Norah Jones looking off camera

We welcome Norah Jones to the show, one of the most successful jazz musicians in history

With over 50 million records sold worldwide over the course of her career, as well as nine Grammy wins, there is no doubt that Norah Jones is one of the most successful musicians of the 21st century. We welcome her as the second guest in the new series of I Never Thought It Would Happen.

Norah began singing in a Texan church, which offered a fantastic environment in which to learn. When she was a teenager, Dallas had a thriving jazz scene so she remembers seeing many shows that inspired her in younger years. Her first live music experience was something a little different from jazz however and not what you might expect — listen to the episode to find out what her first concert was.

Chris and Norah’s conversation touches on a variety of subjects, from her new album and songwriting, to meditation and wellbeing. She believes that the situation in music with regard to wellbeing is different now from when she was an up-and-coming artist. It is more of subject that is spoken about and that is a change for the better. Norah is not much of a partyer and keeps things pretty mellow on tour too but is fortunate to have a really good group of girl friends she is supported by. She is able to lean on them when she is low.

Aside from her own music, one of Norah’s principal interests is her own podcast, called Norah Jones Is Playing Along. This is where a lot of her creative energy goes and she thinks more in terms of podcast guests rather than who she needs to write songs with.

Our second episode of the new series also features a contribution from Sultan Stevenson, a exceptional young pianist we supported to release his debut album Faithful One in 2023. Since its release, Sultan’s career has been on an upwards trajectory – the album received radio play from the likes of Jamie Cullum’s Radio 2 show, as well as Gilles Peterson on his BBC show and Worldwide FM too.

Arguably the moment that gave Sultan the greatest pride however was when he picked up an award for Newcomer of the Year at the 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. That was really big,” Sultan explained. I wrote in my application to Help Musicians that I hoped the album would be recognised with an award of some kind, so that was a fantastic moment.”

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Series 4 and rest assured there are plenty more exciting episodes to come over the next few weeks. Make sure you listen and subscribe by following the links provided below.

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