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Kenya & Shana Tucker Discuss the Love for Jazz

Creating Crimson Presents Kenya and Shana Tucker at The Promontory September 9th in Chicago


Interview by Latrea Morrow



UK sensation, Chicago native Jazz/Soul Artist Kenya will share the stage with Jazz Cellist/Singer Shana Tucker September 9 at The Promontory in Chicago. Blending Kenya’s sultry sound with Shana’s Cello will be musical haven for jazz enthusiasts.

LM: Tell us about your love for jazz and why you chose to be a jazz artist.

Kenya: I've been listening to jazz since adolescence and my father was a jazz and soul drummer. I grew up listening to diverse music, but, jazz has always come a bit natural for me. I don't consider myself a straight ahead jazz artist; more so a soul artist with a jazz influence. I love the freedom of jazz and the ability to express whatever the moment creates. It’s extremely liberating to perform jazz, yet it is also a complex art form. So, often it feels like working on a puzzle- you have to put in thought while having fun putting different chords and rhythms together creating an eclectic piece of music.

LM: Did you choose the Cello or did it choose you?

Shana: I think it was a little bit of both, actually. I’d been playing violin but wasn’t really feeling it, and switched to cello in Junior High because our orchestra was violin-heavy. I think it was calling to my subconscious from across the band room :), but cello is such a beautiful instrument, and it’s very close to human voice in the range. It truly is my chosen instrument.

LM: Explain to us how you came up with the term “ChamberSoul.”

Shana: “ChamberSoul” aptly describes what the listener should expect when experiencing my music. It embodies influences of jazz and classical roots, interwoven with 80's & 90's pop music, movie soundtracks, and world music. The “Chamber” part: I’m intrinsically drawn to ‘real’ instruments, with resonance, tone and depth that can sound without amplification, and the dialogue that occurs between players without a conductor. The “Soul” part: I always try to set a tone of acoustic intimacy with my colleagues on stage and with the audience, so that the music, performers and audience feel close and tangible, no matter the size the venue. “From the soul, to the soul’”.

LM: You have collaborated with some phenomenal artists in the past, tell us about your decision to team up with jazz cellist and singer Shana Tucker for your upcoming live performance at The Promontory on Sept. 9

Kenya: Shana and I have known each other since college at Howard University in Washington, D.C. We're talking decades ago (shhh...don't tell anyone :-). We are extremely close friends and have similar musical paths- years ago we both left music to focus on our family lives. We also both grew very restless not pursuing our passions and returned to music around the same time. We support each other in so many ways both within music as well as girlfriends. We call each other "sister sledge" meaning we're close friends to the point of being like family. We've done smaller shows in the past and its becoming quite a tradition. This will be our largest concert done together to date. Given our similar styles yet different approaches, it truly makes for an entertaining night of live music.

LM: You have shared the stage with some of the music industry greats. Tell us about your upcoming live performance with Jazz/Soul Singer Kenya at The Promontory in Chicago September 9 and what it means to you to work with her.

Shana: Kenya is my “SisterSledge” to the bone-bone, lol. This will be the 3rd concert we’ve presented together as solo artists, but we’ve known each other and have been performing together since our Howard University days (H.U.!!! You Know!!! :) I appreciate Kenya’s tenacity, creative professionalism and focus, especially since we both share an understanding for the realities of being an independent artist...all the planning, coordination, marketing, logistics, etc. (a.k.a. the stuff that’s not making music, lol) that go into self-presenting a concert of this caliber/magnitude. I’m not sure if I’m a friend first or fan first; all I know is that I selfishly love collaborating in this way because it allows me to experience Kenya’s music live, as an audience member and also sharing the stage and making music. And Kenya’s fans continue to embrace and support my music and my artistry. I’m really looking forward to being able to return the favor very soon, when I move back home to North Carolina.

Visit Kenya online and follow on Twitter & Instagram @kenyamjmusic Interview Courtesy of With An I Public Relations

- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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