Amber Norgaard
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Amber Norgaard

Tucson, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Tucson, Arizona, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Rock Singer/Songwriter

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
08
Amber Norgaard @ Wisdom's Cafe

AZ

AZ

Dec
27
Amber Norgaard @ Wisdom's ¡DOS! (Wisdom's TWO)

Tubac, AZ

Tubac, AZ

Dec
18
Amber Norgaard @ Wisdom's Cafe

AZ

AZ

Music

Press


Amber Norgaard is a singer/songwriter who dreams, inspires and perseveres. She grew up on a farm in Iowa, and until 2004, she was employed as a community health nurse. As heavenly as her mellifluous melodies are, she is still a down-to-Earth gal who perceives music as an effective way to communicate. “Music transcends language and cultural barriers, relaying messages, evoking emotions and potentially facilitating healing on a profound level,” she says.

Creating her legacy, Norgaard uses her own life experiences to delve into compelling ballad territory, causing us to eagerly anticipate her next adventure. “The last few years have been about integrating all I am into my music,” she says. She plays piano as well as guitar and is a self-professed adult contemporary rock musician. Norgaard also possesses an impressive vocal range, easily crossing the boundaries of many musical categories. From pop to honky-tonk and beyond, she can even win the crowd over with a cacophonous, hard rock, garage band grunge song, like “Together We Rise”—a song she wrote for a film about the poisoning of eagles.

Norgaard’s music has garnered a large following of loyal fans who appreciate her genuineness and soulful melodies. A tireless performer, she tours nationally, and her persistence has landed her gigs as an opening act for music icons, including Judy Collins, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. However, songstress Norgaard is driven more by a strong desire to make the world a better place than for the sake of her ego. “I came here with this gift of music, and I want to use it to heal humanity,” she altruistically relates.

When Norgaard was a nursing student, she would sneak into the arts building to play the piano to relieve stress. Prior to launching her music career, she worked as a registered nurse in southwestern Alaska for six years. During this time, she lived 400 miles off the road system and was immersed within the indigenous population. It was here that she learned to use music as a source of connection to transcend language and cultural barriers. “What feeds my soul is to see the world and to help people,” she confides.

Norgaard now works with a vocal coach, Anna Schoff, whom Norgaard regards as a life coach. Norgaard sings Schoff’s praises: “She helped me understand song writing, and how I can best translate music to open hearts.” With her coach’s assistance and support, Norgaard feels her music improves every year.

When she’s not singing or writing, Norgaard enjoys growing plants, playing with her dog and hiking. In character with her nurturing persona, she says she loves animals and nature, and “could not live without” her hummingbird feeder.

Many of Norgaard’s songs are poignant and evocative. The human connection gives her inspiration. The title track song on Norgaard’s 2010 album, “Long Way Home,” is about her grandmother struggling with pancreatic cancer. She explains, “I was back in Iowa to be with her. It was my grandparents’ 59th wedding anniversary, and as I was leaving the house, Grandpa stopped me at the door and said, ‘Make sure you have fun, because 59 years goes quickly, and always take the long way home.’” These sage words from her grandfather will forever constitute an integral part of Norgaard’s repertoire.

The song “Pointless” is also a standout track on the 2010 album, with soothing, resonant cellos heard in the background. The refrain, “The truth that lies within your eyes is so much louder than your words,” channels every heartbroken woman’s angst. Norgaard’s song “Overtaken” is a more upbeat, country style, romantic ditty with a harmonious guitar and a soulful tenor.

A nurse at heart, Norgaard appreciates life and how precious it is. In addition to writing music for film and charities, she speaks on the topic of music as a healing art and instrument for social change at colleges and various organizations.

Norgaard has garnered numerous accolades during her career. In 2007, she was the runner-up in the California-based Winery Music Awards. That year, she was also voted “Tucson’s Up & Coming Artist of the Year”. Since then, she has been recognized in several songwriting competitions. She was a runner-up in the 2011 Tucson Area Music Awards Folk Performance Award category and a finalist in the 2012 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition.

She has released four full-length albums, and her fifth album, “Possibility,” will be released in August. She explains, “The album comes from a stance of possibility versus limitation. My mission is to remind humanity of the grace that always prevails. Any human story has struggles. I am always trying to find the resurrection out of the struggle—the Phoenix rising from the ashes.”

