Mandy Harvey (born January 2, 1988) is a deaf American jazz singer and songwriter. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen and left the university. She pursued several career option...
Mandy Harvey (born January 2, 1988) is a deaf American jazz singer and songwriter. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen and left the university. She pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. Smile (2009) is a self-produced album and has received acclaim from Jazz critics. Her third album "All of Me" (2014) was released in November 2014.
Mandy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to Florida at age two. Mandy is one of four children of Joe and Valerie Harvey. Daughter to a minister and to a public school teacher, Mandy showed an early talent for singing, but also suffered reoccurring hearing problems. At age ten (1998), her family moved to Longmont, Colorado, where Mandy attended middle school at Twin Peaks Charter Academy. Mandy participated in choral groups and music competitions in high school, including traveling with one such group to sing in Australia. Her vocal talent blossomed during her high school years and she was recognized as the "Top Female Vocalist" at the Longmont High School graduation ceremony (2006).
After graduating from Longmont High School (Longmont, CO) in 2006, Mandy applied and was accepted to Colorado State University. Mandy was one of fifteen students that year that were accepted at CSU to be vocal majors. During her freshman year, however, she lost hearing (110 decibels) in both ears. The hearing loss was theorized by doctors to be the result of a genetic flaw triggered by medications used during knee surgeries. Whatever the cause, discouraged, Mandy left CSU and returned to Longmont, where she took American Sign Language classes and courses in Elementary Education at a local community college.
Once she returned home Mandy decided that she would take a year off of singing, but she did continue to play the guitar with her father. One day while searching the internet Mandy and her father discovered a song titled "Come Home" by OneRepublic. Mandy's father suggested that she learn the lyrics so that they could make a home recording. Mandy thought this would be impossible, but she gave it her best effort. She was able to read the music and sing in key, which brought her to the realization that she didn't have to give up on singing.
A 2008 chance encounter with her college music professor, Cynthia Vaughn, led Mandy to revive her music passion. Vaughn introduced Mandy to renowned Jazz Pianist Mark Sloniker at Jay's Bistro in Fort Collins, where she became a fixture for several years.
In 2011 Mandy won VSA's International Young Soloist Award and returned in 2014 to perform a full concert at the Kennedy Center. She now travels as a jazz soloist and a motivational speaker. She is also an ambassador with the non profit organization No Barriers.