Being resilient is the only way to get through the challenges of living a creative life. There are strategies of course, but the main one is a positive mindset. Enter this episode's guest, Shana Tucker. Shana Tucker is a cellist and singer-songwriter who credits her genre-bending "ChamberSoul" journey to the influences of her jazz and classical roots interwoven with 80's & 90's pop music, movie soundtracks, and worldbeat. Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as “a jazz talent...whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible in North Carolina,” Shana’s style and sound as been described as a mash-up of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell, and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity that is reminiscent of Bill Withers. ChamberSoul best describes what the listener should expect when experiencing Shana's music.
A 2011 NPR interview about Shana's debut CD, "SHiNE" and her ChamberSoul style prompted an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the company as cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas. She performed toured for the Cirque until relocating back to the Triangle area of North Carolina in 2017 to pursue a full-time performance/touring/recording/teaching schedule.
With collaborations as the cornerstone, Shana currently performs with jazz saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin; Grammy-nominated collective, The Foreign Exchange; Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a North Carolina-based, socially conscious theatrical organization; and her newest project, Women's Work, an ensemble of jazz/soul/pop artists representing east/west coasts. With her own band, Shana has opened for Norah Jones, Lisa Fischer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Javon Jackson, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and Indigo Girls.
Most recently, Shana shared the stage with flutist Nicole Mitchell and pianist Jason Moran at NYC Winter Jazz Fest 2018 for Mitchell’s composition, “Gwendolyn Brooks: New Art & Anthem”. She was also chosen to perform alongside musical tradition-bearers Laura Windley, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, and NEA Heritage Award Fellows Phil Wiggins and John Dee Holman in for “The Artist’s Role”, a multi-faceted look into the origins of jazz and blues through music, dance, narrative, and visual art.
A front-line advocate for arts education, Shana is a teaching artist with United Arts Council, The Smith Center for Performing Arts, and NC Wolf Trap. She also devotes a considerable amount of her time to outreach activities throughout the year as part of her mission to promote arts education programming for students of all ages.
During this interview, we talk about how Shana defines resilience, how she has handled downturns in her music career and the resources she uses to keep going.
You can find out more and follow Shana at:
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