She has her own sensuous way of phrasing, stretching time to suit her taste, a lithe voice, and a knowing repertoire." ~ Gary Giddins, The Village Voice
Jazz vocalist Kendra Shank returns to the intimate Fifty-Five Bar on Friday, August 23rd from 6pm until 9pm. Fifty-Five Bar is located at 55 Christopher Street, at Sheridan Square, in the heart of Greenwich Village. There will be a two-drink minimum with no cover charge. Shank will be joined by long-time collaborator John Hart on guitar, with bassist to be announced.
Shank's latest CD, Reflections (Jazz Focus, 2000), made the Top Ten List" of the Boston Globe and Newsday and hit the upper reaches of the Gavin jazz charts. Featuring her New York working band (pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tony Moreno), the CD displays Shank's multi-faceted musical conception, exploring new jazz compositions and standards, as well as French and folk/pop influences. This vocalist makes lyrics believable, invents like an instrumentalist, and has an ear second to none for little-known and unknown tunes," says the Globe's Bob Blumenthal.
Building on a degree in visual arts and French literature from the University of Washington and studies with jazz vocalist Jay Clayton, Kendra forged successful careers in Seattle, WA and Paris, France (1988 - 1996) before settling in her current New York City home in 1997. In 1991 she was vocalist/guitarist/percussionist in the Bob Dorough Quartet and in 1992 made her New York debut at the Village Vanguard in a showcase performance hosted by jazz legend Shirley Horn. Shank's critically-acclaimed debut compact disc, Afterglow (Mapleshade, 1994), was co-produced by Horn and features pianist Larry Willis and saxophonist Gary Bartz. In 1999 Kendra was voted among Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" by the Down Beat International Critics Poll and her second CD, Wish (Jazz Focus, 1998), made the Top Ten List" of Jazziz magazine. Terry Teachout wrote in Time magazine, Get in on the ground floor: this lady is going up." In 2000 Shank was featured on NPR's JazzSet with Branford Marsalis and appeared as guest guitarist on Abbey Lincoln's CD Over The Years (Verve). Lincoln says Kendra Shank is an origianl. A singer with a sound." This October, Shank is slated for a taping of Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland for NPR.
Kendra Shank has headlined at clubs and festivals internationally, including: Blue Note, Birdland, Iridium, Jazz Standard, JVC Jazz Festival (New York); Blues Alley (Washington, D.C.); Scullers, Regatta Bar (Boston); Jazz Bakery (Los Angeles); Kimball's East (Bay Area, CA); Jazz Alley (Seattle); The Green Mill (Chicago); The Dakota (St. Paul); Jazz in Marciac Festival, Jazz