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Jazz songstress Shannon Wallace has style and class, sizzle and sass.
Her way with a classic tune is like none other—steeped in the great tradition of Ella, Billie and Sarah, yet imbued with a fresh, contemporary sensibility. She wraps the great American songbook in her loving arms and makes it music for today.
“These are songs of romance, joy and laughter, heartbreak and love…” she says, “And that will never go away. As long as we’re feeling individuals, these songs are going to be vital. This music means so much to me, I feel an obligation to keep it alive.”
Shannon’s connection to the music is rooted as deeply as her family tree. Growing up in a musical home, she absorbed the grand traditions of American song—learning on the piano her grandmother and mother played and singing three part harmony with her mom and sister, all the while exploring contemporary music from pop to country.
“But when I got to college,” she says, “I realized that jazz is my thing, that standards are my thing. I said, ‘I don’t care whether this music is trendy right now or not. This is my home.’”
Soon she was fronting the 20-piece C.C. Jones Orchestra, gigging around the West with them for 11 years. From there, she went on to form and lead her own jazz ensemble, winning the hearts of audiences and critical accolades in music publications. Shannon is currently working with the pianist and Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee Charles Lewis on a new set of recordings.