Norgaard is using her music as a voice for various nonprofits by writing songs for their organizations. She has carved out a niche for customizing the songs to the message the charity wants to convey. In addition to the Tucson Wildlife Center, she has composed songs for Carondelet Hospice, the Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary and the Donor Network of Arizona. She says, “My passion is using music as a healing art to foster compassion, spirituality, and promote positive social change.” In reality, she already has.

For more information, visit AmberNorgaard.com.
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Suzie Agrillo is a freelance writer in Tucson and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. She focuses her writing on the arts, inspirational people and the human connection. - Natural Awakenings


TAMMIE Award-winning musician Amber Norgaard almost seems to squirm as she describes her new single, “Together We Rise”, released on October 15th. Written for a soundtrack, the song is a rambunctious departure from the usual folk-rock style for which Norgaard is known and loved. “I knew I wanted to write an anthemic song for this,” she says, “but I was asked to make it grungy. This is hard-core rock.” Abandoning her usual self-described “adult contemporary” style, Norgaard detonates into six minutes of garage band grunge in “Together We Rise”, all in the name of community service.

Norgaard credits Doug “Hurricane” Floyd on electric guitar for the “murky, swampy” one-and-a-half minute intro riff. “What makes the song really cool,” Norgaard elaborates, “is the way it breaks down in the middle and goes back into the intro.” Also featured are long-time band member Jay Trapp on bass, Junior Medina on drums and Alvin Blaine on dobro.

The soundtrack is for a video about the construction of the Tucson Electric Power Eagle Flight Line at the Tucson Wildlife Center. Film director Marcus De Leon called for a long, haunting lead-in and “Together We Rise” delivers an explosive backdrop to a story about eagle poisoning. De Leon also requested lyrics that embody the community involvement in the project, an idea that greatly appealed to Norgaard.

“Lyrically, this song accomplishes all of my own mission,” Norgaard says emphatically. “All great change is done in community. ‘Together We Rise’ references a call from the sky. The sky represents the eagle’s call, but also a call to humanity to unite and create instead of propelling further destruction. We need each other to make things happen. When we get put in a bad situation people will always come together and work together. These things show us who we really are.”

In this case, “these things” refers to the poisoning of Eagles, sometimes from eating prey that’s been shot with lead bullets. Deliberate poisonings are a problem, as well. “Many people don’t realize that when they poison an animal, it goes up the food chain, killing other wildlife unintentionally. There are better ways to deal with a nuisance animal besides poison,” say Dan Moxley, Interim Director of the Tucson Wildlife Center, who quickly qualifies that with “Although, we don’t consider any animal a ‘nuisance’ animal around here. We like them all!” He happily adds that another successfully rehabilitated Golden Eagle was released from the new flight enclosure in February.

Tucson Electric Power donated and installed the poles and the cables that hold up the netting in the flight line. Pantano Christian Church teamed up with Tucson Water Gardeners to build a pool inside the enclosure to offer Pelicans blown off course during the monsoon season a temporary place to stay. Ultimately the Pelicans are driven to San Diego where they’re released.

Norgaard’s growing resume of “musical community service” includes another video for Tucson Wildlife Center featuring her song “Unexpected Grace” and a self-produced video about homeless veterans called “Hell Town”. Undeniably, though, it’s her video for Equine Voices Rescue And Sanctuary that highlights Norgaard herself as star of the show, or more accurately, co-star. In “Raise Me Up” she shares the stage-or in this case, corral-with a black horse who stands with his forehead pressed against hers as she plays, while other horses gallop around them and lightening splits the sky. In addition to the videos, Norgaard has written a fundraising song for the Donor Network of Arizona and a Hospice song for Carondelet. View Norgaard’s videos at www.AmberNorgaard.com.

Norgaard’s attitude is that music is just another form of healing. “I think I have a greater capacity to heal now that I’m using this (musical) gift,” says the former nurse. “I’ve had people call me and say ‘I was feeling suicidal and your album pulled me through’. It’s those kinds of things that make me feel like I’m still a nurse, and that’s what I want to do with my music. Now I play that role with organizations, writing about the good work they do in the world. It’s about bringing us all together, where we’re all connected and raising each other up.”

Catch a preview of songs from her upcoming album “Possibility”, scheduled for release next year, at Norgaard’s concert “Celebrating 10 Years Of Music” at the Sea Of Glass Theater on November 14th.

For more info on Amber Norgaard, visit www.AmberNorgaard.com. - Tubac Villager (December 2014)


I count your breath, the rise and fall

Space of nothing in between

I am a witness

To this amazing grace

As the flesh prepares for release

~ “Long Way Home” by Amber Norgaard from her album, “Long Way Home”

By Jan Henrikson
The New Southwest (Tucson Green Times) – August 2010
Singer/songwriter Amber Norgaard was dog-walking in three acres of desert that her drummer owns when she got the call.

