Carla White was born in Oakland, California and raised in Bellport, New York. In the early '70s, she began her musical studies with the legendary Jazz pianist and teacher Lennie Tristano. With Lennie as her mentor until his death in 1978, Carla built her Jazz vocabulary by singing along with Lester Young, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and others. She learned hundreds of songs and solos by ear.
Studying next with Tristano's protégé, saxophonist Warne Marsh, Carla concentrated on wordless improvising, or "scat" singing, exploring her voice in a purely instrumental way. This led to her first band, a bebop quintet with trumpeter Manny Duran. In 1984 they recorded for Stash Records. 'Cadence' magazine wrote that "Carla White is a scat singer like the Pope is Catholic."
In 1985, Carla launched her critically acclaimed career as a solo artist and has since recorded four CDs. Carla has also performed in a wide variety of venues from clubs to concerts, festivals to television, nationally and internationally. She is a respected teacher, as well, having conducted seminars, workshops and master classes. In addition to her Jazz agenda, Carla has an active career as a voice-over artist.