. “Exquisite….McNulty applies poignant jazz chops to the vocal, while accomplishing the impossible, the expression of her story through song….making listeners rethink the meaning of why we love jazz. Eternal is both easy to love, and profoundly touching”–– 5 stars, All About Jazz NYC, July 2015 "McNulty has put all she has learned over half a lifetime of jazz singing and songwriting into this exquisite chamber jazz CD. A veteran performer on the international jazz scene, she has many gifts as a performer and a direct channel to the emotional core of a lyric. On this CD, McNulty bares her soul, and one doesn’t dare look away." — 4 1/2 stars, DownBeat, June 2015 “ A musical triumph..” — Hot House, NYC, June 2015

Career debut 1970 -1976[edit]

Began professional career singing in pop bands in hotels and clubs in and around Melbourne, Australia. Toured Australia and SE Asia as a member of all the girl band, "Daughters of Zeus” and several pop, funk & R&B bands. Nominated for Queen of Pop title in Brisbane (QLD), Australia.

Early notoriety in the US[edit]

McNulty arrived in the United States from her native Australia in 1988 with her young son, Sam, in her care having been awarded an international study grant from the Music Board of the Australia Council.[4] Her first US record Waltz for Debbie debuted less than two years thereafter. McNulty's original vocalisations, thereon, for Miles Davis's "Blue in Green" became the song's official, published lyric (Warner Chapell, 1990).[5] In addition to these original and her other jazz vocals, as an artist, Chris McNulty has since matured into a noted composer of music & lyrics.[6][7][8]


Long Road Home – The Song That Sings You Here – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist) ; Letter to Marta – The Song That Sings You Here – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Springosphere – Whispers the Heart – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Quiet Your Thoughts (Part I & II) – Whispers the Heart – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Lullaby for a Young Boy – Whispers the Heart – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); New Day – Dance Delicioso – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Roamin -Dance Delicioso – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Last Farewell – Dance Delicioso – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Dance Delicioso – Dance Delicioso – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Only the Silence – Dance Delicioso – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Pablo – I Remember You – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Freedom – Waltz for Debby – Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist); Song For Sam – McNulty/Jesse (composers), Lyrics – Chris McNulty; You Will always Be There - Eternal - Chris McNulty (composer & lyricist)

Lyrics Blue in Green II – Waltz for Debby Miles Davis/ Chris McNulty[4] Song for Ava – Caterpillar Diaries – Steve Newcomb/Chris McNulty


  • Waltz for Debbie [1990][4]
  • A Time For Love (1995)[9]
  • I Remember You [2004][10]
  • Dance Delicioso [2005][11][12][13]
  • Whispers the Heart [2006][14][15]
  • The Song That Sings You Here - Challenge Records - 2013
  • Eternal [2015][16]

Many of these releases are also listed at both the Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Ibid, 1995) and the Grove's distributed The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Ibid, 1998) biographical entries for Chris McNulty.

As a leader/Co-producer: • Eternal - Palmetto Records (March 2015) featuring the Steve Newcomb Chamber Ensemble • The Song That Sings You Here - Challenge Records - 2013 • Whispers the Heart - Elefant Dreams (ED4549) - 2006 • Dance Delicioso - Elefant Dreams (ED4547) -2005 • I Remember You - Elefant Dreams (ED4546) - 2004 • A Time For Love - Amosaya Records (MC4545) - 1996 • Waltz for Debbie - Discovery Records - 1991

As a Guest Musician/Featured Artist/Composer: • Song For Ava - The Caterpillar Chronicles - Steve Newcomb - 2013 • Chap One – Strange Frequencies – 2012 • Invocation – Paul Bollenback - Elefant Dreams (ED4550) • Brightness of Being – Paul Bollenback - Elefant Dreams (ED4548) • Cancoes E Momentos - Tom Lellis - Southern Exposure - 2004 • Big Apple Voices - Venus Records - 1994 (Top Six NYC Jazz Singers) • From Where We Came - Bruce Cale: A Century of Steps - 1981 • Wonderland - Sam McNally - First Chance - 1979

As Co-Producer • Chap One – Strange Frequencies – Hip-Hop - RnB meets Jazz - 2012

Recording and Composing Highlights 1988 - 2014[edit]

