Israeli-born vocalist, pianist, composer, and music therapist Noa Fort is blurring the lines between written and composed, group and individual, inner and outer soundscape, giving and receiving; all on the path to healing, with music.
After a short stint as a biologist, researching bird migration in the Israeli desert, Fort decided to go back to her first love, music and pursued a degree in Music Performance (first for voice, then for piano) at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She became involved in the music scene in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, leading a Jazz quintet as well as working as a side woman for several bands and projects. She also started volunteering with teenagers with special needs, and slowly realized what she’d always known - that music can be used for more than self-expression; it can be used to create a connection where words fail, a path to healing, and a terrain to explore the self in relation to others.
In 2013, Fort moved to NYC, to pursue both her performance career and to become a music therapist. She enrolled for a Master’s degree in Music Therapy at NYU, and interned at the Kings County Mental Health Units, using songwriting, improvisation, and singing as her main tools. Now a New York State-licensed creative arts therapist and board-certified music therapist, Fort is focused on finding ways in which music can be used to address the different needs of her diverse clientele. She is constantly expanding her listening practice.
While at school, Fort formed a trio, which later became the Noa Fort Quartet. The group developed a unique, cohesive, exploratory, and fresh sound, playing frequently at noted venues Cornelia Street Cafe and Rockwood Music Hall. Aside from her work as a leader, Fort started collaborating and performing with greats such as William Parker, Hamid Drake, Ken Filiano, Francisco Mela, Michael Attias, Satoshi Takeishi, Mary Prescott, and Simon Jermyn, among others.
In 2018 Fort released her debut album as a bandleader and composer, ‘No World Between Us’. Critically acclaimed, its release led to bookings at the DC Jazz Festival and BRIC Jazz Festival. All About Jazz called it “an album of comforting originality on all fronts… lyrics brimming with timeless themes”.
Everyday Actions (2021, Ears & Eyes Records), her second album as a leader and composer, received critical acclaim; Jazziz Magazine's John Moore wrote 'Fort’s healing vocal abstractions transcend verbalization... Frequently poignant and meditative, the music’s spare beauty sneaks up on you then stays with you.
As a recent recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Brooklyn Arts Fund (2022) she created a series of free concerts throughout Brooklyn, including in a transitional home for homeless people and in community gardens. Apart from her work as a performer, she is also a licensed creative arts therapist and board certified music therapist, working with a variety of populations. Among other things, she facilitates music therapy groups and songwriting sessions for women survivors of sexual trauma
with the Angel Band Project.