Singer/songwriter Allegra Levy released her fourth album on the Steeplechase label in the fall of 2020 to widespread international acclaim. No wonder Downbeat magazine profiled her in its recent 50th Anniversary Special Edition, praising her for adding “a degree of wit and cheek uncommon in the often self-serious jazz world.” The New York Times has called her “fresh,” “exotic,” and “far beyond the ordinary,” and JazzTimes dubbed her “a double-barreled talent” and “unquestionably one to watch.”
Yet a slew of recent awards prove that this versatile vocalist is far from just about jazz. Her female empowerment anthem “Waste My Time,” which she wrote for an EP she terms “female empowerment pop,” won First Place in the Great American Song Contest’s Adult Contemporary category in 2019. The record’s title track, “Love Is a Bird,” was a finalist in the contest’s Pop division. Her original composition “Man in the Moon,” for which she wrote both music and lyrics, won best original song in the 2019 International Independent Film Awards. And her catchy children’s song about coping with the pandemic, “Wash My Hands,” made headlines in 2020 as a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest’s “Stuck at Home” edition.
Although she may be best-known to the jazz community, it’s no surprise that Allegra has begun branching out to other genres. New York Music Daily described her as “an anomaly in the vocal jazz world,” noting that “her lyrics are uncommonly smart, full of striking imagery and a pervasive angst." The New Yorker pronounced her most recent album “a showcase for Levy’s… agile vocalizing and her gift for sculpting words…” And her spellbinding performances and songwriting prowess have prompted comparisons to everyone from Joni Mitchell and Blossom Dearie to Peggy Lee and Pink Martini.
Allegra, a Connecticut native now based in New York, served as artist in residence at the world-famous Blue Bar in the Hong Kong Four Seasons from 2014 - 2015. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, she has also appeared at most of the top clubs in New York, including The Jazz Standard, Birdland Theater, Zinc Bar, The Bitter End, Club Bonafide, and the Cornelia Street Café.
NPR touted her “skills as a composer, with a knack for lyrical melodies, and as a lyricist who writes with a memoirlike directness about love and the complexity of relationships.” The Midwest Record, meanwhile, called her “the new pinup girl for cool.” Now 31, she continues to compose and record while awaiting the eagerly anticipated return of LIVE MUSIC. She is also passionate about her work with the Women in Jazz Organization (WIJO), for which she proudly serves on the leadership committee.