Mandy-harvey-smile_span3
June 2010

Mandy Harvey
Smile

“The sweetest sounds I’ll ever hear are still inside my head.” When Richard Rodgers wrote those words for Diahann Carroll in 1962, they were intended to convey romantic inexperience, a yearning for grand passion. But Mandy Harvey can take Rodgers literally. The 22-year-old Coloradan is deaf. Three years ago, the hearing loss she’s endured since childhood became near-total. Since then, with tremendous support from her family, voice teacher Cynthia Vaughn and jazz pianist and educator Mark Sloniker, not to mention remarkable personal fortitude, Harvey has become a regular performer (with Sloniker) at Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins and has released her debut album.

But Harvey doesn’t want you to think of her as a deaf woman who can sing. She rightly considers herself a jazz singer who happens to have hearing impairment. Truth is, she is a terrific jazz singer. Period. No tricks, no technological wizardry, just exemplary readings of classic Tin Pan Alley tunes, enhanced by perfect pitch and a soft-swinging, folk-tinged style.

Understandably, Harvey favors head tones, lending a lightness that intensifies her ethereal appeal. Her interpretive skills are equally impressive. Endless others have turned “Smile” inside out to reveal its poignant center, but rarely with an ache as gently heartbreaking as Harvey’s. Her fragile “I’ll Be Seeing You” evokes images of deserted, rain-swept streets, the loneliness like a deepening fog. Particularly effecting in its gorgeous simplicity is her “What a Wonderful World,” a tiny bud opening to a peaceful, promise-filled dawn.

Originally published in June 2010
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34 Comments

  • May 20, 2010 at 11:32AM chunker

    What a great article on Mandy Harvey. You can just feel the heart she gives to her music. A true celebration of the art.
    Chas Hunker

  • May 24, 2010 at 11:49AM odower

    Great album. Great talent.

    Glad to see JazzTimes taking notice of Mandy Harvey!

    Mandy, looking forward to more and more great music from you!

    Andy O'Dower

  • May 24, 2010 at 12:18PM Wayne D'Antoni

    With all due respect, "terrific" is an understatement when you describe the vocal beauty that is Mandy Harvey. This young lady is an amazing, special talent, evoking memories of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, but through her own distinct and unique style that delivers a fresh, delightful interpretation of the great jazz classics. These are the kind of timeless tunes I cut my teeth on growing up in New Orleans, and Mandy brings them to life in a whole new way. When you toss in the uber-smooth stylings of Mark Sloniker and company, this album is a total joy for every follower of great music. It's a "must" for anyone's collection!
    Wayne D'Antoni

  • May 25, 2010 at 03:02PM CynthiaVaughn

    Beautiful! I love the Richard Rodgers lyric! Its a perfect song for Mandy. She is a truly gifted artist and a lovely young woman with a generous heart and a rare passion for life. I love what she does with a lyric and a melody. The honest fragility will always be there in her most intimate ballads, but her next album will be a reflection of where she is now, including a strong rendition of "Cry Me a River." Congratulations to Mandy and Greg on your upcoming wedding. Wishing you many years of love songs!--Cynthia Vaughn

  • May 28, 2010 at 03:51PM mhodge2004

    Mandy Harvey is an amazingly talented woman with a heart of gold. What an inspiration she is to young women. She teaches us that music truly comes from the heart. Way to go! I am so happy for all you have accomplished and welcome to our family!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 12:17PM Sarakirk

    "Smile" is absolutely remarkable, I cannot wait to hear more from mandy!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 12:27PM Sarah

    Mandy is an amazing inspiration that surpasses any doubt. Her passion for what she does is evident in each note she gives us. I cannot wait for her next cd to be released! Keep Smilin' Mandy, you sure are making us Smile :O) Thanks, a million!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 12:30PM Rajeev Rawat

    A star is born in Mandy Harvey's Smile album. Congratulations Mandy!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 12:36PM Robyngm

    Mandy is such an inspirational singer. I'm amazed by her, and can't wait to see what she does next. Thanks for sharing your gift with us, Mandy!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 01:42PM S. Hudson

    I have known Mandy since her high school days and her remarkable voice then, she continues to amaze me with her beautiful voice. She is very talented and has had, and will continue to have a passion for music that shows that the music is truly in her heart! Her CD is just one great song after another - simply BEAUTIFUL - like her!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 01:51PM northwindow

    mello beautiful and sweet. relax with this one.

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 03:46PM compucon

    Mandy Harvey Bland is a remarkable young woman who is a continuous inspiration to many people, deaf and hearing alike. On top of her beautiful voice, sophisticated interpretations, and inner beauty, is a woman of great character and talent. I can't wait for her next album!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 04:11PM kpl1007

    What an extraordinary artist. There is so much emotion behind the voice, it is truly captivating. This young woman has a beautiful spirit!!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 04:15PM Laura Begley

    Mandy is such an amazing person and talent. I can't wait for the future to hear her grow even more (although she's already more than incredible) in her talent.

