Nadia Ackerman
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Nadia Ackerman

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"The Circus Is Back In Town"

June 8, 2010
The Circus is Back in Town
Nadia Ackerman
Nadia Ackerman was born in Australia to a musical family and began singing—with perfect pitch and an adorable lisp—by the age of three. She's since lost the lisp, kept her perfect pitch, and grown up harmonizing to Beatles and Carpenters albums. She’s also traveled the world as everything from an Asian-hotel lounge singer to Carnegie Hall as a backup singer for artists like James Taylor before settling in New York City and recording her own songs on The Circus Is Back in Town, an amazingly accomplished debut CD. An album rich with old soul energy, Circus would be a major accomplishment for even the most established artist. Overflowing with measured energy and vision, distinguished jazz-inflected grace and bouncy pop, Ackerman's music bounces and slinks through an array of styles, from sundeck-and-cocktails jazz to scrappy pop, with a great ear for melody, dynamics, hooks, and sudden bursts of sunshine and double-time choruses.

Songs are so diverse here it's hard to pick favorites. "When" coasts plaintively on bright piano notes and a slow marching drumbeat, while Ackerman sings "When will I stop hiding? / When will I own what is mine?" before plunging into a backward guitar and beautifully layered vocal chorus. The rousing "Who I Was" continues the thread of fearless self-examination through a strong, magnetic melody that melts down into self-doubting multiple voices: "Is it my fault I didn't always dress to impress? / Is it my fault I had to second-guess / Who I was?"

"Classical Music" finds Ackerman recalling an old family or relationship mantra of repression: "If you have a problem / Just quiet down so we can sweep it under the rug." And a chorus that's both doubt and declaration: "Everything was fine, we listened to / Classical music / Isn't that right?" Beautifully staid with a regretful undertone, the song's emotional energy shifts to sudden awakening as the blinders fall away and for a few seconds the truth comes out: "Oh no, it's not right." It’s a quiet declaration that brings full release from all the self-doubts that have been lingering along the way of her amazing journey.

It's kind of shocking that The Circus Is Back in Town is Ackerman's self-financed debut and not a big-label milestone in a veteran singer–songwriter's long career. Her old-soul prodigy energy brings so huge a level of accomplishment that it yields more and more riches with each new listen. That musical family must have done something right; Ackerman's voice is a gift to the world, assured, beautiful, strong, vulnerable, and wise, with hooks and pop choruses and a wry sense of humor that make you instantly love every song on the album, getting that excited feeling like you've just met your new best friend. - The Daily OM


Dream A Little ( Bass and Vocal (Jazz Duets) 1999
Don't Take Your Love From Me (Jazz Quartet) 2000
Shadows Of My Heart ( Songs of Aaron Morril) - October 2006
Some Other Time (Jazz EP) 2007
No No No (Single) 2009
Safe And Sound (Single) 2009
Only Silence ( Single) 2009
The Circus Is Back In Town - March 2010

Backing Vocals or Guest Vocalist On:

Seasons Of Light - The New Sound Of The Holidays - 2008
Let Love Grow - Ken Webb 2008
My Changing Planet - 2009
The Flight Of The Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky 2009
The Hipstones - Dreamers 2010



Born in Melbourne, Australia to Africaans parents, Nadia is the 3rd child of 4. From a very early age her desire to be heard was apparent.
Nadia began singing at the age of three in her crib. She would wake up her parents at 4am singing “ Don’t Cry For me Argentina” and The Mull of Kintyre with perfect pitch and a lisp.
Nadia’s parents were both extremely musical. Her mother, Tess the lead soprano opera singer in the church choir in Cape Town and Peter, her father had music oozing out of his skin. He could play any instrument he picked up and his ear for harmony was extraordinary.
It was Peter who realized the musical talent in Nadia. While all of the other kids were surfing at the beach Nadia would be in her bedroom singing harmonies to all of the Beatles albums as well as the Carpenters and Simon and Garfunkel…to name a few.
Nadia was also extremely artistic. When it came time to graduate from High School Nadia thought she had to make a decision. She chose music and left the art behind. After the loss of her father when she was 17 her tenacity, talent and drive took her from Australia to Asia, Canada and New York City..where she now resides.
From performances on morning broadcasts in Australia to Hotel Contracts in Asia singing Jazz to singing backing vocals at Carnegie Hall with the likes of Sting, Billy Joel and James Taylor…She has been on quite the journey.

Nadia spent years studying and performing jazz. Nancy Wilson, Carmen MacRae and Betty Carter became her teachers. Out of the blue, mid June 2006 Nadia began hearing songs in her head. Lyrics, Melodies, Harmony
and Phrasing. The songs arrived in a complete form and more often than not she was writing two songs a day.. Having never written a song in her life she was a little perplexed as to what to do with it.
Today Nadia has written over 250 compositions and she’s back into drawing Which leads us to her new books. Nadia has composed a body of work that coincides with her artistic ability. She has put together gift/novelty books. The story are her lyrics the drawings paint the picture of the song and there is a CD in the back so that you can experience the music. Nadia is currently working with her literary agent to release the books “ A Sung Story” this year. Not only as tangible books but also on the ipad digital platform.

June 2010 will also see the release of Nadia’s debut record of original material.
“The Circus Is Back In Town”. What’s coming up? Carnegie Hall with Shirley Bassey, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Sting....and a performance on “Jimmy Fallon” with Robbie Dupree (Steal Away) and The Roots.