Kendra Shank and John Stowell
Photo by Christian Konopka
This interactive duo pushes boundaries with a personal mix of Stowell
originals (some with Shank's lyrics), reimagined jazz standards, a folk
song medley, and free improvisations. Moods range from intimate tender
ballads to mixed meter jaunts, syncopated swing, sensuous samba, and
the evocatively experimental. Their new cd is entitled "New York Conversations".
Vocalist Kendra Shank began studying with jazz vocalist Jay Clayton in
Seattle in 1989.
Her jazz career blossomed quickly and in 1991 she was hired by Bob
Dorough as vocalist-guitarist-percussionist for his west coast tour.
She soon caught the attention of jazz legend Shirley Horn, who invited
Kendra to perform as her guest at the Village Vanguard in New York and
co-produced Shank's critically-acclaimed cd "Afterglow", featuring
Larry Willis and Gary Bartz.
The Kendra Shank Quartet, her current working band, featuring pianist
Frank Kimbrough, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Tony Moreno. This
ensemble, in which Shank focuses on improvisational group interplay, is
also featured on her ground-breaking 2007 release, "A Spirit Free:
Abbey Lincoln Songbook".
Hailed by Downbeat magazine as a top female vocalist (1999, 2006,
2007), she has been featured on National Public Radio's JazzSet,
and Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland.
Appearances include Blue Note, Birdland, Iridium, Jazz Standard, Blues
Alley, Scullers, Regatta Bar, Jazz Bakery, Jazz Alley, The Green Mill,
The Dakota, JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz in Marciac Festival, Jazz
à Vienne Festival, Edmonton Jazz Festival, Calgary Jazz
Festival, and countless others.
Kendra appeared previously at Chez Hanny in duo with Gary Versace.
Guitarist John Stowell
began his career in the early 1970’s with private study with
guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Several years
later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a
duo that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years. The
duo continues to perform thirty years after their first meeting.
In 1983, John and David joined flutist Paul Horn for a historic tour of
the Soviet Union.
He has also played with Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Conte
Condoli, Herb Ellis, Bill Watrous, Mundell Lowe, George Cables, Billy
Higgins, Billy Hart, Richie Cole, Paul Horn, Tom Harrrel, Don Thompson,
and Dave Liebman.
John has played Chez Hanny previously with his own groups, with David
Friesen, with Michael Zilber, and with the Jazz Guitar Summit.