1988 - Secured first US recording contract with Red Eye Records. Co-produced "Waltz for Debby" recorded in Woodstock, NY with US musicians, George Mraz (Czech), Kenny Washington and Australian pianist, Paul McNamara (included two original works). (Oct 1988). 1991 - Received official publishing rights for her lyric to Miles Davis' "Blue in Green" (Warner Chapel), Blue in Green appears on her first US release, "Waltz For Debbie" which is also released the same year to critical acclaim. 1993 - Selected as one of six top New York jazz vocalists to be featured on Japanese record label, Venus records released as "Big Apple Voices". (Oct) 1995 - Released her 3rd recording, "A Time For Love" co-produced with guitarist, Peter Leitch featuring Gary Bartz, John Hicks, Harvey Swartz, Tony Reedus and Jed Levy. (Nov) 2000 - Produced and recorded her 4th release in the US, "I Remember You", featuring, Paul Bollenback, Joe Locke, Adam Cruz, Ugonna Okegwo, Joel Frahm and Cafe de Silva. 2002 - "I Remember You" (originally released on Mop Top records. Re-released on Elefant Dreams). 2005 - Composed and arranged seven (7) original compositions featured on 5th US release "Dance Delicioso." 2006 - Featured guest on Paul Bollenback's "Brightness of Being" (ED4548) along with David “Fathead” Newman, Tim Garland and Gary Thomas. "I Remember You" re-released on Elefant Dreams records. 2007 - 6th recording “Whispers the Heart" (ED4549 - Sept) released featuring several original works including a string quartet arrangement written by Chris. 2007 - Co-produced recording project "Strange Frequencies" with the hip-hop artist/composer, Chap One. Created and recorded all vocal group arrangements and vocal backing tracks. The album melds the sounds of Hip-Hop, Jazz and R&B. Featured guest vocalist on Paul Bollenback's "Invocation" (ED4550) featuring Randy Brecker, Victor Lewis, Ed Howard. 2008 - Co-produced and recorded her 7th album “The Song That Sings You Here” (Challenge International Records, 2013), featuring Russian jazz great, Igor Butman (tenor and soprano) and Andrei Kondokov (piano), Graham Wood (Australia, piano), Ugonna Okegwo (bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums), guitarist - co producer, Paul Bollenback and special guest, Anita Wardell. 2013 - Challenge International releases “The Song That Sings You Here.” 2014 - Collaborates with orchestrator Steve Newcomb to create “Eternal” which features chamber ensemble with hazz quartet. Releasing on Palmetto Records, March 2015

Awards - Publications Radio – Interviewing / Clinic Highlights – 1991-2013[edit]

1991 - Awarded official published lyric from Warner Chapel for her lyric to Miles Davis classic “Blue in Green” (recorded on “Waltz for Debby”). 1993 -“Waltz for Debby”, given full feature on ABC, Australia’s nationwide syndication program “Nightly Planet 2005 - “Dance Delicioso” given full feature on ABC, Australia’s nationwide syndication program “Nightly Planet plus major radio features throughout the USA and Europe. 2006 - Major interview appears in the 2006 fall issue of Jazz Improv Magazine. (USA) 2007 - Guest Clinician article, “On the Road” is featured in Jazz Ed Magazine (Jan 2007). 2007 - “Dance Delicioso” voted one of the top CD's of 2006 by Jim Wilke's nationally syndicated "After Hours" Radio program, Seattle. 2007 - “Dance Delicioso” Voted top pick of the month along with Charlie Haden’s “Not in My Name” by Muzica Jazz, Italy (Oct. 2006) 2007 - “Whispers the Heart” receives 4 & 5 star reviews in major national and international press publications including Jazz Times (USA) and Jazz Wise (UK) plus major radio features throughout the USA and Europe 2007 - “Whispers the Heart” given full feature on ABC, Australia’s nationwide syndication program “Nightly Planet”. 2007 - “Whispers the Heart” voted Top Ten jazz release of 2006 by Nancy Barrell. - JJA USA (Jazz Journalist Association). 2008 -“Whispers the Heart” receives 4 star review in The Weekend Australian (Australia) (2008). Major reviews for her live performance in Perth in “The West Australian” and in Adelaide by John McBeath (September 2008) 2013 - “The Song That Sings You Here” receives 4 & 5 star reviews in Downbeat, The Irish Times and Jazz Journal. May, 2013 Receives of 2013 Australia Bell Award for “Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album” for “The Song That Sings You Here.” 2013 Winner Australian Bell Award for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album for "The Song That Sings You Here" 2014 - After Hours Host, Jim Wilke (Seattle) includes “The Song That Sings You Here” as one of his favorite jazz vocal albums of 2013.

