Photo Credit: Shefik
Born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Jenny Bruce comes from a musical family where everyone — parents, sister, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents and beyond — sang, played instruments, and harmonized. Music was the glue. The Bruce family religion.
Bruce began playing piano by ear, writing songs and poems at the age of five as a necessary outlet for her overflowing emotions and thoughts. Meeting her now, you might never guess that as a kid she was a painfully shy introvert. An awkward misfit. Music was her sanctuary. It still is.
All grown-up and hardly timid, Bruce is the kind of person you want to invite for a drink. Quick to laugh, she's got good stories, and she'll fight you for the tab. In person, as in music, Bruce will put you right at ease. A reluctant optimist, her intelligent lyrics, are often laced with a compelling blend of empathy, irony, and pathos. You get a sense that she's been through the wringer, but that, no matter what, she'll never give up. And, when all else fails, she has music and her beloved Scotch whiskey with two ice cubes, please.
Coming of age in New York City during the 80's wasn't boring and Bruce experienced a colorful "youth" that includes dancing beside Madonna and chatting with Andy Warhol and Truman Capote at Studio 54. On a dare, she once invited John Cusack to dance at the China Club in 1983 (there was a kiss!). Later, in college, she studied and lived in France for four years (speaks fluent French) where she sang in the metro to make enough money to eat until she was hired as a singing waitress in a swanky nightclub. It was also in Paris that met the man she would marry.
As a pop-folk singer-songwriter, Bruce has released four independent albums and has won many songwriting awards (Billboard, ISC, John Lennon, and dozens more). You've heard her songs on "Dawson's Creek", "Ghost Whisperer", "TODAY", "King of the Hill", "All My Children", "Jake 2.0", "Children's Hospital", and in several independent films including "Sex and the Other Man", starring Stanely Tucci and Ron Eldard, for which she composed original songs.
A 1999 Lilith Fair Talent Search finalist, Bruce's song "Home", from her 2001 release "Soul on Fire" was included as the only track from an "unsigned" artist on a popular Martha Stewart compilation CD, featuring Alison Krauss, Barenaked Ladies, Lucinda Williams, and other well-known artists.
Today, Bruce wears many hats: singer-songwriter; Communications Director of a school; mother of two growing boys; a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University; wife; and daughter/caregiver of a dad with Parkinson's disease.
More than ever, music remains Bruce's sanity and salvation. Music and the occasional Balvenie.
Bruce's fourth independent album and most recent release, "Firefly in a Jar", is now available.
Last Updated: December 24, 2019