Influenced by such Cool School singers as June Christy and Chris Connor, Libby York is an expressive but obscure jazz vocalist who was born and raised in Chicago. York swings, although she does so in a subtle, relaxed, introspective fashion. As a young adult, York left Chicago to attend American University in Washington, DC, where she majored in political science before moving to Delaware and opening a restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, DE called the Back Porch Café in 1974. After that, York lived in Key West, FL and, in 1981, moved to New York. During her 13-year stay in the Big Apple, York studied with Abbey Lincoln and Judy Niemack and paid the bills with "day gigs" that ranged from catering to working as a production assistant on Saturday Night Live. The improviser, who didn't start singing professionally until she was 35, did some recording in New York, although none of that material was released commercially. In 1994, York returned to Chicago, where in 1998 she recorded her debut album, Blue Gardenia, for Southport.