Touring Highlights[edit]

Australia 1991 - 2013 1991: Home coming return tour after receiving major recognition for her first US release. Received major national radio feature at ABC Australia's Nightly Planet and major interview and review features in top national Australian publications: The Australian, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. Television: Performed "Cheek to Cheek" with Paul Grabowsky on Steve Vizard’s, late night variety TV program. Featured performance on Melbourne's renowned weekly political analysis television show, "The Sunday Program” performing, "You Don't Know What Love Is", "I'll Remember April" and her original composition "Song For Sam". 1993 - Performances in Melbourne & Sydney Television: "The Sunday Program” performing with Paul Grabowsky trio. 2002 -Accompanied by guitarist, Paul Bollenback performed at The Bank, Sydney and Bennett's Lane in Melbourne. 2005 - Accompanied by Paul Bollenback performed in Perth at the Roundabout Theater. 2007 -10-night engagement at the Melbourne Jazz Festival (Australia) featuring her band from NYC (May 2–10). Adelaide – Kings Head May. Presented workshops at Adelaide University (May 10–11). 2008 - Three city and regional tour of Australia (July–October). Adelaide, SA; Perth, WA; Magnetic Island, QLD. Presented workshops at Adelaide University and Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 2009 - 4 week, 5 city and regional tour of Australia, including SIMA, Seymour Center, Sydney May 16; Stonnington Jazz Festival, Melbourne (May 22); Brisbane Jazz Club, May 29; Perth, Regional - June 3 – June 8; Presented workshop at Griffith University (Brisbane Conservatorium), May 26. 2010 - 4 week tour of Australia, including weekend dates at Bennetts Lane with Paul Grabowsky Trio, Melbourne; The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth; The 505 Club, Sydney; Presented Vocal Workshop Griffith University (Brisbane Conservatorium. The tour also included performing as background vocalist with her son, the late “Chap One” at The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth. 2011 - 5 week tour of Australia Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne & Perth - The Paris Cat, Melbourne; The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth with Graham Wood Quartet; The 505 Club, Sydney; Brisbane house concert series and workshops. 2012 - 6 week tour in Australia - Bennetts Lane, Melbourne; The 505 Club, Sydney; Workshop presentation at Griffith University (Brisbane Conservatorium). 2013 - November 2 & 3, headlined at the Wangaratta International Jazz, performing with her “Magic Trio” as well as with the Paul Grabowsky Trio. Performing in Adelaide at The Wheatsheaf (Dec 9th), workshop presentations at St. Mary’s College (Dec 10th). Performing at Bennetts Lane, Melbourne with Steve Magnusson and Frank Di Sario (Dec 22nd). 2014 - Australian Tour - May 9 - Perth International Jazz Festival, May 15, Stonnington Jazz Festival. June 1 - Workshop presentation for ANATS (Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing) in Hobart, Tasmania.

UK – IRELAND: 1995-2009 1996 - Toured UK as a solo artist working alongside several British musicians giving performances in Wales, Manchester, Edinburgh, Hull and Kent. (Feb) 2002 - Toured Northern UK in April 2002 with performances in Manchester and Howden. 2005 - Toured UK and Ireland as a solo artist working alongside British and Irish musicians. Outstanding review appears in Irish Times (Ray Comisky) for her debut performance at Dublin's, Pendulum Jazz Club. (Jan) 2005 - Secured major international jazz festival invitations at Brecon Festival in Wales, UK and the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland. (August 2005) 2007 - 2-night engagement at London's Pizza on the Park, with her band consisting of guitarist, Paul Bollenback and London based musicians, Robin Aspland, Phil Donkin and David Smith. Engagements at The Lot in Edinburgh and Dundee Jazz Festival, Scotland. 2008 - Edinburgh Jazz Festival (July); 2 nights at Pizza Express, Lomdon (August). 2009 - Performances Swansea Jazz Club, Swansea, Wales, Wakefield Jazz Club, Yorkshire, UK, The Vortex, London, UK

RUSSIA-UKRAINE: 2003-2010 2003 - Performed 6 nights at Le Club in Moscow alongside US guitarist, Paul Bollenback accompanied by pianist Andrei Kondokov's trio including performances in St Petersburg and Western Siberia: Tomsk, and Novokuznetsk. 2004 - Performed at the White Nights Festival - St. Peter-St. Paul Fortress (July 2004), as well as 6 nights at Le Club, Moscow. 2007 - Performed with “Magic Trio” featuring, Paul Bollenback and Andrei Kondokov at the Kaluga Guitar Festival, Kaluga; 2008 - 3 1/2 week tour of Russia as member of the “Magic Trio” with performances in Moscow, St Petersburg, The Ural Mountain region including -Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Tyumen and Krasnadov, Kharkov International Jazz Festival, Kharkov, Ukraine (March 2008). 2010 - “The Magic Trio” tour with performances at Petrozavodsk Jazz Festival, Petrozavodsk, Arkhangelsk Jazz Festival, Arkhangelsk, Russia. JVC Jazz Club, St, Petersburg and Club Igor Butman, Moscow.

