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Shawnn Monteiro

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The Mad Monkfish, 524 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Exciting, captivating and completely distinctive” is how most jazz cognoscenti describe Shawnn's pulsating lyric style. Whether in the intimacy of a club date or the glitter of a Las Vegas showroom, Shawnn has delighted audiences from USA to Europe with her highly popular jazz repertoire laced with blues-oriented improvisations.

Evident in Shawnn's liveliness of lyrical phrasing and intermittent scat variations is the influences of Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan, from whom she draws that inner core of creative energy. But good genes help, too. Shawnn's father was the late renowned bassist Jimmy Woode, veteran of the Duke Ellington band. Throw into the mix, a lot of musical inspiration and guidance from her Godfather, Clark Terry, and you come up with a combination that can't miss.

Percussion great and latin/jazz impressario Mongo Santamaria discovered Shawnn working in a club in San Jose, California and signed her on the spot to tour with his band. Shawnn electrified audiences as his only vocalist and female percussionist during that two-year circuit where she shared the stage with such greats as Stan Kenton, Celia Cruz, the Fania All-Stars, and Weather Report.

Since then, Shawnn has shared the state with a prestigious list of notables jazz names: Clark Terry, Red Holloway, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster and the Basie Band, Nat Adderly, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Bobby Durham, James Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Keter Betts, Stanley Jordan, Ed Thigpen, Johnny Griffin, and Benny Golson....to name a few.

Her popularity continues to grow as clubgoers from Los Angeles to Rome extol the special feelings they share as she lulls them into a mellow mood as only a sensitive jazz vocalist can do. The true magical quality of Shawnn's exciting voice is best experienced in the ultimate setting of the club dates where her warm charisma can be personally felt by those fortunate enough to spend and evening with her.

BLACK WOMEN IN JAZZ

Take a walk through

jazz history with

Shawnn in a tribute

to the great voices of the

black women of jazz, Carmen,

Ella, Sarah, Nancy, Dinah,

Abbey, Billie and

so many more heroines

of our great American art form. 

From the perspective of a black

jazz singer.

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE THERE - New Album

Available now!

Available now!

VISIT ME on JAZZ RADIO WETF

"You Are There" is Shawnn's most important album to date. Rich collaborations with many of the current heavyweights of jazz. Kenny Barron and Mike Renzi, Dave Zinno, Steve Langone, Nat Reeves, Joe Farnsworth, John Allmark, Josh Bruneau and Steve Davis. You gotta hear this!"” - L.Y.

— Host WETF Jazz Radio

The Musicians

Heavyweights....

Mike Renzi and Kenny Barron on Piano, 

Dave Zinno and Nat Reeves on Bass, 

Joe Farnsworth and Steve Langone on Drums, 

John Allmark and Josh Bruneau on Trumpet  

Steve Davis on Trombone

 

 Select album notes from Bob Gulla

Shawnn is fortunate to be accompanied by a couple of monster of jazz: Mike Renzi and Kenny Barron. Renzi spent years as music director for Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Freddie Cole, and Sesame Street. He is a master at creating the almost invisible space required to accompany a great singer; you need to be present, strong and beautiful, while at the same time making sure that people barely notice what you are doing. On You Are There, Renzi heightens, rather than takes away from, the focus on the vocalist. He plays ballads, the American songbook, or burning bebop, always just right for the time and place. His duet with Shawnn on “Never Let Me Go” is a perfect example of Renzi’s ability to do precisely what is needed to serve the song in the most efficient and tasteful way possible.  

Kenny Barron has earned the respect and attention of appreciative audiences worldwide since his arrival on the scene as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s band. His exquisite, ever-present touch and effortless rhythmic feel are among the assets he explores in order to create a performance that is somehow both comforting and dazzling.  

Nat Reeves is an educator, composer, and bandleader with two recordings as a leader. The late Jackie McLean, Kenny Garrett, Pharoah Sanders and Harold Mabern are just a few of those who’ve chosen Nat to grace their recorded efforts.  

Bassist Dave Zinno’s third recording as a leader of Dave Zinno Unisphere has just been released. His versatility and virtuosity have dazzled audiences and bandmates for decades; like the most gifted musicians, Zinno gets better each time he picks up his instrument.  

Joe Farnsworth’s recent Time to Swing CD spent nine weeks in the top 10 on the farnswnational radio chart. The session included Kenny Barron and Wynton Marsalis as part of his supporting cast, which is all you need to know about how widely his talent is acknowledged.  

Steve Langone is a first call for many coming to Boston. He plays any style, from laid back to free jazz, and is particularly respected for his mastery of Latin rhythms. He has two recordings under his name as a leader. 

A note from Shawnn

The Songs...

“My Old Friend” was introduced to me 
by Jimmy Cobb. It was on an album he recorded 
with Gregory Hines singing vocals. 
It has such a sad message and I’ve sung it at many memorials for musicians. However, it is a beautiful song melodically and I couldn’t let it go. 
“Dearly Beloved” I heard performed by the great Nancy Wilson 
at the Newport Jazz Festival and fell in love with it. 
“Inside a Silent Tear” was written by the great Blossom Dearie... 
...one of many of her songs I’d like to record. 
“Let’s Eat Home” I heard on the radio performed by Rosemary Clooney 
and I couldn’t get it out of my head. “You’ll See”, was written by the wonderful Carroll Coates. He wrote a couple of songs on my very first album, 
Visit Me, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to record this one. 
A lot of the songs are standards but timeless. I hope you enjoy what I have selected.