Kendra Shank

Kendra Shank is “a superbly skilled vocalist” (New York Times) with a “delectable voice” (Time magazine) and “breathtakingly original concept” (Boston Globe). Her inventive phrasing, soulful storytelling, and spontaneous ensemble interplay, make each performance a creative, in- the-moment experience that entrances and inspires audiences. Headlining at festivals, concerts, and clubs across the U.S. and internationally, Shank combines jazz originals, standards, world music, French chansons, folk/pop songs, and open improvisation in an adventurous, genre-bending style that inspired Abbey Lincoln to call her “an original; a singer with a sound.”

Kendra Shank's six critically acclaimed CDs have garnered numerous “Best of the Year” awards, DownBeat poll recognition, and international airplay. “Afterglow” (Mapleshade Records, 1994), was co-produced by jazz legend Shirley Horn, who presented Shank at the Village Vanguard for her New York debut. Her second album, “Wish” (Jazz Focus Records, 1998), received a Time magazine rave, declaring: “Get in on the ground floor: this lady is going up.” “Reflections” (Jazz Focus Records, 1998) debuted her current working band, an ensemble of New York all-stars with pianist Frank Kimbrough (Maria Schneider Orchestra), bassist Dean Johnson (Gerry Mulligan), and drummer Tony Moreno (Dave Liebman), who are featured on her two subsequent recordings. Shank’s ground-breaking “A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook” (Challenge Records, 2007) pays tribute to that legendary singer’s importance as a songwriter. “Mosaic” (Challenge Records, 2009), is credited to the “Kendra Shank Quartet” in recognition of the collaborative nature of her band who “have spent [over] a decade tightening their exemplary unit, and the triumph of their solidity is evident throughout this stunningly inventive pastiche of covers and originals” (Jazz Times).

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”Kendra Shank's delectable voice—warm-toned, fine-grained, quietly sexy—sets her well apart from the crowd, as does her knack for picking unhackneyed, slightly off-center material. The up-tempo tunes swing hard; the ballads shimmer and shine. Get in on the ground floor: this lady is going up.” -Terry Teachout, TIME magazine

”Kendra Shank has a powerful stage presence and 'a vast amount of emotional range.' Hearing her in person — with the attentively swinging pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tony Moreno — the immediacy of her musicianship is powerful.” -Nat Hentoff, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“...she intoxicates with a combination of power and perfume

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Discography

Mosaic

Mosaic

Challenge Records
2009

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A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook

A Spirit Free: Abbey...

Challenge Records
2007

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Reflections

Jazz Focus Records
2001

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Reflections

Jazz Focus Records
2000

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