Kendra Shank

Kendra Shank is a jazz vocalist.

Kendra Shank
Born (1958-04-23) April 23, 1958 (age 63)
Woodland, California, U.S.
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1980s–present
LabelsMapleshade, Jazz Focus, Challenge
Associated actsFrank Kimbrough


Shank's mother was an actress and playwright and her father was a playwright[1] and teacher at the University of California.[2] When she was five, she appeared onstage with her mother in Threepenny Opera.[3] In her early teens she started playing guitar.[4][1]

Shank attended Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington, receiving a degree in art and French.[1] During the 1980s, she performed in clubs in Seattle as a folk singer, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. In 1989 she studied with jazz vocalist Jay Clayton[1] at Cornish College of the Arts.[5] She was a busker on the streets and subways of Paris and while in Paris heard her first Billie Holiday album.[1] Although she had been working as a folk singer in clubs, she bought a method book to learn a few jazz standards.[1]

In the early 1990s, she went on tour with Bob Dorough.[1] Shirley Horn saw her perform and became a mentor, introducing at the Village Vanguard in 1992.[5] Mapleshade released Shank's debut album Afterglow on which she sang and played guitar.[6] She met Frank Kimbrough through Horn, and he became a member of her quartet which recorded A Spirit Free (Challenge, 2007), a tribute to her mentor and friend Abbey Lincoln.[3] She has also recorded with Gary Bartz, Peter Leitch, Ben Monder, John Stowell, and Larry Willis.


As leaderEdit

As guestEdit

  • Abbey Lincoln, Over the Years (Verve, 2000)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Yanow, Scott (2008). The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide. Backbeat. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-87930-825-4.
  2. ^ Hebert, James (10 December 2014). "UCSD playwright Adele Shank dies". San Diego Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Skelly, Richard. "Kendra Shank". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Kendra Shank: Biography". Kendra Shank. Retrieved 19 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 233. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.

External linksEdit