“Mama’s dying.” It was her Aunt. “Will you sing to her?”

Heading for the landline in the house, Norgaard’s energy quickened. “I was like, ‘How am I going to do this? This is probably the most important song that I might have to sing in my entire life.’”

Every month for a year, she’d traveled to Iowa, her home state, to visit her Grandma in hospice. Norgaard and her father would sit at her bedside and play music.

“I saw how that comforted her, especially when she was in pain. Her face would relax,” she says about the woman who’d always believed in her music. Long before she was voted the 2007 Up & Coming Artist of the Year at the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES). When her four albums, “Soul in Motion,” “Rising,” “Acoustic Dreams,” and “Long Way Home” were mere glints in her mind’s eye.

Her Grandma had believed in her so much that when she was given only months to live, she gifted Norgaard money to buy the best keyboard she could find. “Then I will always be with you when you play music,” she’d said.

“I was like ‘Wow – thanks Grandma,’” recalls Norgaard. “Because so much magic came through her.”

More magic was to come that August day a year ago when Norgaard grabbed her guitar, steeled away her tears, and made the call, letting “Amazing Grace” flow to her family listening miles away.

“Grandma,” she said when she finished, “everybody’s here with you and I’m with you in spirit.”

Turns out her Grandma was truly with her in spirit. She passed away to the sound of Norgaard singing.

“My Aunt was like, ‘It’s a miracle’,” says Norgaard. Her sunny blond curls frame a radiant and thoughtful face. “It helped everybody. It wasn’t just my Grandma. It wasn’t just me. It was this gift. Wow – if I could share my song and we all are helped somehow by it – okay, I’ll do it.”

Though it may have been this nurse-turned-indie artist’s most intimate experience with the healing power of music, it wasn’t her first.

While a nursing student at Creighton University, she worked in a nursing home for patients living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“I had a patient who was completely despondent,” says Norgaard. “It was to the point where we had to feed her. One day one of the nurse’s aides said, ‘Pull her over to the piano.’ I said, ‘She can’t even feed herself. She can’t even move.’”

Nonetheless, Norgaard pulled her up to the piano. Thirty minutes later, the woman started playing. Neurological studies have shown that “listening and playing music actually lights up most of the parts of the brain, so it’s definitely an activity that integrates us,” says Norgaard.

But Norgaard never needed studies to convince her. She “first recognized the power of music transcending language – and rhythm and beat bringing the community together” when she volunteered to work with a doctor and nurse team in a remote village in the Dominican Republic. It didn’t matter that she knew little Spanish.

She taught herself guitar and whenever she played, “Regardless of our differences, everybody was one right there in that [music].”

Norgaard eventually captured-in-song the stories of indigenous people she met in Bethel, which is in Alaska’s southwestern bush region. What was this Iowa farm girl doing so far up there? For six years?

Working as a community health nurse. Writing lyrics about the Raven, whom Natives believed brought light to the world.

She experienced the Raven’s gifts herself.

“I’d be out in nature and this one time I felt like I was lost and I swear the ravens led me back,” says Norgaard.

Another song of hers, “The Time of Light,” emerged from the In-Between. “There’s a lot of in-between up there,” she says. “Down here we have four seasons. Up there in the winter, the sun only comes a little bit above the horizon and goes down. We’re in this constant in-between.”

Her relationship with music was In-Between as well. Still a nurse, she hadn’t yet realized that she was being called toward full-time musicianship.

She understood more deeply, however, the force of music to replenish, nurture, and unify the body and spirit, collectively and individually. Music was a compassionate ally, an ice-breaker, a raiser of energy and awareness. Involved in public health education in the prison system, she opened and closed every discussion with songs.

“It was very cultural in Alaska because they would open with drumming and chanting. It just made sense. It would get people into a higher level.”

She ran an HIV peer education program for kids, opening hearts with songs from the movies, “And - The New Southwest / Tucson Green Times (2010)


Mixing healing with her hits.

Amber Norgaard, 35, grew up on a farm near Spencer.

“I feel fortunate as a child I got to grow up amidst nature,” she said, “because it gives me respect for the process of life and how we’re all connected.”

As a young adult, Norgaard attended Creighton University in Omaha, where she majored in nursing.

She went on to work as a nurse at a migrant clinic in Oregon and later in Alaska, where she stayed for six years.