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 05:49PM Rachel

    Mandy is an amazingly talented woman, and her singing is breathtaking. She's an inspiration to us all. If you haven't yet heard her sing, you are definitely missing out!

  • Jun 01, 2010 at 11:29PM Donna Valentine

    Mandy has jazz stylings and interpretations reminiscent of Billie Holiday- but with Alison Krauss tones. The way she interprets "Smile" and "What a Wonderful World" are just stunning.

    What I am most excited about is that Mandy is a terrific *songwriter*!! We just wrote a song together for the next album and she is amazing. She has a natural instinct for songwriting.

    Her phrasing is impeccable. Actually, her innate ability for phrasing reminds me of Eva Cassidy- she's THAT GOOD!

    Thanks for a great article, JazzTimes.

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 12:37PM JazzyLynn1

    Beautiful!

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 12:50PM vithefiddler

    This is my all time favorite Jazz singer albums. Mandy's light but soulful voice, and heartfelt interpretations make me smile every time I listen to it.

    Even my 12 year old daughter loves it.

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 01:35PM Angela Norris

    with a voice like silk, Mandy steals the heart of everyone in the room when she sings. Her playfulness and honesty are entrancing.

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 02:33PM superman102385

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mandy in person at Jay's Bistro. I wasn't informed that she was deaf, but I was surprised when I recognized the deaf equivialnt of applause rising in the air after each performance. I knew that her soon-to-be husband was there, (as I was informed of that much) and noticed that he was speaking entirely in sign language, but it didn't mean much to me. And then, at the end of the night, it became clear to me, that the beautiful singer on the podium, was in fact deaf. I loved her music already, she was peppy, exciting, and her voice rivaled that of other recent jazz artists such as Jane Moneheit.

    When I got home that evening, I immediately downloaded her album. The next day, I played it in the car for some of my friends, and they were all amazed.

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 03:33PM sjholbrook

    I love the album! It's in one of my playlists and is always bound to come up at parties. It's ALWAYS a crowd pleaser!

    Mandy Harvy is one of the best jazz singers I've ever heard! And she's just as amazing live!

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 04:36PM Jon Long

    I've had the pleasure of playing trumpet with Mandy the past few months. Her singing is amazing. Obviously, she has perfect pitch. But, it's more than perfect. It oozes with stylish inflections that are nicely balanced with her perfect sense of time and dynamics. Her stage presence is inspiring.

  • Jun 02, 2010 at 05:03PM Kendra MacNicol

    Mandy is an amazing singer and an amazing person. It is about time that she is being recognized for her talents; what she has versus what she may lack. She is a strong woman and should be seen live if given the chance. Her voice strikes a chord within your soul.

  • Jun 03, 2010 at 12:32PM Maggie

    I love Mandy's voice, she's always been a wonderful singer and I get such a happy feeling when I listen to her sing. I'm so happy for you that you have come so far Mandy!

  • Jun 04, 2010 at 06:03AM Warren Moffitt

    This is a wonderfully written article and I love your eloquent description of the amazingly talented Mandy Harvey. I am anxiously awaiting her next album.

  • Jun 04, 2010 at 11:08PM brianfromme

    Mandy is an amazing musician with a beautiful voice. Pick up her album and you'll know for yourself.

  • Jun 08, 2010 at 06:26PM heidi mccarthy

    This is just the beginning; I'm looking forward to hearing what she does next!!!!!

  • Jun 11, 2010 at 01:19AM johnscheuerman

    Mandy's voice is amazingly beautiful. I always love hearing her.

  • Jun 11, 2010 at 03:01PM GeraldHolbrook

    Mandy is a rare talent with great sensitivity and fine musicianship. She is a delight!

  • Jun 11, 2010 at 10:51PM Cindy Romeis

    Mandy Harvey's first album is amazing. To have perfect pitch without hearing yourself is quite a gift. This is a light and relaxing album that has me looking forward to the next one! I haven't seen Mandy in years. I wish I could see her sing now!

  • Jun 12, 2010 at 11:23AM ckouns

    Mandy is as wonderful a person as she is a singer! Her first album definitely gives one reason to Smile. Can't wait to hear more from you Mandy.

  • Jun 13, 2010 at 11:26PM TheTick

    Fantastic story, looking forward to hearing the album.

  • Jun 14, 2010 at 11:07AM MerylS

    You are amazing, Mandy! When will your next CD be released? I can't wait.

  • Jun 15, 2010 at 06:08PM shywolf97

    Mandy Harvey is a one of a kind young woman who has surpassed so much, yet is still singing to show others what one person can do. I have not enjoyed jazz in the past, but after I saw and heard her perform I have become a jazz fan. Keep going girl.....

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