Kavita Shah: Elements
Jazz at the Rubin
Friday, January 6, 2017
7:00 PM–8:30 PM
Vocalist and composer Kavita Shah returns to the Rubin with a program of original music and lyrics inspired by the five natural elements. A native New Yorker of Indian descent fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French, Shah makes work in deep engagement with the jazz tradition while also addressing and advancing its global sensibilities. Her highly acclaimed 2014 debut album VISIONS, co-produced by guitar virtuoso Lionel Loueke, combined influences from West Africa, Brazil, and India; in 2017, she will release her second album in duet with bassist FranÃ§ois Moutin.
“Shah’s music reflects the insatiably curious mind of an ethnographer, the soul of a poet, and the eye of a painter.”
—Owen McNally, WNPR
Kavita Shah (vocals) Glenn Zaleski (piano) FranÃ§ois Moutin (bass) Clarence Penn (drums)
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.