It was there, while working with native Alaskans, that she made an important decision.

“I knew it was time for me to make a change with my life,” Norgaard said. “I really couldn’t see myself working as a nurse in the Lower ’48. I thought, if there’s anything that I would do with my life that I might possibly regret not doing when I was older, it would be the music thing.”

That “music thing” had been part of Norgaard’s life for a long time.

Throughout her youth and college, she had experimented with music.

Now, it was time to change paths.

She moved to Tucson, AZ and, in 2004, launched her music career. Local music lovers can catch her show 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 at Little Swan Lake Winery in rural Estherville.

Though she switched careers, her work as a nurse had a big influence on her music.

Through her work with different cultures, including Hispanic and Yup’ik Eskimo, Norgaard learned music was a way to connect people that transcended barriers of culture and language. Music – beat, rhythm and melody – was a language everyone understood.

“I just thought it was a pretty profound way to connect with people,” Norgaard said. “I decided to give music a shot because I also feel it is like a healing art – just like nursing is, but in a different manner.”

Musically, her influences include everything from Bob Dylan to AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Carole King, Billy Joel, Dar Williams, Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls.

“It’s a mosh pit of everything I’ve heard since I came to this world,” Norgaard said.

As for her own material, the singer/songwriter’s work focuses on the human condition.

“I have songs about some of the best things about life – like love,” Norgaard said. “And also about some of the hard things about life – like loss.”

At times, Norgaard touches on social commentary, tackling current issues like global warming with her title track on “Rising” (2006).

Written about the phoenix, the song explores humanity’s need – as well as the Earth’s – for rebirth and resurrection.

With two albums and one EP under her belt, Norgaard releases her third album in April 2010.

Entitled “Long Way Home,” the album continues her folk rock style, but signals yet another change for guitarist and pianist.

“This album, I feel like I’m finally connecting all the dots,” Norgaard said. “ I feel like I’ve finally grown up with respect to music. I know now what I’m doing.”

Made possible through donations from fans, the new album shows Norgaard’s renewed outlook on songwriting—one that is structured, with a maturity on par to her material. With elements of her own spirituality, it makes for an album that is entirely her, entirely now.

“I’m really excited because I feel like it’s going to be a connection of all the parts that I am,” Norgaard said.
- Emily Sweet Landegent / Staff Writer / DISCOVER! / September 2009 / Estherville, IA


I was moved from the first few notes of Amber's music. It touched my heart with sincerity and purpose. You can get a sense of the incredible person Amber is, by the description of her songs. Her melodies are exceptional and her words and lyrics and deliver powerful messages. She explained that the inspiration for one song came from being concerned about the homeless. She shared a statistic that 30% of all homeless people are veterans. As her popularity grows who knows what power this message could bring to the world. I later shred with her a favorite lyric of mine, which is "Music Speaks Louder than Words". May her song be an outcry to help all the unfortunate homeless people in our country and around the world.

As Amber switched from guitar to keyboards my appreciation increased. The keyboards added a whole new dimension to her songs and music. I found myself mesmerized by her music and voice. Her vocals were filled with passion and joy. It is obvious how much she cares about her music and our world.

At the end of every song, something wonderful happened. We in the audience did not rush to applaud. We waited as the last sweet note could no longer be heard ... then we applauded.

Amber is defintely a major star who will be rapidly growing in popularity. How could she not! Especially with the band she plays with.

Her band, all incredible musicians, included: Will Clipman, Mary Redhouse and Doug "Hurricane" Floyd. What a dream it would be to perform with this level of musical talent. Amber is one lucky woman! ....... Daniel - Daniel Stief / Sedona Talk Radio (2009)


Never heard of Amber, except "amber waves of grain" from America the Beautiful? Neither had I, until I was lucky enough to hear her live tonight. Lately I've been eager for as many live performances as possible and nothing takes the place of those sound-vibes bouncing off your skin, mind and heart, no matter how great your sound system at home.

After a glowing introduction by William Eaton, saying that he once heard Mary Chapin Carpenter early in her career at a music festival and sensed that she was a rising star-he has the same feeling about Amber. He could be right.

This young lady has wonderful gifts on her side, starting with her outstanding writing ability...and we're in the age of some great female singer/song-writers, such as Carpenter herself, and more recently-and deservedly hotter than a pistol-Taylor Swift. But rather than compare Amber to anyone, being less country and more eclectic in her tastes, she has great emotional range from ballads to kick-ass rock 'n' roll and can drive a band with her voice, keyboard or guitar.

