2019 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival Presents New York State of Mind: Kendra Shank
with Randy Porter and John Stowell
February 22 | 7:30 pm- $20 – $25
“Kendra Shank sounds like sunlight shining through a stained-glass window, her crystalline tone illuminating each song. Working her voice like a horn, she phrases inventively, whether crisp and sizzling or sensuously smoky. She’s definitely an original.” — Patricia Myers, Jazz Times
“Imaginative and daring.” — Steve Futterman, The New Yorker
Kendra Shank‘s seven CDs have won numerous “Best of the Year” citations, a New York Times “Critic’s Choice,” Downbeat poll recognition, and accolades for her “delectable voice” (Terry Teachout, TIME magazine) and “breathtakingly original concept based upon open-ended bandstand interaction” (Andrew Gilbert, Boston Globe). Born in California to an actress mother and playwright father, she was on stage at age 5 and began her music career at 19, busking in Parisian cafés as a folk singer-guitarist. A decade later her passion turned to jazz and she studied with Jay Clayton while honing her craft in Seattle and Paris jazz clubs, with visits to Portland where she was mentored by Nancy King and performed with John Stowell and Randy Porter. She soon caught the attention of jazz legend Shirley Horn who co-produced Shank’s debut CD and presented her at New York’s Village Vanguard in 1992. Since moving to New York in 1997 Shank has become a prominent figure on the city’s jazz scene, headlining at The Blue Note, Birdland, Jazz Standard, and Iridium and holding a 17-year residency at the historic 55 Bar. She has been featured on NPR’s JazzSet and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and has toured in Europe, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S. at festivals, clubs and concert halls.
In addition to leading her group of 18 years with pianist Frank Kimbrough and bassist Dean Johnson, Shank was guest guitarist on Abbey Lincoln’s Over The Years CD, and has performed and/or recorded as a vocalist with Fred Hersch, Geoffrey Keezer, Larry Willis, Art Lande, Gary Versace, Bob Dorough, Jay Clayton, Joe Locke, Gary Bartz, Steve Wilson, Peter Leitch, Ben Monder, Victor Lewis, and Matt Wilson, among others. Her 2014 co-led album with John Stowell, New York Conversations, was called “magical…original…ingenious” by Will Friedwald in The Wall Street Journal and the duo have toured in NY, MA, CA, OR, WA and Canada.