Natalie York

Natalie York

BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

Natalie York combines everything you love about jazz, blues, R&B, funk, and soul music into one delightfully folky package.

Biography

"Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis, watch out. Natalie York packs a huge wallop, one that will make even the biggest, toughest men sit down and cry for a while."
- Andrew Gregory of the Gregory Brothers

Natalie York has been writing songs since the fifth grade when her teacher intercepted a sheet of lyrics Natalie was trying to pass to a bandmate underneath the desks. She's more careful about that now, housing her lyrics in a notebook collection that would put Hemingway to shame. As a classically trained saxophonist, a guitar "dabbler," and a singer poised to rock the face off a wide spectrum of genres, Natalie is the face of versatility.

Now a sophomore jazz vocal student at the University of Miami, Natalie also is among the first group of students in the music school’s groundbreaking new songwriting minor, The Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program. She’s already worked on her craft with Hornsby and his Noisemakers band and can’t wait for more opportunity for inspiration from the Grammy Award winner and her Hurricane classmates. Studying at one of the oldest college jazz programs in the country is demanding, but provides constant inspiration.

Born in Washington, DC, Natalie was raised in the suburb of Vienna, VA, where an early highlight was performing as a 10-year-old rock star with her Louise Archer Elementary pop girl band “eneN*aRJay.” She went on to be a full-fledged band geek, serving as president of the “Pride of Vienna” James Madison High School Marching Band. Recognized as her school’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner, Natalie also performed as her jazz band’s lead alto sax player and vocalist, appearing at the popular Jammin’ Java club and as part of the Blues Alley Big Band Jam at the foot of the Washington Monument.

But it all really got started for Natalie at the ripe age of 13 when she spent her first summer at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop, under the songwriting tutelage of the great Tom Prasado-Rao. She caught the bug and kept coming back to the workshop, year after year. Many of her songs were recorded in a traveling studio set up by Prasado-Rao in an old computer lab of a UVA dorm, affectionately dubbed "the Meat Locker" for its frigid temperatures. Natalie even put those songs together on CDs and sold enough to help pay for two trips to New Orleans to help out Hurricane Katrina victims.

Natalie is a poet at heart and believes that lyrics and melody together make music memorable. She carries a notebook at all times to write down interesting things she hears people say and images and thoughts that come to her throughout her days and nights. Her song inspirations have ranged from the obvious: love and relationships, growing up and fitting in... to the not so obvious: the miracles performed by Christ, The Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, and Ivory soap. Regardless of subject matter, her lyrics, music and overall being have the depth of an “old soul,” according to Prasado-Rao, that can reach and pull tightly on your heartstrings.

You may never know how deeply you can feel music until you experience a performance by Natalie York. She'll hit you right in the ventricles.

Lyrics

Inside Out

Written By: Natalie York

Verse 1:
My body’s not my body.
My skin ain’t my own.
You’ve taken over me.
Every limb, every bone of me.

Pre-chorus:
And you’ve got me twisted, don’t you know?
But I’m not about to let you go.
You’ve got the best of me.
You found my reversible seams.

Chorus:
Well, spin me, spin me all around
'til I don’t know my up from my down.
Turn me, turn me, inside out.
My west is my north and my east is my south.

Verse 2:
You turn my insides out.
You make my feet come out my mouth
'til I can’t breathe around you.
My lungs forgot what to do.

Pre-Chorus
Chorus

Bridge:
Impossible to recognize
Myself when I’m hypnotized by you.
My eyes have never been so blue.

Discography

January 2007 -- Rooftop Melody (LP)
December 2005 -- Catch Me (EP)
April 2004 -- Natalie York (EP)