Being an adventurous spirit and having a background in farming, nursing, volunteer work, and working with the indigenous people of Alaska-she's conscious of the healing power of music. This propels her into original songs that cover such issues as, politics aside, the human story of immigrants dying while trying to cross the border, and what it must be like to be old and thinking "I'm still in here!" This last one could become the anthem of the geriatric population which is growing daily, as she gives voice to those who may not be able to put their feelings into words. Healing and music blended together add a conscious dimension of depth to her performances, and drawn from her own life experiences, it's hard to imagine that she would ever run out of ideas to write about.

Her vocal quality ranges from soft and wispy to powerful with a projected edge. Even as vibrant as she is now, I believe there's a great deal more she can get out of her voice, so she can project at a softer as well as louder level, adding a consistency that makes sure her voice stands out from the rest.

I enjoyed her easy relaxed rapport with the audience, and she really cuts loose later in the show. I get the feeling she's on a mission of music-one that will drive her into taking it to the next level, so she can experience how truly good she can be.

I hope she continues what she's doing, especially if she ends up challenging herself by going to Nashville to hone her writing skills, vocal abilities, and further liberate her true beauty of spirit. She could make William Eaton a prophet all over again. - Sedona Talk Radio / Haizen Paige (2009)


Never heard of Amber, except "amber waves of grain" from America the Beautiful? Neither had I, until I was lucky enough to hear her live tonight. Lately I've been eager for as many live performances as possible and nothing takes the place of those sound-vibes bouncing off your skin, mind and heart, no matter how great your sound system at home.

After a glowing introduction by William Eaton, saying that he once heard Mary Chapin Carpenter early in her career at a music festival and sensed that she was a rising star-he has the same feeling about Amber. He could be right.

This young lady has wonderful gifts on her side, starting with her outstanding writing ability...and we're in the age of some great female singer/song-writers, such as Carpenter herself, and more recently-and deservedly hotter than a pistol-Taylor Swift. But rather than compare Amber to anyone, being less country and more eclectic in her tastes, she has great emotional range from ballads to kick-ass rock 'n' roll and can drive a band with her voice, keyboard or guitar.

Being an adventurous spirit and having a background in farming, nursing, volunteer work, and working with the indigenous people of Alaska-she's conscious of the healing power of music. This propels her into original songs that cover such issues as, politics aside, the human story of immigrants dying while trying to cross the border, and what it must be like to be old and thinking "I'm still in here!" This last one could become the anthem of the geriatric population which is growing daily, as she gives voice to those who may not be able to put their feelings into words. Healing and music blended together add a conscious dimension of depth to her performances, and drawn from her own life experiences, it's hard to imagine that she would ever run out of ideas to write about.

Her vocal quality ranges from soft and wispy to powerful with a projected edge. Even as vibrant as she is now, I believe there's a great deal more she can get out of her voice, so she can project at a softer as well as louder level, adding a consistency that makes sure her voice stands out from the rest.

I enjoyed her easy relaxed rapport with the audience, and she really cuts loose later in the show. I get the feeling she's on a mission of music-one that will drive her into taking it to the next level, so she can experience how truly good she can be.

I hope she continues what she's doing, especially if she ends up challenging herself by going to Nashville to hone her writing skills, vocal abilities, and further liberate her true beauty of spirit. She could make William Eaton a prophet all over again. - Sedona Talk Radio / Haizen Paige (2009)


In a pop music landscape populated with made-for-the-moment music that loses its appeal from one minute to the next, it is refreshing to encounter an artist who makes "music with meaning," a songwriter whose lyrics and melodies are both highly entertaining and deeply evocative, both playful and thoughtful, both intensely felt and skillfully crafted; whose songs sound fresh today and will still ring true a hundred years from now.

Meet Amber Norgaard.

The nurse-turned-musician has released two full-length albums and one acoustic EP. She was voted the 2007 Up & Coming Artist of the Year at the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES) and has received several honors from international songwriting competitions.

Amber's concert at Old Town Center for the Arts will feature her full band, including Grammy nominee Mary Redhouse on bass and harmony vocals, playing selections from all her studio recordings, plus new as-yet-unrecorded material and a tasty selection of classic pop covers.

