Norah Jones made her breakthrough at age 23 with her instant-hit debut album Come Away With Me and has never looked back since then. Drawing heavily from home piano music and her father Ravi Shankar’s sitar playing legacy, Norah blends jazz, folk, Americana and light pop into modern light pop and adult contemporary arrangements.


Geetali Norah Jones Shankar was born in Brooklyn, New York City to Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and American concert producer Sue Jones. At five years old she began singing church choirs; shortly thereafter began taking piano lessons aged six; she also briefly played alto saxophone during junior high school years.

Her early musical influences came from her mother’s record collection and oldies radio stations. She began recording professionally in 2000 with an audition of songs written for her debut album Come Away With Me; eventually being signed to jazz label Blue Note Records.

Norah’s debut album was an enormous commercial success and earned her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Her follow-up, Feels Like Home (2004) sold more than one million copies within its first week of release.

Not Too Late (2007) saw her move away from jazz/pop into more soulful and country sounds. For this recording process she participated fully and composed all songs herself.

Early Years

Come Away with Me was released in 2002 and became an international phenomenon, featuring Jones’ signature blend of jazz, country and blues on an acoustic pop platform. This record propelled Jones into stardom.

Jones brought together a top-tier band in New York, comprising bassist Lee Alexander and drummer Dan Rieser with guitarists Jesse Harris and Adam Levy for an audition demo that helped secure him a deal with Blue Note Records.

Jones worked with producer Arif Mardin (Cassandra Wilson, Manhattan Transfer and k.d. lang) to record her debut album but refused to let the record industry dictate her work; many predicted her second record would flop but Jones stuck to her vision; Feels Like Home produced by Mardin was released shortly thereafter and featured country and blues elements along with Jones’ signature piano jazz style.


Geetali Norah Jones Shankar (she shortened it when she turned 16 with her father’s blessing) has established herself as an acoustic singer-songwriter. Daughter of legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, Norah has found success releasing albums which span various genres.

Norah made her debut with Come Away With Me, an album which blended country, folk, Americana and modern light jazz on piano. It became both commercially successful and critically acclaimed, garnering several Grammy awards such as best new artist and album of the year.

Visions is Jones’ latest studio release and 12-song set that explores desire, freedom and accepting what life brings her. It serves as an antidote to Pick Me Up Off The Floor which was released during the pandemic lockdown period and hinted at darker emotions associated with them; Jones performs songs from both albums on this edition of World Cafe.

Personal Life

Norah Jones first burst onto the scene with her debut, Come Away With Me, selling 27 million copies worldwide and garnering five Grammy awards – cementing Norah as an industry veteran.

Since then, Jones’ restless spirit has led her to all corners of music world, giving birth to solo releases that combine jazz, soul, country and pop. Visions – produced and multi-instrumentalist Leon Michels collaboration – serves as a companion piece to Pick Me Up Off The Floor holiday collection by adding fresh funk and psychedelic flavorings into her classic sound.

Norah now lives in New York and homeschools her two children. She leads a private life by choice and rarely appears in public. Norah keeps in close touch with Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones), whom she keeps close ties to during pandemic lockdown of 2020. While recording and performing with Foo Fighters, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Logic Daniele Luppi and OutKast during that period.