Nancy Ruth is a Canadian-born singer, songwriter, composer, and recording artist. A world traveller with a powerful stage presence, she comes alive as she cooks up a tasty brew with her jazz, latin, and flamenco influences. Her Spanish roots eventually led her to Málaga, Spain, where she spends part of the year composing new works.
An early love of jazz was ignited by family jam sessions while growing up in British Columbia, Canada. She went on to study music at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Douglas College, and Berklee College of Music, as well as acting and theatre at Langara’s Studio 58.
She started her professional career singing in bands booked by the Feldman Agency, touring Canada with Axess, Renaissance, and Aces High. She released her first self-penned album Nancy Ruth, in 1998. She fronted jazz trios in clubs and festivals, including the DuMaurier International Jazz Festival in Canada, then toured throughout the world as a pianist/ vocalist, including a long run as featured performer in Disney's Sessions Jazz Club. In 2004 she released an album of jazz standards called It’s Got To Be Love. A foray into musical theatre led to six seasons of starring in the Klondike show Beaver Creek Rendezvous. She was a guest vocalist with WEA recording artists The Lovehunters in Singapore, and when invited to perform for the Sultan of Brunei, she learned to sing in Malay and Indonesian during her month-long gig at the Royal Palace.
Always combining a love of travel and adventure with her musical career, she has enjoyed collaborations with Arabic and Berber musicians in Morocco, Flamencos in Andalusia, and Polynesians in the South Pacific. She's also appeared as a guest artist on albums by Canadian trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, and New York composer Joe Gianono.
A performance with Panamanian composer Toño Robira incited encouragement for her to sing the boleros and ballads of Latin America. She subsequently recorded one of his compositions and co-wrote several songs in Spanish for the 2008 Home of Jazz release Me Quedo. Returning to Spain, she wrote and recorded the album Para Ti in both English and Spanish (originally on the Spectra Jazz label), then produced and starred in the show Trío Pasión, an homage to the music of Spain and Latin America which has toured theatres world-wide.
Her fifth album Sangria Jam is a musical journey recounting her travels and life in Spain. Combining her influences of jazz, latin and flamenco into her songwriting, she says: “I write what flows freely… I’m not trying to create a fusion, I just play what I feel. I’m a product of my experience and surroundings”.
In 2018 Nancy Ruth released the single/ video Todo Para Ti which has been featured on radio and television in the U.S.
2019 brought Nancy to New York City to record new works, including a soundtrack piece which features members of the New York Philharmonic, arranger Joe Gianono (Blood Sweat and Tears, Michel Camilo) and Grammy award winning engineer Oscar Zambrano. She was a featured composer/ artist at Africa's biggest jazz festival, Festival du Saint Louis, Senegal.
Recently she wrote and directed a documentary about cross-cultural collaboration, filmed over many years in Morocco. 'Nancy Ruth's Musical Adventures in Morocco' is now making the festival circuit.
In 2020 she released 4 self-penned singles: Breathing in Indigo, her Moroccan collaboration Just Can't Let It Go - Extended Mix in Morocco, Where the Sea Melts to Sky, an orchestral soundtrack piece featuring members of the New York Philharmonic, and Turn the Lights Back Down, a sultry jazz ballad.
Nancy Ruth is currently in Mijas, Spain, writing and recording in her home studio on the Mediterranean. A new album is set for release in 2023.