The Amber Norgaard Band performs Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available on line at showtix4u.com in Cottonwood at: La Bella Café (right next to OTCA), Jerona Java Café, Desert Dancer; and in Sedona at: Crystal Magic, and Golden Word Bookstore. - kudosaz.com (2009)


Named the 2007 "Up & Coming Artist of the Year" at the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES), Norgaard "first recognized the power of music transcending language - and rhythm and beat bringing the community together" when she volunteered to work with a doctor and nurse team in a remote village in the Dominican Republic. It didn't matter that she knew little Spanish. Norgaard eventually captured-in-song the stories of indigenous people she met in Bethel, in Alaska's southwest bush region and while working as a community health nurse involved in public health education in the prison system, and in an HIV peer education program for kids.

Described as "the love child of Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and Melissa Etheridge", she births and sings songs about everything that moves her - be it the ravages of PTSD and homelessness in "Hell Town" veterans, or passion itself in "Overtaken". (Excerpts taken from Tucson Green Times)

"One of Tucson's great musical trailblazers..." Tucson Lifestyle Magazine
"...the emotions are heartfelt, delivered with a quiet passion and authenticity." Tucson Weekly
"Her lyrics don't paint a picture, they grab your arm." The Iowa Entertainer



Read more: http://arizona.broadwayworld.com/article/Beowulf_Alley_Theatre_Presents_Amber_Norgaard_in_Concert_130_20110130#ixzz1X7yhWokM - broadwayworld.com


"Amber wowed the crowds at Just Desserts concert Saturday night..." - Tundra Drums


"Though Amber Norgaard's recent CD is called RISING, the truth is that her star has been ascending for quite a while. Solo, or with her band, she has proved to be a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with. Touchstones for her sound include Indigo Girls, Dar Williams and Carole King, but she certainly isn't an imitation of anyone. Her guitar playing rings with authority, and her voice is strong and confident, pretty but never sappy. The 12 tracks on Rising chart a course that is both personal and universal. Listeners can sense the specific incidents behind a song like "Turquoise Sea," yet its message of finding someone who is a port in a storm applies in so many circumstances. "Hell Town" shows off her blues chops, "Rectify" rocks steady and "Sweet Laughter" demonstrates that Norgaard writes introspective ballads on par with the best in the business. Standouts include the unpretentiously profound "Dark & Light," the hopeful "Not Too Late," and the title track, which quietly unfolds in a way that would make it perfect for a film soundtrack." - Tucson Lifestyle Magazine (December '06 Publication)


“Norgaard played before a crowd that saw a pro; someone taking a risk and living their dream. They showed their support with their enthusiasm and their numbers” - Paul Basile, The Delta Discovery

- The Delta Discovery


“Her lyrics don’t paint a picture, they grab your arm.” - Iowa Entertainer


“To say Amber Norgaard puts her heart and soul into her music might be a bit of an understatement.” - Randy M. Cauthron, The Daily Reporter - The Daily Reporter


August 15, 2007: Amber is awarded the UP & COMING ARTIST OF THE YEAR award in the Tucson Weekly Readers' Choice Awards, the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES).

The TUCSON WEEKLY featured Amber in their August 15th publication. Check out the full article at the following link: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Music/Content?oid=99301 . - 2007 Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES)


Every so often a CD comes along that grabs you by the collar and demands: Listen to me! Amber Norgaard’s Rising is that CD. Her lyrics sometimes blend, sometimes contrast with her intense guitar work and the driving beat of her songs. Witness her lines from “Turquoise Sea” - ‘You were mist on the breeze’ and ‘Volcanoes are smoking/The ice is getting thin.’ But then she sings, ‘You steadied me/ You held the ground for me.’

“Rectify this Mess” slams us into the problems of the world — war, greed, a head-in-the-sand mentality — and calls us to be the instruments of change. “Sweet Laughter” is a touching and heartbreaking song of the empty space left in our lives after a loved one dies.
“High Above Myself” had me remembering the disco era’s “I Will Survive.” Amber’s is the 21st century’s survival anthem. “Dark & Light” takes us farther: ‘I am ready to find my higher ground.’ “Not Too Late” keeps climbing: ‘It’s not too late to breathe/it’s not too late to believe.’

“Crazy State of Grace” takes it to a hopeful conclusion: ‘It becomes easy to just stop believing/ We swore we were through/ But we failed to see/ The crazy state of grace.’ Beneath all these moving lyrics is the band — guitars, double bass, keyboards, and well-rounded background vocals. Play the CD several times through to absorb all the nuances of the lyrics, and you’ll find yourself impressed with the depth of the arrangements.

