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Mark Murphy Bio

New York native Mark Murphy (born 1932) has carved out a legacy as a consummate Jazz Vocalist and Lyricist. He carries the improvisational torch with his masterful scat style, as well as his performances of songs from various genres with a Jazz sensibility. He has also penned vocalese lyrics to the Jazz repertoire, reworking songs such as Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" and "Red Clay" by Freddie Hubbard, amongst others.

As a child, Murphy spent much time singing in the local Methodist Church choir, where his grandmother was the organist. As a teenager, Murphy was exposed to singers, such as Nat "King" Cole, June Christy, Anita O'Day, and Ella Fitzgerald, who would greatly influence his direction of his career. In the middle of a performance while attending Syracuse University, Murphy was shocked to see Sammy Davis, Jr. in the audience. After the show, Davis encouraged Murphy to continue his musical ambitions, giving him the confidence to relocate to NYC in 1954 where he began to carve out a career as a singer.

He released his first album, Meet Mark Murphy, two years later. He followed up its success with two more albums before briefly moving to Los Angeles, returning to New York shortly thereafter to record his album Rah.  Success from that album earned Murphy a spot with the Jazz elite, but his next release, That's How I Love the Blues, garnered him a spot on the Jazz Charts, as well as Downbeat Magazine's "New Star of the Year.”

After a stint in London, Murphy came back to New York again, recording a string of highly acclaimed albums such as Nat King Cole Songbook Vol. 1 and 2, Bop for Kerouac, and Stolen Moments, which featured his acclaimed lyrics over the famous Oliver Nelson song of the same name. Murphy’s attention then turned to Brazilian music, as he recorded the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Milton Nascimento on the album Cancoes do Brasil, as well as Night Mood, an album of songs by Brazilian composer Ivan Lins. His other notable album was Song For The Geese, which reaffirmed his triumphant incursion into vocalese.

Mark has performed many genres, but his legacy is as the most creative Jazz singer of his generation. Having toured the world, wowed audiences & critics, and received a multitude of accolades, Mark Murphy continues to impress to this day with albums and concerts that showcase his lyrical interpretations of Jazz standards, his impromptu scats, and his distinct and artful voice.