Jazz at the Rubin
Friday, January 22, 2016
7:00 PM–8:30 PM
Kavita Shah, a visionary young singer who incorporates elements of Indian, Brazilian, and Malian music into her jazz-based repertoire, returns to the Rubin with her unique and soulful phrasing. Her band features Aruan Ortiz on piano, FranÃ§ois Moutin on bass, and Ferenc Nemeth on drums.
An “amazing” new voice in contemporary music (NPR), Shah is gaining a reputation as a visionary young singer, composer, and arranger. Hailed by Downbeat Magazine as the “Best Graduate Jazz Vocalist” (2012) and winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award (2013), Shah—a native New Yorker of Indian origin fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French—incorporates diverse musical elements into her repertoire. Her debut album VISIONS (co-produced by guitar virtuoso Lionel Loueke) combines the sounds of the traditional Indian tablas and West African kora with those of a jazz quintet.
“Kavita Shah has set forth on a beautiful journey into uncharted waters. Her songwriting and her voice merge centuries and continents into music which touches antiquity and leads into the future in the same moment.”
—Robert Sadin, Grammy award-winning producer
About the Artist
Kavita Shah grew up in Manhattan, studying classical piano from age 5 and performing regularly at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as a member of the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of NYC. She was a semifinalist in the 2011 Voicingers International Jazz Competition held in Zory, Poland, and she has since performed as a bandleader throughout Europe. She has led projects at numerous venues, including the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Joe’s Pub, and Kennedy Center (DC), and is an active member of the New York jazz scene. Shah has collaborated with artists Sheila Jordan, Peter Eldridge, Steve Wilson, Rajna Swaminathan, and Samir Chatterjee, among many others. In addition to the VISIONS project, Shah also leads the Brazil Trio and a jazz quintet, co-leads a duo with bassist FranÃ§ois Moutin, and collaborates with contemporary composers.
Shah received her Master’s in jazz voice from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Theo Bleckmann, Peter Eldridge, Steve Wilson, and Jim McNeely. She holds a BA from Harvard College in Latin American Studies, where she was the recipient of the Cultural Agents Thesis Prize and the Kenneth D. Maxwell Prize in Brazilian Studies for her ethnomusicology research on contemporary Afro-Brazilian music and politics.