As an added bonus there is the poignant memorial, “In This Life.” As the CD ended, I was left wishing I’d known the person who’d inspired the song; and that I could sit down and talk for hours with Amber.
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Find this article online at: http://www.buddyhollywood.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=886&Itemid=70 - Buddyhollywood.com Album Review by Alice Loweecey


"A fabulous performance from powerful singer-songwriter Amber Norgaard. We highly recommend Amber if you ever get the chance to hear her either solo or with her full band." - Eugene House Concerts (May '07)


Judged by a panel of noteworthy music and entertainment industry names, two artists, Dominic Castillo
and the Rock Savants of San Luis Obispo, CA and Amber Norgaard of Tucson, AZ, stood out the most
among five July semi-finalists by giving near-flawless performances of their widely appealing original
music.

In second place, only four points below Castillo, was Amber Norgaard and her band from Tucson, AZ.
Ms. Norgaard, who was voted runner-up as Up and Coming Artist of the Year in the Tucson Area Music
Awards, gave a performance mixed with pop, folk and rock and written with well-crafted and honest
lyrics. She was very well-received by the crowd at Stacked Stone, comprised primarily of the
competition’s target audience of wine drinkers, aged 21-54.

“Amber Norgaard is an original and can be marketed to the target audience,” says Jake Hooker,
President of a music production, marketing and branding company, Edge Management, and also writer
of one of rock’s greatest hits ever, “I Love Rock and Roll.” “Amber was very strong overall, focused
with good songs and style.” - Winery Music Awards 2007, Kathy Kelly Productions, Inc.


You can forget any preconceptions when it comes to local singer/songwriter Amber Norgaard.

She grew up on a farm, but there's nothing Green Acres-corny about her.

She's a registered nurse, but these days the only shot she's likely to give you is one to your heart as you listen to her eloquent lyrics.

With her tousled blond locks, an acoustic guitar in hand, the petite powerhouse is one part poet, one part social crusader. And she's funny, too.

"My mom says that when I was little I used to say I was going to be a rock star and the president," she reveals, chuckling at the thought.

Though she loved music from her earliest days in Spencer, Iowa, she never seriously imagined that she could earn a living playing and singing. Instead, she earned her degree from the Creighton School of Nursing in Omaha, along the way volunteering with a health science program in the Dominican Republic. And that was just the start of her good deeds. "The year after I graduated, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and went to Oregon," she notes. "I decided after I was in the Dominican Republic that I could do the same work in my own country."

The Jesuit's values of service to the community and achieving social justice appealed to her, and she enjoyed her work at a clinic that served primarily migrant farm workers. Seeking further challenges, she packed her bags and headed out into the Alaskan bush, to the tiny town of Bethel, where she worked in a population that was primarily Yup'ik Eskimo. Far from all the distractions of city life, she began to explore the idea of performing the songs she had been writing since she was a teenager in front of a live audience. She took the plunge in 2002, playing a few numbers at a fundraiser, and received an enthusiastic response. Though the venues and opportunities were limited, she began to play a few gigs, and eventually started recording her music on a Mac computer.

A new destiny was calling her, and in 2004 she made the transition from the chilly climes of the 49th state to the sunny desert Southwest. "I was kind of scared of city living," she admits. "I had been in this small bush town in Alaska for six years. It's really simple there. You worry about where you're going to get your water every week, not about traffic. I didn't even have a car. There were eight miles of road, so you could walk everywhere. I walked to work every day and flew in a little plane to go to the villages to do my health care work."

The big advantage that Tucson offered was it was a short distance to music markets, and was a good place from which to launch tours. It also had the appeal of a vast outdoors that was as serenely beautiful and wild as anything a former farm girl could ask for.

She started playing around town, and nurtured by her new environment, wrote more songs, including 'Camino del Diablo,' a song about the tragic plight of border crossers that graces her first CD. It took the talent of Jim Pavett at Allusion Studios to take the material that Amber had already recorded on her Mac (and the new songs she had created), as well as the skills of local musicians like Doug Floyd to pull it together as an album. SOUL IN MOTION turned out to be the sort of album that every writer dreams of releasing to announce her arrival. The vocals are strong and flow gracefully across the melodies, and the songs are mature and relevant.

As strong as the first CD was, the follow-up RISING proved to be even more powerful (see December 2006, Tucson Lifestyle for review), and cemented her reputation as an artist and performer to watch.

"It's been an interesting transition," she says of her ascendance as a career singer/songwriter, "because it used to be that music was what I liked to do in my spare time. I still write health care grants, policies, and do a little bit of consulting work to supplement my income. Pretty much between that and music, that's most of what I do. I try to take one day off a week and I like to be outside, hiking, taking my dogs running."

