"A musical goddess.. so much soul and feeling and rhythm and so meticulous, which I really love, her clarity and economy. I feel that powerful deep groove from her time when she's playing."
Benny Green, legendary jazz pianist
"Mary Gatchell is one of the most amazing musical talents I've ever known. Singer, songwriter, composer, pianist - she combines it all, inspiring a groove in your soul and a smile in your heart."
Jim McNeely, renowned jazz pianist and composer
"Behold the masterful Mary Gatchell! A soulful performer, bountiful songwriter, fierce musician, style-flexible multi-instrumentalist... it goes on and on. She is a sublime musical chameleon!"
Evelyn Troester, director of Ghostlight choir
Music Angel... Love, Groove, Beauty and Light
New York City's Soulful Artist, Mary Gatchell, embodies music of sensuality, honesty, joy, and passion. A true Renaissance woman, she is a melting pot of influences from blues and jazz to soul and pop, creating a unique blend all American, and all her own. A dynamic singer, pianist, and songwriter, Mary has 6 albums of original music to her credit, the latest being "Real Fantasy" with genius R&B producer/Gospel artist, Leon Lacey and producer/drummer, Nathaniel Townsley. She is currently working on her 7th album with masterful producer and keyboardist, ATN Stadwijk. Stay tuned! She has performed in legendary NYC clubs such as the Blue Note, Rockwood Music Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Birdland, Knitting Factory, Shrine, the Underground, Bitter End, Groove, Cutting Room and CBGB's, and has brought her music to Europe and Africa. She tours Italy every summer and continues to broaden in the states and abroad as her fan base grows. She has also performed at Brooklyn's Barclays Center and Newark's Prudential Center with the Rolling Stones for their 50th Anniversary tour with elite chamber choir, Ghostlight.
Mary Gatchell's music covers a broad range of styles while, at the same time, conveying a through line of honesty and conviction. Her voice, provocative lyrics, and unexpected harmonies are unique and enrapturing. Highly influenced by Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, Mary tells her own intimate stories of love and sorrow, peace and war, and the thread of humanity that binds us all. Mary's music takes you on a soulful journey playing tender, solo piano ballads, through a fusion of odd metered, atonal adventures, to high energy funk and R&B grooves. Mary's vibe is raw, uplifting, sincere, and engaging. She is an artist who is passionate about human rights and social justice and deeply committed to sharing her love for her community and the world through her music and lyrics of a higher consciousness.
Born and raised in New Hampshire into a musical family, she gained a strong foundation in musical theatre, jazz, and classical music, singing and playing the piano and oboe. At 18, she moved to New York City to attend New York University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition, while studying voice, piano, oboe, dance, theater, and composition. Here she studied with jazz pianist/composer, Jim McNeely, jazz singer, Anne Phillips, composer, Justin Dello Joio, theorist, Klaus Sinfelt, oboist, Gerard Reuter, jazz pianist, Frank Kimbrough, and flutist/chamber music director, Gerardo Levy. Her teachers, new friends, and the vibrant and diverse city exposed her to all kinds of music which significantly inspired her to write and explore different sounds and rhythms. She delved into Brazilian, African, classical, jazz, musical theatre, and opera. All of this combined to make her the artist she is today.
Along with being a performer, Mary Gatchell has a commitment to fostering music in the lives of children. This belief has brought her to Ethiopia to implement a sustainable music curriculum for HIV infected and impoverished children, and to Bulgaria to work with orphans with special needs through music, in association with the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.
Mary Gatchell's music commands, enraptures, and enlightens your innermost soul. Go see her live!
From the small New England town of Epping, New Hampshire, Mary grew up within a musical family. Mary's parents are her biggest and most important musical influences in her life. They have instilled in her a strong work ethic, a love for collaboration, and a deep commitment to enriching the lives of others. Her mother, Elaine Gatchell, is the founder and executive director of Leddy Center for the Performing Arts, a theater group she started in the late '70's, as well as a singer and church choir director. A consummate visionary, Mary's mother directs, produces, and choreographs every show and commands the theatre with grace, humility, devotion, and expertise. Since the womb, Mary would be at every rehearsal with her mom, soaking in this magical world of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Frank Loesser, Harold Arlen, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman and other giants of musical theatre. This exposed Mary to the great American songbook, the timeless classics of great songwriting that teach us about our humanity. Mary sang with her mom's church choir at an early age and had her debut on stage in "The Music Man" at age 5, the same age she started dance classes and piano lessons with her loving grandmother, Dorothy Bassett. Mary was in most every show growing up in some capacity, whether it being in the chorus, accompanying, lights, sound, or taking center stage. She was "Annie" in "Annie", Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" and the witch in "Into the Woods". This meant as much to her as being backstage or in the pit. Mary's mother's passion, dignity, and dedication on and off the stage is immeasurable. All of these experiences set the tone for Mary's work ethic and true love for music and expression in capacities great and small.
Mary's father, J. Bruce Gatchell, is a conductor, music director, band director, piano tuner, and trombonist. In fact, he plays most every instrument! He shared his deep love for jazz with Mary early on, especially the music of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington Orchestras. He is the music director for all of her mom's shows and watching him do that greatly influenced Mary. He was also her band teacher in school growing up from grades 4-12. He encouraged her to play oboe in the concert band and piano in the jazz band, and for that she will be forever grateful. For her 16th birthday, Mary's father gave her a cassette of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". With her mind blown from the complexities of this monumental work, this recording helped broaden her view of musical interpretation, improvisation, and expression. Mary's father is child-like in his passion for all things musical and interesting!
Throughout high school, Mary earned spots in All-State as a singer and oboist, and in Jazz All-State as a singer and pianist. She was involved with the music department at the University of New Hampshire, attending the UNH Clark Terry Jazz Festivals since she was very young, seeing and hearing first hand these giants of jazz, Milt Hinton, Al Grey, and Clark Terry. She also attended Solo and Ensemble and chamber music camps, and attended SYMS, the summer youth music school, studying with incredible musicians and teachers including composer/drummer, Daniel Bukvich. This is where she realized her calling to become a musician. Mary's gifted and demanding art and drama teacher at Epping High School, James Locke, was very influential and important in opening her eyes to a world outside of New Hampshire. Mary is truly indebted to these very special people of her childhood years. Off to New York City...!
"The real gift to a songwriter is when his song comes back to him in such a beautiful manner. Love the way Mary sang "Here's to Life"! Very understated and sensitive." Artie Butler, composer of the timeless, classic song, "Here's to Life"
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