Nora Brown

Latest Release

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Nora Brown, Sidetrack My Engine
Due: September 24, 2021

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Photo Credit: Benton Brown


Live at the Paste Studio
November 12, 2021


NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Nora Brown


“The Very Day I’m Done”
Nora Brown


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The Guardian Album Review: Nora Brown

Also out this week: Nora Brown's second album, Sidetrack My Engine"Its mood recalls the early albums of Cat Power as much as Harry Smith’s field...

Fretboard Journal Interviews Nora Brown

Interview: The Old-Time Mastery of Nora Brown"I wanted to hear how this impossibly talented musician came to be… and how someone so young could...

NPR’s New Mix Features Nora Brown

NPR All Songs Considered: Nora Brown, Le Ren, Wet Leg, Ustad Saami, NoSo, More"We also hear 16-year-old Nora Brown's take on an old Appalachian...

American Songwriter Features Nora Brown

At Age 15, Nora Brown Bears the Torch of Ancient Music Traditions with Poise on New LP Sidetrack My Engine"Mentored by folklorist/filmmaker/New Lost...

BK Mag Features Nora Brown

Meet the 16 year-old banjoist who recorded an album in a Crown Heights cave"Nora Brown is accustomed to friends and strangers not quite grasping her...

Wide Open Country Highlights Nora Brown

Wide Open Country 6-Pack: "The Very Day I'm Gone," Nora Brown"Teenage banjo prodigy Nora Brown delivers a gorgeous, stirring version of ballad...

NPR Highlights Nora Brown, “East Virginia”

New Mix: Steady Holiday, Nora Brown, Bernice And More Discoveries"We then hear Nora Brown, an extraordinary 15-year-old singer and banjo player...

NPR Highlights Nora Brown at globalFEST

Teenage Banjo Prodigy To Perform At Virtual globalFEST"15-year-old singer and banjo player Nora Brown is a rising star taking on traditional...

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The 13th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival! Presented by The Jalopy Theatre & School of Music

“Diverse, spontaneous, counter-cultural, and trenchant...One of the most vital and spiritually sound folk-music events in the country.” -The New...

Nora Brown’s Sidetrack My Engine (Jalopy Records) Debuts on Billboard Bluegrass Chart on Strength of NPR Music All Songs Considered Play, Profiles in American Songwriter, Fretboard Journal, & Brooklyn Magazine

16 Year-Old Brown Featured on Apple Playlists, Confirmed to Headline Brooklyn Folk Fest Nov 12Traditional banjo player and folksinger Nora Brown’s...

“Extraordinary” (NPR Music) “Rising Star” (NPR Weekend Edition) Nora Brown Caps Breakthrough 2021 with Release of Sidetrack My Engine, Out This Friday on Brooklyn Nonprofit Label Jalopy Records

Sidetrack My Engine follows her NPR Tiny Desk, NPR Weekend Edition, Teaching Workshop at Newport Folk Fest, Globalfest AppearanceThe kind of year...



Nora Brown – Sidetrack My Engine – September 24, 2021

“[In her playing,] an intense involvement is revealed as the music appears to wash over her. She sings of experiences way beyond her years, old songs from Appalachian sources, stories that reflect a more difficult way of life.”
— John Cohen (Musicologist, photographer, filmmaker and founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers)

“Nora’s playing the fretless version of the banjo is more in tune with its African ancestry. It allows a seamless glissando, a spirited game of snakes and ladders, doggedly climbing and then slipping easily back to the start.”
—UK Folk Radio

Nora plays old-time traditional music with a particular interest in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee banjo playing. Along with the banjo she also sings traditional unaccompanied ballads from southeast Appalachia and beyond.

She has played at numerous venues and festivals on the East Coast including TED Salon in NYC, NPR Tiny Desk, Joe’s Pub, the Floyd Radio Show, Washington Square Park Folk Festival, Brooklyn Folk Festival, Brooklyn Americana Festival, Oldtone Roots Music Festival, Irvington Folk Festival, Summer & Winter Hoots at the Ashokan Center, and has had multiple month long residencies at famed Barbès in Brooklyn NY. Nora has participated in a variety of podcasts including WNYC’s Dolly Parton’s America. During COVID-19 Nora has continued to perform virtually and through Covid safe venues while also working on new recordings.
Nora has taught both beginning and advanced banjo classes at the Ashokan Center’s long standing old-time camp known as Southern Week in Olivebridge, NY, and currently teaches workshops through the Handmade Music School in Floyd, VA. and the Jalopy School of Music in Brooklyn, NY. Nora continues to travel and learn from old masters and has taken regular trips to eastern Kentucky studying under the late master banjo player and former coal miner Lee Sexton and master banjo player and historian George Gibson.

Nora has won numerous banjo and folk song competitions at various fiddlers conventions including the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Music Festival and Grayson County Old-time and Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention.
In October 2019 Jalopy Records released Nora’s first album of 11 traditional songs and tunes called Cinnamon Tree. It was produced by the legendary Alice Gerrard and pressed by Third Man Pressing in Detroit. It’s only available on limited edition vinyl with a digital download and liner notes. Cinnamon Tree landed #7 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts the 2nd week of its release.

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