On Saturday, Feb. 22, singer-songwriter, Mandy Harvey, will perform at Kean University's Enlow Recital Hall. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the box office.
A year after losing her hearing, she was inspired to find a way to sing again. She began an extremely challenging practice regiment, singing using a guitar tuner to re-learn how to hit her notes visually. She returned to training, conquered a lifelong fear of performance, and began to record albums and tour.
Harvey, who studied vocal music education and has backgrounds in jazz and pop styles, lost her hearing at eighteen to the connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She rose to international prominence during 2017, on the twelfth season of "America's Got Talent," when judge Simon Cowell was so moved by her performance that he used his "Golden Buzzer" to propel her directly to the quarterfinal round; she was later a finalist, overcoming as great a challenge as any singer could.
Harvey released her debut album, "Smile," in 2009, and followed it up with "After You've Gone" (2010) and "All of Me" (2014). Each leans on her jazz influences, but offers a unique perspective - not just because of her struggle with deafness, but because of her determination and a refreshing, wide range of style.
The songwriter's albums and tours have each received high praise. JazzTimes has called her voice "rich and captivating."
Harvey told NPR it's all about feeling: "You can feel the drums and you can feel the bass...being able to feel the music through the floor, it makes me feel like I'm a part of the band."
In 2017, Harvey released a memoir, Sensing the Rhythm: Finding My Voice in a World Without Sound to strong critical and popular reception. The book details her early struggles with the slow decline of her hearing, the fight to regain her voice - both her singing voice and her expression - and inspiring road to success.
Harvey is currently on a national tour of the United States, and will appear again in the tri-state area (Toms River, NJ on Feb. 21 and Oneonta, NY on March 14) before traveling to Texas, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, and onward. More details on her tour and her catalog can be found at her website.
The Kean community has a fortunate opportunity to see her perform on campus, and all are encouraged to seek out tickets before they sell out.
Following Harvey's performance, Kean Stage has an incredible, versatile lineup of intimate shows scheduled through the rest of the semester including Royal Wood on March 3, Jimmy Webb on April 4, Voctave on April 25, Norm Lewis on May 9 and more.
For more information about Harvey's performance, and other Kean Stage shows during the Spring 2020 semester, reach out via phone at (908) 737-7469, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.