“I recently discovered the voice and talents of Orna. She possesses a certain depth, fullness and resonance with this fine collection of songs. Orna is a worthy talent who exudes positive feelings and confidence.” Nancy Wilson
“The thing about Orna is when you hear her voice, you just want to crawl into her world and get to know her. She has such a clear open sound, no gimmicks, no tricks, just a pure voice. A true song stylist.” Brian Bromberg, producer
University of the Witwatersrand (’92) – Bachelor of Music, Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music
Berklee College of Music (’95) – Professional Diploma, Film Scoring and Performance
Born Orna Shifren, Orna grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. From a young age she sang and played the piano, and eventually got a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Witwatersrand. Orna always dreamed of living in America, and in 1993 was thrilled to receive a scholarship to study Film Scoring at the world-famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she discovered her passion for singing jazz standards. She was on the Berklee Dean’s List and invited to join the President’s Club. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1995 and moved to Los Angeles.
In 1998 Orna started working at Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.—first as an Administrative Assistant and then as a Copyright Coordinator. She quit her “day-job” in 2000 to take the opportunity to sing on the inaugural run of the Carnival Victory ship for 3 months, traveling to the eastern and western Caribbean. Thereafter, she became a Leader and then Ambassador for Weight Watchers, facilitating motivational discussions at various entertainment companies including E! Networks, CBS, Fox Networks, Paramount and WGA.
See some of the reviews and accolades for Orna:
- “The Very Thought of You” : LA Jazz Scene, Scott Yanow
- “The Very Thought of You” : LA Jazz Scene, Jim Santella
- “The Very Thought of You” : Reviewed by Ron Saranich
- “The Very Thought of You” : Reviewed by Michael Coakes
- A440 Music Releases Orna’s “The Very Thought Of You” on February 18, 2003
In the meantime—soon after moving to LA, after creating her own book of charts, Orna started gigging around town. Bassist Ric Fierabracci introduced her to other great jazz musicians, and at his birthday party she met the renowned bass player and producer, Brian Bromberg. She knew this was an important, life-changing meeting! After attending her performance, Brian signed up to produce her first album.
On the verge of signing a record deal with Concord Records, Orna was wooed by, and accepted an offer from A440 Music Group. In February 2003 “Orna: The Very Thought of You” was released internationally to rave reviews. Songs from the album were featured on United Airlines in-flight entertainment and on Airforce One. She was the opening act for Peter Cincotti at the famous Pabst Theater in Milwaukee.
All the while, Orna developed and grew her private piano and vocal teaching studio, teaching all levels and ages. She was also the resident voice teacher and Musical Director for West Coast Dance Theater from 1996 to 2007.
Believe it or not, one fortuitous day in 2004 Orna met Sam, the love of her life, on JDate. Incredibly, both were Berklee graduates and had many friends and interests in common. They married in 2007, and Aja, their darling baby girl was born in 2009. Orna and Sam plan to make an album together, but their busy schedule has delayed getting around to it yet. Sam’s incredible knowledge about everything Apple, led to the great idea of sharing all his tips and tricks with others. In 2008 Orna started the first issue of the previously-named “Love Your Mac” newsletter. It evolved and grew, as did the client list. She became increasingly involved in the business and now runs and manages it together with Sam—never dreaming she could be so inspired and fulfilled by this new entrepreneurship.
In October 2012, combining her passion for technology with her love for cooking and baking, Orna launched OrnaBakes.com. As a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador and Private Coach, she shares healthy recipes and weight-loss tips, hoping to inspire others with weight issues.