"Tucson has a great creative energy to it," she concludes, "and the people here are down-to-earth, and I really appreciate that. You have the city, yet it's still real out there." - Tucson Lifestyle Magazine (June '07 Publication)


Discography

POSSIBILITY (August 2015)

TOGETHER WE RISE (Single Release, October 2014)

RAISE ME UP (Single Release, May 2014)

UNEXPECTED GRACE (January 2012)

LONG WAY HOME (June 2010)

ACOUSTIC DREAMS EP (October 2007)

RISING (May 2006)

SOUL IN MOTION (2004, debut album)

Photos

Bio

"Tucson's folk-rock Goddess" -Natural Awakenings Magazine

"One of Tucson's great musical trailblazers..." Tucson Lifestyle Magazine

"...the emotions are heartfelt, delivered with a quiet passion and authenticity." Tucson Weekly

"Her lyrics don't paint a picture, they grab your arm." The Iowa Entertainer

Amber Norgaard grew up on an Iowa farm and had a calling to be of service to the world. After graduating Creighton University School of Nursing, she set off to do volunteer work as a community health nurse in the Dominican Republic and Oregon. Eventually, she settled for six years in southwestern Alaska, working as a nurse with a tribal health corporation. During this time, Amber discovered that music was a source of connection for people - transcending language and cultural barriers, relaying messages, evoking emotions and potentially facilitating healing on a profound level.

In 2004, Amber left Alaska to pursue a musical dream. Since then, the nurse-turned-musician has released five full-length albums and one acoustic EP. She was the 2007 Up & Coming Artist of the Year in the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES), has received several honors from international songwriting competitions and placed second out of nearly 100 bands at the California-based 2007 Winery Music Awards. TUCSON LIFESTYLE magazine comments "solo, or with her band, she has proved to be a singer/songwriter to be reckoned with...the petite powerhouse is one part poet, one part social crusader." Indeed, she has an ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds. Her compassionate life experience and knack for the healing arts shine through in her music.

Amber tours nationally. She has opened for Judy Collins, Michael McDonald, and Kenny Loggins. She has performed at events such as the Winery Music Awards (Paso Robles, CA), the Invasion of the GoGirls at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, the Provincetown Womens Kickass Independent Songwriters showcase (Provincetown, MA), Big Arizona Music Festival (Tucson, AZ), McDowell Mountain Music Festival (Scottsdale, AZ), the Alaska Womens Music Festival (Anchorage & Fairbanks, AK), the Sedona Jam Emerging Artist Music Festival (Sedona, AZ), and multiple festivals, street and art fairs, charity events, theaters, schools and many other venues nationwide.

In addition to performing, Amber speaks on the topic of "Music as a Healing Art & Instrument for Social Change" colleges. She has toured with the Canadian-based White Tiger's Girl Conference events, raising awareness for violence prevention and sexual assault issues among adolescents and young adults.

HONORS:
~2012-Finalist in the upcoming Tucson Folk Festival Songwriter Competition
~2011 - Runner Up / Folk Performance Award / Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES)
~2008 - Amber's song "Rectify" selected for the Women of Rock compilation CD (MJR Films, Hollywood, CA)
~2008 Radio Crystal Blue Airplay Vote EP Winner
~2007 "Up & Coming Artist of the Year" in the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES)
~2007 Second Place Winner in the Winery Music Awards
~2007 Runner-up in the TAMMIES for female vocalist, songwriter and best new release
~Voted BEST SONG in the 2007 Winery Music Awards Semi-Finals
~Finalist - Unisong Songwriting Competition (2007)
~Finalist - Give Us Your Poor Compilation CD featuring celebrity, homeless and indie artist songs (2007)
~Two Honourable Mentions - 2007 We Are Listening Singer/ Songwriter Awards
~Amber's song "Turquoise Sea" is included on Music Independence Summit Connection's compilation CD (2007)
~Runner-Up: Tucson Area Music Awards (2006 TAMMIES)
~Honorable Mention, 13th Annual Billboard World Songwriting Competition

TV APPEARANCES:
~Arizona Illustrated (Arizona - PBS)
~KGUN 9 The Morning Blend (Tucson, AZ)
~Good Morning Arizona Show (Arizona-FOX)
~Midday Show (Arizona-NBC)
~D-Town (Tucson, AZ, Channel 12)
~Connecting Cultures (Tucson, AZ)
~Harrigan Afterhours Live (Tucson, AZ)
~Big Word Show (Arizona)
~SMU Cable TV (Iowa)

Band Members