Kendra Shank & John Stowell; Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kendra Shank & John Stowell
Thursday, April 17
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

“…breathtakingly original concept.” – Boston Globe

In this impeccable pairing, vocalist Kendra Shank joins master guitarist John Stowell, performing a mix of originals, jazz standards, folk medleys, and free improvisations.  Born of an impromptu Manhattan recording session, their new album, New York Conversations, captures their playful, conversational synergy that encapsulates the two musicians’ two decades of collaboration.  Stowell’s richly layered chords and harmonies balance out Shank’s vocal textures, enhanced by electronic loops and other effects she artfully employs.

Originally a folk/pop singer-guitarist based in Seattle, Shank comes to performance naturally. Born in California to a playwright father and actress mother, Shank was acting in plays at age 5, picked up the guitar at 13, and at 19 began her music career playing in subways and sidewalk cafés.  After several years on the West Coast folk music circuit, a Billie Holiday recording inspired her to pursue jazz.  She relocated to New York in 1997 and recorded two albums for Jazz Focus Records: Wish, which Time magazine’s Terry Teachout called “delectable” and Reflections, which made the Boston Globe‘s Top Ten list.  Shank has subsequently been featured on NPR’s JazzSet and Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland and has taught clinics and performed the globe over.

John Stowell is a unique guitarist in that his playing shows that he’s been influenced by pianists and horn players, just as much as by other guitarists.  He offers a tri-fecta of fantastic harmony, lush chords and improvisational whimsy.  Aside from being an acclaimed performer he has also taught international guitar clinics for over 30 years.  As the LA Times puts it, “…Stowell’s style with standards is a delightful departure from the road well traveled.  He transcends the label of jazz guitarist.”

In their new co-led project, this duo pushes boundaries with a personal mix of Stowell originals (some with Shank’s lyrics) and some captivatingly re-imagined covers.  The moods of these performances range from intimate tender ballads to buoyant jaunts, syncopated swing, sensuous samba, and experimental moments…everything you might find in a New York conversation.

Kendra Shank & John Stowell

DATE: Thursday, April 17, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $15/Adv $20/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227  

Media contact:
Michael Bloom
(310) 779-1886

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