USA – EAST/WEST COAST: 2006-2010 Toured several times to the West Coast of USA with Paul Bollenback including performances at The Triple Door & Nich Anderson’s House Concert series, Seattle (WA), Jimmy Mak’s Portland (OR), Siskiyou Institute, Ashland (OR), Jazz on the Plazz Festival, Los Gatos, CA, Ernie Shelton’s House concert series, Sonoma, CA, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, (CA), KRML Jazz & Blues, Carmel, CA, Peabody Conservatorium, Baltimore, MD. Blues Alley, Washington, DC, Charlottesville Jazz Society, Charlottesville, VA, Renfrew Institute, Summer Jazz Festival, Waynesboro, PA BEIRUT - 2005 - Two week engagement at Beirut Jazz. (September 2005) BELIZE - 2006 - Co-produced first Belize Jazz Festival presenting her band consisting of Grammy award winning alto saxophonist, Gary Bartz, Gary Thomas (tenor), Ugonna Okegwo (bass) Montez Coleman (drums) and Paul Bollenback (guitar).

Workshop / Clinic Presentations 2006 - 2013[edit]

Siskiyou Institute, Ashland, Oregon - USA- Presented vocal/instrumental workshop focusing on the following: Accompaniment for singers; “The Art of the Duo”; “On the Road” - rehearsing and touring with “pick up bands” with and without musical director; On the spot arranging; Band leading - (2006). Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Perth, WA (2006, 2008, 2009). University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA (2008). University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia (2007, 2008). - On-line vocal workshops at made available on line (2007). Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Presenting a vocal/instrumental workshop focusing on “The Art of the Duo”; “On the Road”; Composing & Arranging for performances and recordings (May 2009), Jazz Vocal Workshop (August 2010), Vocal workshop (April 2012) Monash University, Melbourne Australia: Presenting workshops to vocalists and instrumentalists at Monash Jazz Camp, Healesville. Presented vocal workshop to - vocal jazz studies students (April & May 2011, March 2012). A.I.M. Sydney Australia: Presented vocal workshop to vocal students (April 2011) Delaware Valley High, Milford, PA (USA) - Presented vocal workshop to vocal choir students (June 2013) St Mary’s College, Adelaide, Australia (Dec 2013) ANATS (Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing) Hobart, Tasmania, Australia: Workshop/clinic presentation (June 2014). Engaged in private teaching from 2004- 2014

Performance Features: NYC 1988 - 2015[edit]

J’s (1991-1992) Cleopatra’s Needle, (1994-1997) Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) (Australian Arts Festival (2001 -Oct 6th) Smoke Jazz Club (2002) Jazz Standard (2006, 2007), Sweet Rhythm (2005, 2006, 2007) The Blue Note (2006), Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club (2007) Kitano (February, 2008, June 9, 2010, August 2013) The Bar Next Door (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) 54 Below (2015)


  1. ^ Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music in 6 volumes, 2nd ed. 1995, Enfield Guinness Publishing, Ltd., Vol. 4, p. 2648
  2. ^ The Encyclopedia of Popular Music in 8 volumes, 3rd ed. 1998, Muze U.K. Ltd (distributed in United States of America by Grove's Dictionaries, Inc.), Vol. 5, pp. 3596 and 3597, ISBN 0-333-74134-X
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  4. ^ a b c "Chris McNulty's Magic Trio Comes to the Healdsburg Jazz Festival". BeyondChron. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2] Roseanna Vitro JazzTimes "Chris McNulty: Voice of Beauty and Truth” 5 February 2013
  7. ^ "Jazz Planet" – Miriam Zolin -The Song That Sings You here
  8. ^ "All About Jazz" – A Siren From Down Under – Ludwig Van Trikt
  9. ^ "Time for Love". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "I Remember You". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Kane, Edward. "Dance Delicioso by Chris McNulty". Jazz Review. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Loudon, Christopher (November 2005). "Jazz Albums: Chris McNulty Dance Delicioso". Jazz Times. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Dance Delicioso". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Velez, Andrew (25 October 2006). "Chris McNulty: Whispers the Heart". All About Jazz. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  15. ^ [3], downloads also here available
  16. ^ Black, Brent. "Chris McNulty Eternal Palmetto 2015".