January 10, Kendra Shank: Abbey Lincoln Tribute @ NYC Winter Jazzfest / March 20, 21 @ Kitano & more

January 10 on NYC Winter Jazzfest: Zinc Bar - 8:30 pm
Kendra Shank voice
Frank Kimbrough piano Billy Drewes saxophones
Dean Johnson bass Matt Wilson drums
"Imaginative and daring." - Steve Futterman, The New Yorker
"Kendra Shank is an original; a singer with a sound." - Abbey Lincoln

New York vocalist Kendra Shank pays tribute to her friend and mentor Abbey Lincoln (1930 - 2010) in a program of songs composed by the legendary singer, songwriter, actress, poet, civil rights activist, and NEA Jazz Master whose powerful messages of love, struggle, hope, and freedom are timeless and timely. Shank's CD A Spirit Free: Abbey Lincoln Songbook (2007, the first Lincoln songbook ever recorded) received a New York Times Critics' Choice, 4 stars in DownBeat, and numerous "Best of the Year" awards, among other accolades. "Her tribute is both reverent and creative, illuminating new possibilities for these songs and shedding new light on their composer" (Larry Blumenfeld, Entertainment Weekly). Shank played guitar on Lincoln's Over the Years CD and live with her at the Blue Note. "Abbey's songs celebrate the human spirit and address social issues that are relevant to our times, " says Kendra, "I'm honored to celebrate her legacy and 90th birthyear at Winter Jazzfest."

Kendra Shank's seven CDs have won numerous "Best of the Year" citations, DownBeat poll recognition, and acclaim for her "delectable voice" (TIME magazine) and "breathtakingly original concept" (Boston Globe). Her career began as a folk singer-guitarist busking in Paris. When her passion turned to jazz, she studied with vocalist Jay Clayton in Seattle and was also mentored by Shirley Horn who co-produced her debut album and showcased her at the Village Vanguard in 1992. Since then Shank has headlined at New York's Blue Note, Birdland, Jazz Standard, Iridium, and holds an 18-year residency at the 55 Bar. She's appeared on NPR's JazzSet and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz and has toured in Europe, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S. including jazz festivals in Portland, Saratoga, Seattle, Calgary, Edmonton, Vienne, Marciac, Wangaratta, and more. In addition to her 21-year collaboration with Frank Kimbrough and Dean Johnson, Shank has performed and/or recorded with Fred Hersch, Larry Willis, Geoffrey Keezer, Bob Dorough, Jay Clayton, Joe Locke, Gary Bartz, Steve Wilson, Peter Leitch, John Stowell, Ben Monder, Victor Lewis, Matt Wilson, and many others. (Time quote by Terry Teachout; Boston Globe by Andrew Gilbert)
"Very refreshing… a singer who's approaching the music with her voice as an instrument."
- Dee Dee Bridgewater, DownBeat (blindfold test)

"Ms. Shank, an emotionally forthright singer, brings care and confidence to her performance. She sounds equally at home with the worldly ache of "Down Here Below"
and the percussive clangor of "Throw It Away."
- Nate Chinen, New York Times (Critics' Choice)

"Skin-peeling, heart-stopping renditions. So much beauty and power here."
- Joseph Blake, Victoria Times Colonist

"Shank smoothly navigates difficult passages, handles tempo shifts and chord changes without hesitation or vocal misstep, and can swing, sing the blues or shift into a samba sequence while maintaining control and also putting her own imprint on every number."
- Ron Wynn, Nashville City Paper

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